AnJie Law Firm


AnJie Law Firm (AnJie) is a full-service law firm. Our well experienced lawyers have substantive skills and serve a broad base of practice areas including antitrust & competition law, insurance & reinsurance, banking & finance, capital markets, dispute resolution, domestic and cross-border mergers & acquisitions, employment, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, intellectual property, private equity, real estate and more.

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Competition & Antitrust

NDRC hints at SEP pricing guidance to enhance Anti-monopoly Law compliance
China | November 09 2017

At the recent China Competition Policy Forum, a Price Supervision and Anti-monopoly Bureau official commented on the potential enactment by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of regulations on standard-essential patent licensing practices. The NDRC's proposal aims to ensure greater consistency with the Anti-monopoly Law and develop a consistent approach to the enforcement of IP rights-related anti-competitive conduct.

Refusal to deal: a review of Yunnan Ying Ding v SINOPEC
China | October 12 2017

Following the recent final judgment of the Yunnan Province Higher People's Court, the curtain has – for now – fallen on the Yunnan Ying Ding v SINOPEC refusal to deal case. This case is unique for several reasons. Among other things, it is reportedly the first antitrust dispute to involve the Chinese petroleum industry. In addition, it is the first case in which the plaintiff's claims have concerned refusal to purchase.

Rational approach to abuse of collective dominance in antitrust law
China | September 28 2017

The National Development and Reform Commission recently penalised two Chinese pharmaceutical undertakings for alleged collective abuse in the isoniazid active pharmaceutical ingredient market. This was the first time that the Chinese enforcement authorities applied the rules of the Anti-monopoly Law to a case concerning collective abuse.

Decoding exposure draft of MOFCOM's amendments to antitrust review rules
China | September 21 2017

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently released an exposure draft of the amendments to its Provisions on the Antitrust Review of Concentrations for public comment. The amendments aim to improve the functionality, comprehensiveness and quality of the provisions by incorporating MOFCOM's experience and its existing best practices. In general, this move to amend the provisions is praiseworthy. However, several issues will need to be resolved through the public consultation process.

Anti-monopoly enforcement trends in healthcare industry
China | September 14 2017

The healthcare industry has gradually become a key focal point of Anti-monopoly Law enforcement in China. Between the implementation of the law in 2008 and the end of July 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce concluded a number of anti-monopoly penalty cases and accumulated significant industry experience. As such, healthcare enterprises are likely to face increasing anti-monopoly compliance challenges in future.

Guidelines on Trade Association Pricing Activities – a member's perspective
China | September 07 2017

The National Development and Reform Commission recently published its Guidelines on Trade Association Pricing Activities. The guidelines clarify trade associations' different pricing activities and categorise them according to their associated level of legal risk. As the guidelines advise associations on how to carry out their activities, they will have a direct impact on legal risk assessments and the day-to-day business of trade associations and their members.

Deregistration: trade association receives severest antitrust punishment
China | August 03 2017

In a recent Zhejiang Provincial Price Bureau case, 17 paper manufacturers were fined a total of Rmb7.78 million for reaching and implementing a horizontal monopoly agreement. Further, the price bureau ordered the Fuyang Paper Manufacturers Association, which had played a leading role in organising and facilitating the conspiracy, to be deregistered. This is the first time that a Chinese antitrust authority has invoked Article 46(3) of the Anti-Monopoly Law to deregister a trade association.

Special evidential rules for antitrust-related civil litigation
China | March 30 2017

The evidential rules that apply to litigation in certain jurisdictions, especially those regarding the allocation of the burden of proof, have a significant impact on the ultimate result of a case. Private antitrust litigation is often highly complex and thus puts the plaintiff at a disadvantage. However, since special evidential rules were introduced in 2012, the success rate of plaintiffs in private antitrust litigation has started to increase.

Tetra Pak receives SAIC's severest antitrust penalty
China | January 19 2017

After a nearly five-year investigation, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently concluded its Tetra Pak case. In a landmark decision, the SAIC imposed its largest ever antitrust penalty on the Swiss packaging giant for its abuse of a dominant position in China and ordered it to cease its illegal conduct. The SAIC's innovative approach to assessing unspecified monopolistic behaviour is a milestone in antitrust law enforcement and its decision will serve as a valuable precedent.

China intensifies pharmaceutical antitrust enforcement: NDRC rules in first-ever concerted practice case
China | October 13 2016

Enforcement in the pharmaceutical industry has been relatively weak since the Anti-monopoly Law's implementation in 2008. However, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently issued a decision in the first Chinese case to involve a cartel established by way of concerted conduct. The case indicates that the authorities are increasing their enforcement efforts in the industry and demonstrates how the NDRC has improved its handling of complicated cases.

