China to crack down on price fixingChina’s pricing regulator says it will crack down on price manipulation in agricultural products to help protect low-income citizens, widening its probe on antitrust violations that has targeted some well-known global firms.
SHANGHAI — China’s pricing regulator says it will crack down on price manipulation in agricultural products to help protect low-income citizens, widening its probe on antitrust violations that has targeted some well-known global firms.
The National Development and Reform Commission says it will look into pork, fertilizer, cotton, vegetable oil and sugar — all commodities with a disproportionate impact on low-income people in China.
The agency would strengthen price subsidy mechanisms to ameliorate the impact of rising product prices on poor people, it adds.
China is trying to restructure the economy so growth is driven by consumption and antitrust agencies say they will target industries where practices could lead to “unreasonably” high consumer prices.
The NDRC has been stepping up its anti-monopoly enforcement through the past several months. The NDRC handed down record fines in August to six milk powder companies, including Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., and has also punished domestic jewelers for antitrust violations.
The regulator says it will focus on six sectors — aerospace, chemicals, automobiles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and home appliances.
Recently, state media quoted NDRC official Xu Kunlin saying the agency has “substantial evidence” against chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. in an antitrust probe.
Xu was also quoted as saying the agency would add at least 170 people to its price-fixing enforcement teams as it redoubles efforts to tame anti-competitive behavior in major industries, including the automotive sector.