The antitrust authority will be stepping up oversight over the platform economy, technology development, data security and livelihood sectors such as utilities, healthcare and medicine.
These key sectors were identified as vulnerable to antitrust violations, reflecting continued antitrust enforcement actions since 2021.
According to latest figures published by the authority, total fines of RMB23.58 billion (USD3.71 billion) were imposed in 176 cases in 2021. Among others, the platform economy, medicine, public utilities and building materials were heavily investigated industry sectors.
In terms of merger control, the regulator dealt with 727 merger filings, including one that was prohibited and four remedy cases. Another 107 cases were penalised for failure to notify.
In the five-year plan issued in January 2022 by the State Council, China’s top government body flagged the following types of antitrust violations as high enforcement risks:
- Platform economy. Data/algorithm-related antitrust issues, killer acquisitions, exclusive dealing, discrimination, tie-in/bundling, etc.
- Technology development. Abuse of standard essential patents (SEPs).
- Livelihood sectors. Abusive practices including without limitation unfair high price, predatory pricing, restrictive/exclusive dealing, tie-in/bundling, imposition of unreasonable trading conditions, etc.
Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Howard Wu (Shanghai) at firstname.lastname@example.org