Newsletter on Chinese Antitrust 20.04-30.04.2024

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Newsletter on Chinese Antitrust 20.04-30.04.2024

Review № 8 of Chinese Antitrust News from the `experts of the BRICS Competition Centre 

- A new edition of the Antitrust Compliance Guide for Business Entities has been published
- China responds to Blinken's remarks on fair competition
- The bill has been passed: TikTok will continue to fight for the platform in the US
- The EC conducted an unscheduled inspection of a Chinese company
- The EU launches probe into Chinese medical device procurement market 
- Key areas of Beijing's antitrust work for 2024
- China will improve the control mechanism over NPOs- Lenovo will team up with Alibaba to develop AI-powered laptops

A new edition of the Antitrust Compliance Guide for Business Entities published 

The updated version of the Guide is more focused on practice, solving real-life problems and encouraging greater initiative. The new text supplements the general principles of antimonopoly compliance, adds a chapter on the organization of the compliance management system, clarifies the provisions on risk control, and refines the paragraphs on the functioning of the compliance management system. In addition, the content has been supplemented with 22 explanatory case studies that can be used as reference. The authorities also encourage industry organizations to develop similar thematic documents in their industries based on the Guidelines.

Source: SAMR1, SAMR 2

China responds to Blinken's remarks on fair competition 

During a visit to Shanghai, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern about China's "unfair trade practices", its "non-market behavior" and said that American companies need an "environment of fair competition." In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stressed that China has always carried out economic and trade cooperation in accordance with market principles and hopes that the United States, in interaction with the Chinese side, will also respect the principles of fair competition and comply with WTO rules.

Source: China News Service

The bill has been passed: TikTok willl continue to fight for the platform in the US 

US President Joe Biden signed a bill that will ban TikTok from operating in the US if the Chinese owner of ByteDance does not sell the application within 9 months (previously 6 were proposed). TikTok Vice President Michael Beckerman said on behalf of ByteDance that the company will “continue to fight” in court.

According to the terms of the bill, if the sale process has begun but has not yet been completed, a 3-month extension of the period to 12 months is possible to complete the transaction. However, according to internal information from ByteDance, if it fails to challenge the decision in court, the company would rather leave the American market than transfer data about the internal algorithms of the application to third-party businesses.

Sources: Financial times, Сctvnews, SCMP 1, SCMP 2

The EC conducted an unscheduled inspection of a Chinese company 

On April 23, the European Commission conducted an unscheduled inspection (dawn raid) of the offices of one of the Chinese companies in Poland and the Netherlands. The inspection is related to the European Commission's suspicions that the company being inspected "may have received foreign subsidies that could potentially distort the internal market" of the EU. The company suspected of violations is engaged in the production and sale of video surveillance equipment. The China Chamber of Commerce in the European Union, as well as many Chinese companies operating in the EU, said they were “deeply shocked and disappointed” by the inspections.

Previously, four investigations have already been initiated against Chinese companies based on the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation, all of which are active in the new energy sector. However, in the above case, the Regulations were used for the first time as a basis for an unscheduled inspection.

Source: Wechat

The EU launches probe into Chinese medical device procurement market 

The EU plans to investigate whether China is using unfair practices to deny European companies access to its medical device market. The European Commission believes that Chinese policies “unfairly differentiate” between local and foreign companies. According to the EC, the greatest damage is suffered by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. However, the market for medical devices is so large that many more large companies and thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe could face unfair treatment. In response to these accusations, Chinese Foreign Ministry Speaker Wang Wenbin emphasized that the EU's actions are protectionist.

Source: The Washington Post

Key areas of Beijing's antitrust work for 2024 

Since April, the Beijing Municipal Market Regulation Administration has been conducting a thematic anti-monopoly campaign in socially significant areas in order to overcome local protectionism, administrative monopoly and optimize the market environment.

As part of the campaign, the main areas of work for 2024 are identified:

• strengthening control over the pharmaceutical market and platform economy;

• investigation and prevention of abuse of the dominant position of natural monopolies (water, electricity, heat, gas supply, etc.);

• strengthening antimonopoly regulation of the activities of industry associations and administrative bodies;

• strengthening inspections of economic concentration transactions in socially significant markets.

Source: Wechat

China will improve the control mechanism over NPOs 

The People's Bank of China has submitted draft rules for implementing the Regulations on the Regulation of Non-Bank Credit Institutions (NPOs) for public consultation. As of the end of 2023, there were 185 such organizations in China, including giants WeChat Pay and Alipay.

The purpose of creating rules is to more clearly regulate the procedure for the creation and activities of NPOs, determine the mechanisms for providing payment services and strengthen the protection of consumer rights. They will also help stimulate competition between NPOs and regulate domestic and international payments. The Regulations themselves on the regulation of NPOs were adopted last year and come into force on May 1st. To comply with the new requirements, organizations are given a “grace period” of up to five years.

Source: Caixinglobal,

Lenovo will team up with Alibaba to develop AI-powered laptops 

Amid growing competition in the generative AI space in China, Lenovo has announced that it will jointly develop AI-powered devices with Alibaba. The laptops will feature Lenovo's new Xiaotian personal assistant and Alibaba's larger Tongyi Qianwen language model, the company announced at Tech World 2024 in Shanghai. Additionally, Lenovo partners with other major e-commerce companies such as

The company is also pursuing "in-depth cooperation and joint innovation" in the field of artificial intelligence with national enterprises and organizations, including the Artificial Intelligence Industry Research Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Source: SCMP

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