China NDRC plans to strengthen fair-competition reviews, official says

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29 March 2017. By MLex Staff.

China's antitrust watchdog, the National Development and Reform Commission, plans to ramp up the enforcement of the fair-competition review mechanism and to soon launch inspections of government agencies across the country to monitor how that system is implemented, a top antitrust official said today.

"The NDRC will soon launch inspections on different government departments across the country to monitor the implementation of the fair-competition review system," Li Qing, a deputy director general at the NDRC's Bureau of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly, told a conference* in Washington.

She said all policymakers should run a self-review to determine whether their government documents run afoul of the country's competition law by, for example, affecting market access and exit, or imposing restrictive trading.

An inter-ministerial joint meeting mechanism has been set up among 28 government ministries to enhance the fair-competition review system.

She also said that the regulator will step up enforcement of the Antimonopoly Law, tackle administrative monopoly and weed out policies that obstruct competition so as to create an open, united and competitive market environment.

The fair-competition review mechanism, which is similar to the European Union's state aid rules, is an initiative promoted by the Chinese government to make sure all existing and future government policies don't have a negative impact on fair-market competition.

The fair-competition review system requires policymakers at all levels to conduct competition reviews of their policies and regulations.

Starting July 1, 2016, all administrative agencies at the central and provincial level were required to conduct a self-examination of their policies to determine whether they are in line with the fair-competition system. That mandate was expanded to local and county-level government agencies starting Jan. 1.

*American Bar Association Antitrust Law 2017 Spring Meeting. Washington, DC. March 29-31, 2017.

	Eliot Gao