China’s adoption of the Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) is a landmark in the evolution of China’s economic transformation. The AML was a carefully thought-out, negotiated, strategic development dictated by the central government, and the culmination of a process that started almost twenty years ago. China has moved from a centrally planned command economy to one that is largely a free market economy, despite the existence of state-owned enterprises as major players. The AML is the ultimate recognition on the part of the Chinese government that free and fair competition in the market place is in the essential interest of the Chinese people.
Recent enforcement activities have raised concerns among foreign companies about the fair and impartial implementation of the AML. The purpose of this primer is to provide a framework of the AML and how it is enforced.