China regulator proposes new rules to improve anti-monopoly governance

China regulator proposes new rules to improve anti-monopoly governance
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BEIJING (June 27): China's market regulator published on Monday (June 27) draft rules and provisions aimed at improving its ability to govern antitrust behaviour as the country prepares to implement a revised anti-monopoly law in August.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said it wants to seek public comment for its proposals, which range from descriptions of what deals could be perceived as monopolistic to regulations governing how local authorities with the power to restrict competition should behave.

For example, companies will need to seek an antitrust review of their planned mergers or acquisitions if one of the parties' global annual revenue hit over 12 billion yuan (US$1.79 billion or about RM7.91 billion) and at least two parties' domestic annual sales reached 800 million yuan, the SAMR said.

Chinese regulators began cracking down in late 2020 on multiple industries and, in particular, targeted its once free-wheeling "platform economy" companies over behaviours it considered monopolistic, fining the likes of Alibaba Group and Meituan billions of dollars.

Last year, the regulators started to amend the country's 2008 anti-monopoly law, adding fresh emphasis on the digital economy and increasing penalty fines for instance. The revisions will take effect on Aug 1, Xinhua reported last week.