China has yet to impose extra-territorial antitrust remedy, NDRC official says

28 March 2017.

No antitrust case investigated by China's enforcement authorities has resulted in remedies that reach beyond China's borders, a senior official at the National Development and Reform Commission said.

Zhu Kai, an official at the NDRC's Price Supervision and Antimonopoly Bureau, told a symposium in Washington, DC, that the agency might seek such a remedy in the future, but would do so while respecting the prerogatives of other antitrust regulators.

He said Chinese authorities realize the importance of global collaboration, and hope to sign more bilateral agreements with different jurisdictions to carry out enforcement.

"International collaboration is important to antitrust enforcement, especially regarding international cartels, because it involves more than one national market and multiple jurisdictions," he said.

So far, the NDRC has signed bilateral memorandums of understanding with the US, EU, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Zhu suggested that in order to promote collaborative enforcement, regulators should respect different national laws and the independence of each jurisdiction.

He said the NDRC focuses a lot on confidentiality, and hopes different jurisdictions can establish a cooperation mechanism that prevents confidential enforcement information from being leaked.

In recent years, the NDRC has handled a number of international cartel cases and received a lot of self-reporting and leniency applications, he said. But so far, China's regulators have focused on the Chinese geographic market, and all the cases were within China.

In 2013, it fined six LCD-panel manufacturers from Taiwan and South Korea a total of 353 million yuan for price-fixing. It was the first time the NDRC had handed down penalties to an international cartel.

In 2014, it fined eight Japanese auto-parts companies and four bearing companies a total of 1.24 billion yuan for conspiring to fix prices. In 2015, it levied combined fines of 407 million yuan on eight shipping companies for operating a global cartel in the car and truck ocean cargo market.

In February 2015, the NDRC fined US chipmaker Qualcomm a total of 6.088 billion yuan for excessive pricing and abuse of its market dominance.

	Eliot Gao

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