Suzanne Rab, a partner at King & Spalding in London, has experience in proceedings before the UK’s competition and regulatory authorities, and the European Commission. Jet Zhisong Deng is a partner at T&D Associates in Beijing with expertise in antitrust and international trade law in China

Comparisons between the stellar growth and potential of two of the world’s biggest economies, China and India, become increasingly irresistible as both these Asian super-giants compete internationally and are prospects for foreign investment. Against this background, it’s timely to examine where the two countries stand on their recent adoption and enforcement of modernised competition laws.

China introduced its Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) on 31 August 2007, with effect from 1 August 2008. India’s new competition law under the Competition Act 2002 (Indian Competition Act) has been implemented in two stages with powers to regulate agreements and commercial practices effective from 20 May 2009, while merger control followed two years later on 1 June 2011.

Although both of these laws borrow from the competition laws in the EU and US, their detailed application and policy drivers differ; both between the two Asian countries and their counterparts internationally.

Similar, and not so similar

Few would deny the ascent of China and India as leading world economies, and their respective narratives make for the most compelling business stories of the 21st century.

Both face a consumer revolution where addressing increasing consumer demands requires supplying more of the right quality of goods, improving quality and enhancing value for money. There are associated challenges in terms of re-engineering the supply chain and improving capital allocation so that funds can be used efficiently, stimulating improvements in productivity and allowing the local economy to access the expertise and investment of global investors. Improvements in logistics also become imperative as productivity increases, and to improve access between suppliers and consumers.

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