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03 Aug China Rolls out Centralized Anti-Monopoly Undertaking System
China’s antitrust watchdog State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on August 1 launched the Centralized Anti-Monopoly Undertaking System, an online platform for enterprises to disclose merger and acquisition deals to the regulator and check their approval status, as reported by South China Morning Post on the following day. According to SAMR, the system is designed to provide timely feedback and legal documents to the reporting companies, to enhance convenience and transparency. Under the antitrust guidelines updated in 2018, companies are required to seek approval for mergers or acquisitions involving firms with annual revenues of more than RMB10bn (USD1.48bn) globally, or RMB2bn (USD296m) in China.
The Chinese government will normalize supervision over the tech sector and complete the rectifications of tech platforms, as state media Xinhua reported following the Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping on July 28. Last year, the fines for anti-monopoly violations ramped up fiftyfold to RMB23.5bn (USD3.48bn) in China, with tech companies contributing 92% of the total penalties. However, the regulatory pressure on tech companies’ mergers is expected to ease as China seeks to boost the economy with its platform economy. Hit by frequent COVID-19 lockdown measures this year, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) witnessed a sluggish YoY growth of 0.4% during the second quarter of the year. Citing Mei Xinyu, a researcher at a think tank under the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), instead of stifling the country’s platform economy, policymakers hope to regulate it to help it grow in a healthy way.