The radiation leaks in Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (caused by the earthquake-tsunami in Japan on 11 March) has made consumers in China paranoid about the salt they will consume in the near future. Once news of the leak in the nuclear plant broke, there was a mad "scramble" to purchase table salt – as Chinese consumers were concerned that in the near future, the sea water around China would be contaminated as a result of the radiation leakage. According to press reports, around the same time, some table salt retailers proceeded to raise the retail prices of iodized table salt.
The Chinese Government controls prices in relation to table salt. Specifically, the ex-works and wholesale prices of table salt are set by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC, the central price authority); in addition provincial price authorities also control to some extent, the retail prices of salt. In some provinces, provincial price authorities set maximum retail prices – this means that table salt retailers are not to charge above a price set by these authorities.