On 1 November 2014, the People’s Congress of China approved proposed amendments to China’s Administrative Procedure Law (“APL”) respect of private actions against government agencies for abuses of administrative powers.
Although the AML includes an entire chapter addressing abuses of administrative powers, the provisions are considered to be somewhat lacking in bite. The antitrust enforcement authorities are only authorized to provide advice to the body responsible for a government agency which is alleged to have abused its administrative powers. The antitrust authorities are unable to take any action against, or impose any penalties on, the agency themselves. In addition, to date there have been very few private enforcement actions against government agencies as the existing legislation makes it difficult for individuals and entities to bring such actions.
The reforms, which are explained in this article, are intended to rectify the status quo and will take effect from 1 May 2015.
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