Fines for antitrust violation have accumulated to more than 1.63 billion yuan ($266.6 million), as two multinational automakers and their dealers were reported on Sept 11 to have breached rules and been issued heavy fines.
FAW-Volkswagen Sales Co was fined 248.58 million yuan, equivalent to six percent of the company’s sales in 2013, with seven dealers of its luxury brand, Audi, fined 29.96 million yuan.
Meanwhile, Chrysler Group China Sales Ltd was fined 31.68 million yuan by the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, which is equivalent to three percent of its sales of the previous year. Three Chrysler dealers were fined 2.14 million yuan.
The penalties follow a series of antimonopoly probes Chinese regulatory launched since the beginning of last year. High-profile investigations such as those against Microsoft and Jaguar Land Rover are rippling across the Western business circles.
Only 10 percent of the total number of companies being probed by Chinese antitrust authorities are foreign enterprises, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday at the eighth World Economic Forum — Annual Meeting of New Champions (also known as Summer Davos), dismissing speculation that foreign companies are being targeted.
“China’s door has opened, and it will never be closed again. I do hope that you will not worry for the future of China’s opening-up,” Li reassured the corporate leaders at the conference. “But, of course, the investment in China should follow the laws and business ethics.”
The increase in antitrust probes is part of the results of improved administrative transparency, the premier said.
“We improved the transparency of government supervision, which is meant to restore the fairness of the market,” he said.
Li said these supervision efforts, including antitrust probes, are legal, transparent and fair. “It will benefit the opening-up and make more foreign investors come to China in the long run.”
Chinese regulatory is expected to continue and enhance the ongoing antimonopoly investigation against companies, domestic or foreign, of all industries, China News Service reported quoting experts in the field.
This is the list of companies recently fined for antitrust violation and price manipulation:
FAW-Volkswagen fined 248.58 million yuan, with seven dealers of its luxury brand, Audi, fined 29.96 million yuan.
Chrysler fined 31.68 million yuan, with its three dealers fined 2.14 million yuan.
Three Chinese cement companies fined 114 million yuan in total.
12 Japanese auto suppliers in total fined 1.24 billion yuan.
Five Chinese jewelers fined 10.1 million yuan.
Six milk formula makers, including MeadJohnson and Chinese brand Biostime, fined 669 million yuan in total.
Chinese distiller Moutai and Wuliangye fined 449 million yuan.
Six television producers including Samsung, LG, and Chimei fined 353 million yuan in total.