BEIJING, Aug. 11 -- China's market regulator launched separate anti- monopoly probes into foreign business a few months ago and announced on Wednesday that it would punish giants including Microsoft Corp, Apple, Chrysler and Audi for their monopolistic practices.
This is an indication of a step up in the enforcement of the country's six-year-old Anti-Monopoly Law, according to experts.
As can be seen, the Chinese government’s investigations highlighted three major signals: emphasis of protection of consumer rights, law enforcement in the norm and the ambidextrous approach of administrative law enforcement.
Experts point that the Chinese government has more and more clearly realized that the prices of the products Chinese individual customers and companies purchase from foreign companies are generally higher than the prices of similar products in other countries.
For instance, Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display normally costs 470 U.S. dollar in China, whereas the same series product in the United States only costs 399 dollar.
There is no doubt the anti-monopoly law should be applied in a strict and forceful manner, so the market becomes more law-based and pro-competition.
Liu Chunyan, an associate professor of law with Tongji University, stressed the probes may continue in many sectors as supervisors will figure out the methods to enforce the law.
Hao Junbo, an anti-monopoly lawyer believed the Anti-Monopoly Law has been "dormant" since it came into force, but from now on, with practical measure, it will keep its eyes wide open.
Shen Danyang, a spokesman at China’s Ministry of Commerce, stressed the probe is not a measure particularly against foreign enterprises, but a move for establishing a fairer competition environment and therefore to keep a strong market attraction.
Shen added that official figure indicates that 70 percent of the foreign companies in China, including those from Japan, have faith in China's investment environment after the probe.
In fact, China has been attracting foreign capital for some time and is entering a mature stage. Therefore improvement and optimization of the structure and quality of the foreign companies is a primary mission for the nation, they add.
China is a late starter in terms of anti-monopoly. It launched the law as it is the inexorable requirements for a socialist market economy. But China is rapidly reaching the world day by day and a fairer, more competitive and orderly market must be formed eventually, they believe.
This is something all market players, including domestic and foreign, will benefit from in the long run.