Chinese Antitrust Policy: Politics on the Economy

With the modernization of China’s economy, Beijing is revising its competition rules to reflect a new priority. China recently amended its anti-monopoly law to allow its no-confidence instruments to easily impose huge fines on corporations and make it easier to verify parts of the economy. Significant changes include increased penalties, a broader definition of abuse of power, and stricter rules for notifying consolidation governments.

Although some of these updates reflect established international practices, Beijing’s policy of no-confidence is clearly “with Chinese characteristics.” The government’s distrust is no different from China’s broader macroeconomic doctrine of embracing the elements of liberalism and state control in order to balance stability with growth.

Since Deng Xiaoping’s reform and inauguration in 1978, economic policy has always followed the political concerns of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This means that the questions of deregulation, privatization, and foreign trade are decided with the party as a whole in mind, with maximum power and social stability. This raises questions about how the central government plans to implement CCP’s market competition priorities

In 2021, the CCP’s regulatory attack on “Big Tech”, including Alibaba, Ant Group, Didi, Meituan and, signaled a shift in policy towards a ‘common prosperity’ campaign of leadership. Their purpose was to solve perceived problems, including “capital … expanding in a chaotic fashion.” US FTC Chair Lina Khan described the recent crackdowns as a broad international trend of “strongly … enforcing anti-monopoly laws”.

However, comparing China’s enforcement regime with that of the West is a gross misinterpretation. Although Chinese regulators value economic competition and consumer welfare, they[protect] Public interest and [promote] A socialist market economy. “Beijing’s anti-confidence doctrine is based not only on the objective concept of law and economy, but also on the CCP’s political priorities.

In the United States and the European Union, conventional opposition doctrines focus on the purpose and independent concept of economic welfare. The United States, for example, monitors consumer welfare standards, keeping prices low and efficiency high. Europeans factor in more variables, such as the welfare of competing companies than they think a healthy economy. Through Western antitrust lenses, China’s recent Big Tech crackdowns are reversible. Nevertheless, they seem to have succeeded in keeping the CCP’s objectives in mind.

Prior to the Shir period, previous Chinese leaders had prioritized export-driven, sustainable growth to maintain Chinese economic legitimacy. Liberalization of trade, foreign investment, and corporate growth are based on China’s early economic rise. Technology companies in particular are the engine of growth and innovation and the proxies for ambitious leadership goals outlined in its five-year plan. Today, however, China’s economy is slowing, and Xi is worried about maintaining the party’s authority and saving face during his third term.

A changing political environment calls for a new policy of no-confidence that reflects the CCP’s recent priorities. Leadership is moving from uncontrolled economic growth to political deliverables, such as technological advances and social stability. Their industrial policy prioritizes strategic industries such as semiconductors and telecommunications to transform China into a technological leader. Decades of economic liberalization are also aimed at reducing income inequality and other socio-economic ills. The CCP, for example, has accused Chinese technology companies of exacerbating inequalities as companies gain more personal information from their customers. China’s central competition authority, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), has enacted an aggressive data protection law with support for distrust remedies and fines.

China’s move shows that it sees distrust not only as a process to promote healthy competition, but also as a technical tool to promote what it thinks is best for the country and those who govern it.

Disbelief with Chinese characteristics

The level of prudence that the CCP has used in the use of antitrust laws is in line with recent proposals from American politicians such as Senators Josh Howley (R-MO) and Amy Klobutcher (D-MN). Although the effective factor in China is the makeup of his government.

The practice of no-confidence in the United States has remained relatively narrow because an independent court system has tried cases, and biased gridlock has prevented politicians from making drastic changes to the law. Unlike the American system, the SAMR regulators create both judges, juries, and executioners to administer and administer justice. Moreover, the CCP faces no partisan resistance in a single-party state, and its rubber stamp exercises control over administrative bodies, including the National People’s Congress.

Chinese distrust reflects the authoritarian, Leninist tradition of its rule as a centralized government with a few checks. As a result, Beijing uses its regulatory agencies to conduct corporate behavior outside the traditional notion of misconduct.

Didi, a Chinese ride-hailing platform, has been severely punished for ignoring regulators’ concerns about data privacy and launching an IPO on the NYSE. Didi’s punishment points to China’s broader political-economic outlook: restricting freedom that threatens party authority. Western politicians can only dream of enacting such strict anti-trust legislation to punish corporations that are not in line with the government’s vision. Structural barriers such as the separation of powers and the right to strong political expression prevent such overreach.

Over the years, Chinese regulators have endured uncontrolled growth in the digital sector to promote innovation and technological self-sufficiency. Now that Chinese technology platforms have matured, the party tests CEOs’ ambitions to protect information privacy, support smaller competitors, and curb “unruly” capitalist growth. Chinese antitrust authorities may cite Blacklater’s provisions, such as the purpose of the Cyber ​​Security Act, which will be purposefully displayed in law enforcement, enforcement and justice, but the final check on their powers is the will of the CCP, not the rule of law.

Ethan Young |

Ethan Young |

Ethan Young is an Adjacent Research Fellow at AIER and also hosts AIER author Corner Podcasts.

He holds a BA in Political Science from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and a degree in Political Science with a focus on international relations with minors in formal institutions. He is currently doing JD from Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Ethan also serves as director of the Mark Twain Center for the Study of Human Freedom at Trinity College and is involved with the Students for Liberty. He has also held research positions at the Cato Institute, the Connecticut State Senate, the Cause of Action Institute, and other organizations.

Ethan is currently based in Washington DC and is the recipient of the 13th Annual Vernon Smith Prize from the European Center of the Austrian Economics Foundation. His work has been featured and quoted in various radio outlets from online media.

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Dorothy Chan

Dorothy Chan is an intern at the American Institute for Economic Research.

He graduated from the University of Miami in May 2021 with a BA in Economics and Chinese Studies and a minor in International Studies.

He has previously worked as an open enrollment specialist in the Ultimate Cronos Group and has interns in the Florida Legislature, the Miami-Dade County Advisory Committee, and the Uighur Human Rights Project. His research interests include US-China relations and international trade.

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