O’Melveny Worldwide

China Competition & Trade Review (Issue #7 – January 2023)

January 26, 2023


O’Melveny’s China Competition & Trade Review offers periodic updates about important antitrust, competition, and trade developments in China. The Review is intended to help companies navigate and anticipate China’s rapidly evolving regulatory landscape with practical, on-the-ground insights into the country’s competitive conditions and the laws framing them.

This installment offers a brief overview of three important legislative initiatives announced over the course of the past six months. Together these initiatives constitute the most significant policy changes in China competition and antitrust since the introduction of the Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) in 2008:

  • Amendments to China’s AML and proposed new subordinate antitrust legislation. The changes to the AML, which took effect on August 1, 2022, significantly increase penalties for contraventions of the law, introduce for the first time rules allowing for natural persons to be fined for antitrust law violations and clarify powers of the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) to investigate non-notifiable mergers. In addition to the changes to the AML, the regulator has also published a suite of proposed subordinate legislation.

  • Draft Judicial Interpretation on Handling Civil Antitrust Actions. Issued by the Supreme People’s Court on November 18, 2022, for public consultation, the draft judicial interpretation draws on international practice and the Court’s experience in antitrust cases over the past decade to address procedural issues, questions relating to market definition, the AML’s rules prohibiting monopoly agreements and abuse of dominance, and liability for damages in civil antitrust lawsuits.

  • Proposed amendments to China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law (“AUCL”). Published on November 22, 2022, the proposed amendments contemplate additional curbs on unfair practices in the digital economy and envisage the introduction of rules prohibiting the abuse of a “position of relative advantage.”

Read the entire Issue #7 here

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is a foreign law firm registered with the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China. Under current Chinese regulations, we are allowed to provide information concerning the effects of the Chinese legal environment, but we are not authorized to practice Chinese law or to render legal opinions in respect of Chinese law. We work in cooperation with a number of Chinese law firms. Should you require a legal opinion in respect of any Chinese law matter, we would be happy to assist you in obtaining one from a Chinese firm.

This memorandum is a summary for general information and discussion only and may be considered an advertisement for certain purposes. It is not a full analysis of the matters presented, may not be relied upon as legal advice, and does not purport to represent the views of our clients or the Firm. Philip Monaghan, an O'Melveny partner licensed to practice law in England & Wales, Ireland, and Hong Kong, Lining Shan, an O'Melveny counsel in the firm's Beijing office, and Vivian Wang, an O'Melveny associate licensed to practice law in China, contributed to the content of this newsletter. The views expressed in this newsletter are the views of the authors except as otherwise noted.

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