Weekly Newsletter on Chinese Antitrust 13.06-19.06.2022

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Weekly Newsletter on Chinese Antitrust 13.06-19.06.2022

Review №20 on Chinese Antitrust News from BRICS Antimonopoly Centre Experts

- Upcoming review of amendments to AMA
- Personnel changes and disciplinary investigations in SAMR
- The CNKI data base has opened the"anti-plagiarism" function for individuals
- DiDi launches OTC trading 
- Foreign companies about the business environment in China
- Updated regulation for mobile apps
- The number of users of online payments reached 904 million
- Corporate loans in digital yuan
- Chinese games focus on Europe
- 150 Chinese companies at risk of delisting 
- New Chinese professions 

Upcoming review of amendments to AMA

On June 16th, at a press conference of the Legal Activities Committee of the National People's Congress Committee, Yang Heqing, head of the Committee's Legislative Planning Department, commented on the draft new version of the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law, which, along with other bills, will be considered from June 21st till 24th. Yang Heqing noted that the draft was drafted in line with the central government's demand to strengthen anti-monopoly measures and prevent disorderly capital expansion, as well as taking into account the peculiarities of competition between digital platforms. It provides an explanation of the application of antitrust laws in the platform economy, both in general and by type of anticompetitive practice. In addition, the articles on “safe harbor” for participants in anticompetitive agreements have been supplemented, the procedure for considering economic concentration transactions that do not fall under the criteria for filing applications, as well as the requirements for considering applications for M&A, has been clarified.

According to the PaRR portal, it is likely that the new version will be adopted and published immediately after this review - without a third reading.

Source: Weixin

Personnel changes and disciplinary investigations in SAMR

Luo Wen was appointed party secretary of the State General Administration for Market Regulation. Previously, he served as Vice Minister of Industry and Informatization, Deputy Head of the Development and Reform Committee, and Vice Governor of Sichuan Province. 

Prior to him, the post of secretary of the party cell, as well as the post of head of department, was held by Zhang Gong, who was recently promoted to the post of vice mayor of Tianjin. Personnel are being rotated in various state bodies in China: Tang Jun also left the post of deputy head of the regulator in the SAMR structure. 

In addition, the National Supervisory Committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection reported that Wu Xinkuang, Director of the Anti-Unfair Competition Division of SAMR's Price Monitoring and Anti-Unfair Competition Division, had been disciplined for serious violation of the law. Details of the charges are not specified.

Sources: SAMREnglish.news

The CNKI database has opened the "anti-plagiarism" function for individuals

Previously, this function was available only to organizations, and individuals had to use unofficial "gray" services. The cost of checking is 1.5 CNY (≈$0.22) per 1000 characters, and three free checks are provided to graduate students. CNKI declares that it will comply with applicable data handling laws and store downloaded texts on special servers, with subsequent deletion after 30 days. 

On May 13th, SAMR announced the launch of an antitrust investigation against China's largest database of scientific articles, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). The resource operator Tongfang expressed his willingness to assist in the investigation.

Source: Weixin

DiDi launches OTC trading

On June 13th, shares of the DiDi taxi service began trading on the OTC market. At the same time, the company changed its name from Didi Global to DIDIY. June 10th was DiDi's last day on the New York Stock Exchange, with a capitalization of over $11 billion.!

On May 23rd, the company's shareholders voted for a voluntary delisting from the NYSE. As stated, this is necessary to facilitate the investigation of cybersecurity and eliminate existing violations. Until the completion of the delisting process, DiDi will not list its securities on any other exchanges.

Source: Global Times

Foreign companies about the business environment in China

China is making strong openness efforts, but foreign companies often find it difficult to do business in China. This is partly due to the unique needs of local consumers, and partly due to strict regulatory policies. For example, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon noted that "the company's biggest challenges on the international stage have been lockdowns in China, which are putting operational and financial pressure on them." According to the former head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, Kenneth Jarrett, the growing role of politics in the Chinese economy creates new uncertainties: "New policies and incidents can appear or happen without any warning."

However, some see the challenging business environment as beneficial: the chief of insurance company Chubb, for example, believes it is necessary to "reaffirm our commitment to a benefit-based perception of economic relations with China." “I deeply believe that when American companies compete and compete in the global marketplace, it makes America stronger,” he says.

Sources: WSJWSJ

Updated regulation for mobile 

The updated Mobile Internet Application Governance Rules will come into effect on August 1st. The Rules state that application providers and application hosting platforms are required to vigorously promote key socialist values, adhere to the right political course and maintain correct public opinion, proactively maintain order, fulfill their social responsibility and maintain the "cleanliness" of cyberspace. They are also required to monitor information content, ensure the security of content and data, and protect minors by guaranteeing cyber security and a healthy cyber environment.

Source: Weixin

The number of users of online payments reached 904 million

According to a report by the China Payments and Clearing Association, the number of users of online payment systems in China reached 904 million at the end of 2021, almost 50 million more than the previous year. This figure is 87.6% of the total number of Internet users in the country. It is noted that the trend towards cashless payments in China covers an increasing number of services - from ordering food to travel in public transport. The association concludes that increased competition in this sector led to a decrease in market concentration last year.

Source: Russian.people

Corporate loans in digital yuan

On June 7, the Suzhou branch of the Agricultural Bank of China issued a 1.5 million yuan (≈$220,000) e-CNY loan to a concrete products manufacturer. The manufacturer used these funds to pay its suppliers. This is China's first bank loan issued for the needs of enterprises in a difficult situation (as part of the program to restore production after the pandemic) in digital yuan. As noted, a loan in digital currency is credited to the account much faster, and no commission was charged when paying to the supplier. Recently, a Chinese company also used the digital yuan to pay taxes, according to SCMP.

Sources: FinanceSCMP

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