Anti-trust move is market-based

Updated: 2014-08-12 11:10

By Xin Zhiming (

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Microsoft is also a frequent target of western anti-trust investigation thanks to its long-dominant market position. It has been probed by both US and European regulators for its monopolistic activities and paid large sums to settle cases.

Few have accused the US of discriminating against the Internet giant or the European countries of weakening Microsoft's position and protecting local enterprises.

When it comes to China, the fault is all put on Chinese regulators.

Admittedly, foreign investors have played an important role in China's economic take-off and growing maturity in the past three decades. They have created jobs, added to local revenues and expanded China's economic output. However, given their large numbers, it is not surprising that some have been involved in misconduct, such as monopoly and bribery — just as they have done in overseas markets.

If China does not conduct proper investigations into alleged law-breaching activities by black sheep, it would be unfair for law-abiding firms — both Chinese and foreign — in China.

The core issue, therefore, is whether those companies investigated have done anything wrong. It is appropriate and legitimate for China to scrutinize if there are signs of foul play in the Chinese market.

Over-interpretation of China's market order-maintaining regulatory moves would be both unfounded and misleading.

Those who accuse China of discriminating against foreign companies should look at previous anti-trust cases, involving major Chinese companies, including China Telecom and liquor makers Wuliangye Yibin Group and Kweichow Moutai. The latter two were fined as much as 449 million yuan ($72 million) in total for price-fixing.