China enforces competition law against state-owned enterprises

A recent set of regulatory decisions shows China’s competition authorities are willing to take action against companies controlled by the state. Lawyers have welcomed the increased transparency and are cautiously optimistic about the future of anti-monopoly enforcement in the country.

November 2011 was a month of unprecedented actions involving the Chinese competition authorities.

In the field of merger-control, the Anti-monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) issued its ninth conditional clearance decision, concerning the establishment of a joint venture between General Electric (China) and China Shenhua Coal-to-liquids and Chemicals.

This was not only the first published decision involving a joint venture, but also the first involving a state-owned enterprise (SOE) directly controlled by the central government.

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