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About the aims of China's Anti-Monopoly Law: -With special reference to the concept of socialist market economy
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Commercial Law.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Commercial Law.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Syftena i Kinas konkurrenslagstiftning : -Med utgångspunkt från begreppet socialistisk marknadsekonomi (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Chinas first comprehensive competition law, the Anti-monopoly law of the People’s Republic of China (AML), was enacted on August 1, 2008. Despite a long history of planned economy, the Chinese economy has developed into one of the fastest growing economies in the world during the last decades. The adoption of the law was a crucial step towards a more market-based economy. Article 1 of the AML states that one of the aims to achieve with this law is to develop a socialist market economy. The notion was founded in the 1990s and can be found in several other Chinese legislations.

The concept has no prominent definition and can be interpreted in many different ways, which opens up for the ruling Party to interpret the notion in accordance with their political believes. The central government will probably put most emphasize on the word “socialist” instead of “market economy” when interpreting the concept. The concept is of central meaning and will affect the interpretation of the other aims stated in article 1. The other aims are not ranked in any hierarchical order and are in conflict with each other. The central government will give priority to the aims which are beneficial for a socialist society. The aim to promote public interest, which includes state owned enterprises, will be strongly favored. Also the aim economic efficiency will be prioritized since China strives to become a rich country. Consumer welfare will not be highlighted but might be more important in the future.

One reason that the aims are vague and not put in any hierarchical order could be that the objectives for adopting AML were not solely of competition reasons. The objectives show that AML is part of a wider economic policy. Neither does the central government strive towards a free market. Instead the goal is to establish a fair market. A fair market will most probably be a market beneficial for state owned enterprises and can therefore be contradictory to the keystones of competition. Competition principals arise from sophisticated market economies and China aims to apply those principals in the light of socialist ideology. AML covers the general competition provisions but with a specific chapter to regulate administrative monopolies. It can still be seen as contradictory to prohibit administrative monopolies but without any sanctions stipulated for violation of the provisions.

Also the fundamental elements for establish effective competition are missing. The statute cannot be seen as objective or provide legal certainty and the competition authorities do not have divided responsibilities. Neither is any specific competition court established. Other factors that can contribute to an inefficient competition law are China’s history and culture, affected by socialist ideology. Time is required in China in order to develop an efficient competition culture.

Altogether, it is no coincident that the notion of socialist market economy is undefined. The notion includes a quest to enhance the socialist society with strong economic development. More specific guidance is determined by the central government when the right time has come. From a Chinese perspective, the aims in article 1 will be achieved since the undefined concepts open up for different interpretations. From a sophisticated point of view, the aims will not be seen as achieved since no effective competition is established.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , p. 59
Keywords
Antimonopoly law, competition law, socialist market economy
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-7626OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-7626DiVA, id: diva2:139722
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-02-05 Created: 2009-01-26 Last updated: 2009-02-05Bibliographically approved

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