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Laura Liu

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The Guide to Doing Business in China provides an introduction to selected aspects relating to investment and business operations in the People’s Republic of China under current Chinese laws and policy during the COVID pandemic, including a summary of important areas of concern to all investors in China: mergers and acquisitions, data privacy issues, antitrust and competition issues, taxation, employment, intellectual property protection, trade and import and export rules, financial services, as well as anti-bribery compliance and dispute resolution issues.

The wide-ranging proposed amendments to China’s Antimonopoly Law (AML) (“Proposed Amendments”) were published for public comments immediately after being presented to China’s top legislature for the first reading. It is clear from the Proposed Amendments that China intends to continue to strengthen antitrust enforcement.

On 10 November 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published draft Anti-Monopoly Compliance Guidelines for the Platform Economy (“Draft Guidelines”) for public consultation.1

The Draft Guidelines clearly signal that stronger antitrust enforcement in China’s tech sector is likely. This appears to be driven by a desire on the part of the Chinese government to rein in the growing strength of internet platforms, and to encourage a more diverse market structure.  

The Draft Guidelines are expected to be finalized by the end of this year or early next year.

On 18 September 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published the final version of the Anti-Monopoly Compliance Guidelines for Business Operators (Antitrust Compliance Guidelines)[1]. The guidelines provide a framework for how business operators should establish an antitrust compliance system and manage antitrust compliance risks in China. The Antitrust Guidelines are not mandatory but are indicative of the key aspects SAMR would expect to see in a good compliance programme.