The Role of China’s Unique Economic Characteristics in Antitrust Enforcement

China’s Anti-Monopoly Law – The First Five Years 

Dr. Fei Deng and Dr. Gregory K. Leonard authored the chapter, “The Role of China’s Unique Economic Characteristics in Antitrust Enforcement,” in the book China’s Anti-Monopoly Law – The First Five Years published by Wolters Kluwer in August 2013. 

In this book chapter, the authors analyzed how particular characteristics of China’s economy, together with the broad set of goals specified in China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, may lead China’s antitrust agencies to practice antitrust enforcement differently than their counterparts in the United States and EU. Specifically, they focused on (1) the prominence of state-owned enterprises, (2) differences among regions of China in the gains realized from economic reforms, (3) the legacy of rapid economic growth, (4) views toward intellectual property rights in China, and (5) the role played by brand names in China. The authors examined the antitrust enforcement actions that have occurred since the AML went into effect for signs that the potential differences in practices have, in fact, manifested themselves.

The authors suggest that instead of simply attempting to transfer or translate “conventional wisdom” from the U.S. and EU to China, it will be necessary to adjust one’s outlook and expectations regarding antitrust enforcement in China. Even the methods of analysis may have to be altered to accommodate the realities of the Chinese economy and provide the types of evidence that would appeal to the Chinese antitrust authorities, given the environment in which they are working.

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