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.
Continue Reading China Toughens Up on Abuses of Administrative Powers

By Susan Ning, Sun Yiming and Hazel Yin

It was reported 1 that on December 15, 2011, the Intermediate Court of Changsha, Hunan Province dismissed a consumer’s complaint that automobile producer Dongfeng Nissan and its 4S store 2 abused their dominant position in violation of China’s Anti-monopoly Law ("AML") by reaping exorbitant profits and expelling their competitors.  The case was originally filed in November 2010 and the court hearing was held in May 4, 2011.  It is the first antitrust lawsuit in the automobile industry and yet another defeated attempt by Chinese consumers in bringing AML private actions.

The plaintiff, Mr. Liu Dahua, is a Nissan car owner.  In October 2009, He had his car repaired at a local 4S store of Nissan.  Finding that the 4S store charged much higher price for repair services than other local auto repair factories, Mr. Liu asked the 4S store to sell the spare parts separately so he could do the repairs elsewhere.  However, the 4S store turned down his request saying that Dongfeng Nissan did not allow its 4S stores to sell spare parts alone, meaning that customers could only purchase the spare parts as well as the repair services together from Dongfeng Nissan’s 4S stores.Continue Reading Consumer Lost Antitrust Action against Dongfeng Nissan

By Susan Ning, Liu Jia and Angie Ng

On 25 April 2011, the Supreme People’s Court (the Court) published draft rules which govern Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) private actions (Draft Rules)1.   These Draft Rules are entitled "Provisions on Issues Concerning the Application of Law in relation to Trials of Monopoly Civil Dispute Cases".  The Court will consult on these Draft Rules till 1 June 2011.

We note that these Draft Rules provide for applicants to file "joint" applications with others against respondents.  This article outlines what the Draft Rules say about joint applications and outlines how this interacts with the joint application regime pursuant to China’s Civil Procedure Law.

Continue Reading AML Class Actions and The Draft Litigation Rules

By Susan Ning, Ding Liang and Angie Ng, King & Wood’s Competition Practice

In late August 2010, it was reported in the press that at least 10 antitrust private actions have been heard in the courts in China (see Two years on, ten private antitrust actions).This article describes one of the cases – Li Fangping vs China Netcom – in detail. This was thContinue Reading Li Fangping vs China Netcom – Abuse of Dominance Case Dismissed

By Susan Ning, Ding Liang and Shan Lining, King & Wood’s Competition Group

At the end of last month, it was reported in the press (for example see an article dated 29 August published in the Legal Daily, that since the enactment of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) in 2008, at least ten antitrust private actions have been heard in the courts. Continue Reading Two Years On, Ten Antitrust Private Actions