China to Review First Draft of Revised Anti-Monopoly Law by Year-End
What’s new: The closely watched revision of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law is showing signs of picking up speed. A draft revision will be submitted to the legislative body for initial review by the end of this year.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislative body, disclosed the timeline Wednesday in its 2021 work plan.
There is more legislative work on the agenda this year than in previous years, Zang Tiewei, a spokesperson for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, said Thursday at a press conference.
In 2021 lawmakers will continue to review 17 new or revised laws, including the Law of the Ombudsman and the Law on the Protection of Personal Information, according to the work plan.
The background: Chinese lawmakers are making major revisions to the Anti-Monopoly Law for the first time in 13 years to give it more teeth.
The revisions aim to plug loopholes in current laws against unfair competitive behavior and abuses of monopoly privileges that could result in depriving or restricting free and fair competition in the internet platform economy.
The country’s market regulator and its cyberspace and tax agencies recently warned domestic internet platforms that they will be “severely punished” if they continue to break anti-monopoly rules.
The State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) recently fined Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. a record 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) for violating antitrust laws, marking a seismic moment in the government’s quest to rein in monopolistic behavior by online platforms.
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