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Interview with Angela Huyue Zhang: "Which competition policy for China?"

Concurrences Review

Monday, June 15, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM (CEST)

Interview with Angela Huyue Zhang: "Which competition...

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New Frontiers of Antitrust 2015


Which competition policy for China?


Interview with Angela Huyue Zhang


The New Frontiers of antitrust conference will be held on June 15, 2015 at Ministry of Economics, Paris. Angela Huyue Zhang Lecturer in law, King’s College London — was interviewed by Miranda Cole — Partner, Covington — who will participate in the panel discussion: "Which competition policy for China?". Other panel speakers include: Frédéric Jenny, Chairman, OECD Competition Committee, Wei Tan, Vice President, Compass Lexecon and Mathew Heim, Vice President, Qualcomm.


Miranda ColeThere are three agencies implementing the AML, and apparently limited co-ordination between them (see, for example, SAIC’s adoption of IP licensing guidance in April and NDRC’s announcement that it will provide its own guidance). Are there mechanisms in Chinese administration law that might be used to enhance consistency in approach? Are there institutional incentives to try?

 Angela Huyue Zhang : The Chinese leadership has long adopted an elaborate control mechanism to manage its vast bureaucracy. At each bureaucratic level, agency representatives make decisions by consensus.  [See my article:]  Antitrust regulation is no exception.   All three agencies need to closely coordinate with each other and we shouldn’t expect apparent inconsistency in their enforcement.  It should be noted that NDRC is not drafting its own guidance on IP and antitrust.  Rather, it is taking the lead in drafting the guidelines for the Anti-Monopoly Commission, which was established by the State Council in 2008 to coordinate the efforts of the three enforcement agencies.  This development has two implications.  First, the IP and antitrust guidelines will be comprehensive, covering both merger and antitrust, and will not distinguish between the so-called “price-related” and “non-price-related” conduct.  Second, the guidelines will involve the jurisdictions of all three agencies and therefore NDRC will need to seek approval from them.  On the other hand, the IP guidelines issued by SAIC only concern non-price-related antitrust conduct.  During the drafting process SAIC solicited comments from many government agencies.  However, because its guidelines do not involve the functions of other departments SAIC did not need to obtain their actual approval.

Miranda ColeMany companies express concerns about the lack of transparency in AML proceedings (under all three agencies). You have written about the impact of the lack of judicial oversight of Chinese competition law enforcement. Might judicial review promote enhanced transparency?

Angela Huyue Zhang: Definitely.  Effective judicial review will inject the necessary transparency into government agencies’ fact-finding and decision-making process.  The more vexing question is whether the Chinese judiciary can provide an effective check on government agencies.  Recently China’s Supreme People's Court announced a comprehensive five-year plan to improve judicial independence and professionalism.  However, many China experts remain only cautiously optimistic.


Miranda Cole Foreign companies are beginning to understand the jigsaw of decision-makers playing more or less formal roles in merger review in China. However, most struggle to understand the ‘show stopping’ nature of objections by Chinese competitors. Do you see any prospects for enhanced transparency (as part of the rights of defence) in the medium- to longer-term?

Angela Huyue Zhang: I am confident that Chinese antitrust enforcement will be more and more transparent.  This is due to the effects of globalization.  As Chinese companies are venturing abroad to do business, they need to play by the rules of foreign countries  [see my article:].  The assets of these Chinese companies can be held hostage by foreign governments.  If Chinese companies expect equal treatment abroad, then the Chinese government will need to provide reciprocal treatment for foreign firms at home.  For example, Chinese state-owned firms making acquisitions in Europe have run into trouble making merger filings in Brussels. [see my article:] Trade will eventually reduce the conflict between nations and put pressure on China to become more open and transparent..

For the complete agenda of the conference and the list of the keynote speakers, visit:

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When & Where

Ministry of Economics
139 rue de Bercy, Paris | M° Bercy
75012 Paris

Monday, June 15, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM (CEST)

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Concurrences Review

The Paris “New Frontiers of Antitrust” conference is a unique occasion to network with some of today’s most influential global leaders in competition law. This conference, held each year in Paris since 2009, now ranks first among the European antitrust independent events in terms of venue, press reports and audience. The 2019 Steering Committee, headed by Frédéric Jenny, includes Prof. Laurence Idot, Prof. Nicolas Petit and Nicolas Charbit.

All tariffs include breakfast, coffee, lunch and cocktail reception. Conference credited for the Paris Bar continuing legal education. Governmental agencies and academics registrations must be sent with valid proof. Languages: English - French (translation). Limited places available due to the conference venue. Payment must be received prior to the conference. There will be no refund after 29 April 2019. Cancellations must be received in writing; cancellations received in writing up to 2 weeks before the conference will receive a refund less 15 %. Substitute delegates are welcome at any time. Photos will be taken at the event; attendees agree for the organizer to use these photos, unless otherwise required in writing. This event is organised by Concurrences Review and is co-sponsored by legal, economic and media partners.

The list of attendees will be communicated to the speakers.

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