The New Economic Constitution in China: A Third Way for Competition Regime?
81 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012
Date Written: July 1, 2003
China is stepping up efforts to design its first antimonopoly law, one of the most important legislative acts for China in decades. The framework and basic elements of the new law are known through a careful examination of the latest draft. Due to the unique challenges and competing priorities the drafters have struggled to balance, the draft has developed salient features that challenge conventional concepts of competition law. The most important example is 'administrative monopoly,' by which China will try to address both public and private anticompetitive activities. Similarly, the draft adopts rare multiple enforcement instruments and assigns an extraordinary role to private suit. The inclusion of socioeconomic standard in merger review symbolizes an ambitious resolve to balance the market system with collective values. Although competition laws in some other transitional countries have revealed new elements before, no country has gone nearly as far as China’s draft in reinterpreting and adapting conventional competition law. As a result, the peculiar features of the competition law envisioned in China’s draft are novel enough to warrant a claim of a new 'third way.' How the emerging competition regime will fare, is the subject of close and continuing examination. Nevertheless, this Article maintains that the innovations presented in China’s draft already mark a new chapter in the history of competition law.
JEL Classification: K21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation