The true motives behind Chinese merger clearance

Author: Edward Price | Published: 2 Feb 2016

Despite closer alignment with western antitrust regimes, Chinese enforcement is often used to support the country’s economic development. Counsel are increasingly thinking about how to navigate merger clearances involving the PRC.

Last year marked the seventh year of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). According to Arthur Burke, partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, compliance with Chinese competition law and procedure should remain a significant consideration for foreign counsel. 

Arthur Burke,
Davis Polk

“When Chinese filings are required, lawyers and their clients need to develop an overarching strategy,” he said.  

According to Burke, Chinese decisions often follow those of western counterparts. However, there are often other motives: the needs of Chinese firms. In the US, competition  enforcement authorities are authorised to make decisions solely on the basis of antitrust concerns. Not so in China.

“In China, merger control authorities are mandated also to consider the effect...