Judicial System

Top legislature scheduled to beef up Anti-Monopoly Law

Updated: Oct 20, 2021 By HE WEI in Shanghai CHINA DAILY Print
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China is on track to revise the Anti-Monopoly Law as lawmakers began deliberating on draft amendments submitted to the country's top legislature. [Photo/IC]

China is on track to revise the Anti-Monopoly Law as lawmakers began deliberating on draft amendments submitted to the country's top legislature on Tuesday.

With emphasis on regulation and development, the draft revision aims to address major problems in the law's current implementation, further improve the anti-monopoly system and increase penalties for monopolistic practices, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The draft amendment to the Anti-Monopoly Law was submitted on Tuesday to the ongoing session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the top legislature, for review.

Enacted in 2008, the Anti-Monopoly Law has played an important role in protecting fair competition, improving the efficiency of economic operations, safeguarding consumers' and the public's interests, and promoting high-quality development, said Zhang Gong, director of the State Administration for Market Regulation, in an explanatory note to the draft revision.

Issues to be looked at include inadequate penalties for certain monopolistic behavior and the need to improve law enforcement.

The draft clarifies the status of competition policy and the legal status of the fair competition review system.

While strengthening competition policy, the country will also establish and improve the fair competition review system, according to Xinhua.

When formulating regulations involving the activities of market entities, relevant administrative agencies and organizations will undertake fair competition review.

The draft summarizes the practice of anti-monopoly law enforcement, draws on international experiences, and further improves the anti-monopoly system and its rules.

It bans business operators from eliminating or restricting competition through the abuse of data, algorithms, technology, capital advantages and platform rules. They are also prohibited from organizing other parties to form monopoly agreements, or provide assistance to help them reach monopoly agreements.

The State Council's anti-monopoly law enforcement agency will also strengthen reviews of areas such as people's livelihood, finance, science and technology and media.

The draft proposes the establishment of a "safe harbor" system, where exemptions are given to business operators who can prove their market share does not exceed limits set by the law enforcement agency.

It also proposed granting the law enforcement agency the right to recalculate the review period, should the operator under review fail to submit documents or files in time or new situations or facts arise that could have a major impact on the review.

The draft further strengthens the protection of anti-monopoly law enforcement and fines for violations are also substantially increased under the revision.

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