Anti-trust move is market-based

Updated: 2014-08-12 11:10

By Xin Zhiming (

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When Rio Tinto employees were arrested for the theft of trade secrets and espionage in 2009 they accused China of using them as a bargaining chip in iron ore price negotiations.

When GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was investigated for bribing government and hospital staff to increase drug sales in 2013, it accused China of attempting to squeeze foreign companies out of its vast consumer market.

When Microsoft and other foreign companies were probed for alleged market monopoly they accused China of discriminating against foreign enterprises.

Western media commentators seem ready to accuse China of foul play whenever foreign enterprises are concerned.

The unspoken stance is no matter what they may have done in China, western companies should be exempt from investigation and punishment; if not, it would be an unequivocal sign of China's bullying of foreign players.

To have a better understanding of such a psychology of self-importance, let's look at what has happened on western soil.

In 2012, GSK reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice and agreed to pay $3 billion for promoting its drugs for unapproved uses, irregular promotion and paying kickbacks as well as price manipulation in healthcare programs.

Few have accused the US federal government of abusing its regulatory power.

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