New review system milestone for fair market competition
China | September 29 2016

The State Council recently published its Opinions on Establishing a Fair Competition Review System in the Development of the Market Regime, signalling the formal establishment of China's fair competition review system. The system is a major initiative to ensure fair play among participants in the Chinese market, and the opinions represent a key step towards implementing the council's measures to streamline administration and delegate more power to lower-level governments.

Allocation of burden of proof in private antitrust litigation
China | September 08 2016

Private antitrust litigation is becoming more popular and now acts as an important supplement to public antitrust enforcement actions in China. In 2012 the Supreme Court issued feasible rules for private antitrust litigation, including specific regulations governing the allocation of the burden of proof in certain circumstances. Four years on, it is pertinent to explore the issues regarding the allocation of the burden of proof in private antitrust litigation.

NDRC rules in first international shipping company monopoly case
China | August 04 2016

In 2015 the National Development and Reform Commission imposed penalties on eight international roll-on/roll-off shipping companies for entering into and implementing monopolistic agreements. However, under the leniency programme the first company to report collusion voluntarily and provide important evidence was exempted from any penalty, and the second and third companies to do so received reduced penalties.

Courts consider Sinopec's refusal to deal as abuse of market dominance
China | April 21 2016

In a noteworthy recent case, bioenergy manufacturer Yunnan Yingding claimed that Sinopec (a major state-owned oil company) and the Yunnan branch of Sinopec's trading company abused their dominant market position by refusing – for no justifiable reason – to incorporate the biodiesel produced by Yingding into Sinopec's distribution system. The case raises significant issues regarding application of the Anti-monopoly Law.

Antitrust agency fines insurers for co-insurance agreement
China | March 24 2016

The Hubei Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined 12 insurers for concluding an illegal co-insurance agreement. The antitrust agency found their co-insurance agreement for construction project personal accident insurance to violate the Anti-monopoly Law prohibition against monopolistic agreements. The insurers were fined Rmb4.69 million in total.

Standard-essential patents and the limits of Anti-monopoly Law application
China | March 10 2016

Standard-essential patents raise numerous issues in Chinese antitrust practice, including with regard to the application boundaries of the Anti-monopoly Law, the balance between public and private rights and the future direction of enforcement and judicial practice. Legal intervention regarding the conduct of a standard-essential patent owner must be undertaken carefully and should not deviate from the realities of the relevant markets.

MOFCOM conditionally approves NXP's acquisition of Freescale
China | February 11 2016

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has conditionally approved NXP Semiconductors NV's proposed acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor Inc. This marked the first conditional clearance granted by MOFCOM in the past three years, based on the condition that the parties adopt the structural remedy of divesting business that may have negative effects on competition in the relevant market.

SAIC publishes first boycott case: trade association again in spotlight
China | February 04 2016

The Guangdong Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined a local animation and gaming association Rmb100,000 for monopolistic conduct. The trade association had signed an agreement with its 52 members which prohibited them from attending exhibitions that were not approved by the association. This marks the first boycott case penalised by the Chinese competition enforcement agencies.

Slow down! Follow merger filing procedures step by step
China | January 21 2016

In September 2015 the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) issued four penalty decisions on parties that failed to fulfil their merger notification obligations under the Anti-monopoly Law, marking the second time that it has announced penalties on non-filers. Publishing four penalty decisions in one day sends a strong message to companies attempting to avoid merger notification that MOFCOM is closely monitoring merger controls.

Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent highlights competition effects of standard-essential patents
China | January 14 2016

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has conditionally approved Nokia's acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. This marked the second time that Nokia has been the subject of a MOFCOM merger review relating to mobile communications standard-essential patents. The latest case reflected a more rigorous and mature approach to competition analysis in the context of standard-essential patent transfers.

Enterprise fined for refusing to cooperate with antitrust investigation
China | January 07 2016

The Anhui Administration for Industry and Commerce recently published a case in which the party was fined for failing to cooperate with its investigation. The penalty decision reflects how much antitrust agencies value the investigation procedure and implies that authorities are strengthening enforcement efforts. To avoid serious consequences, relevant undertakings should familiarise themselves with the antitrust laws and regulations.

MOFCOM clears Nokia's acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent with behavioural remedies
China | December 17 2015

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently cleared Nokia Oyi's acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent with four behavioural remedies focusing on maintaining fair licensing of standard-essential patents. This case illustrates MOFCOM's new approach to evaluating the competitive effects of M&A deals involving the transfer of standard-essential patents.

Warning from MOFCOM: second wave of concentration notification penalties
China | November 12 2015

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently published four administrative decisions imposing penalties on undertakings which failed to observe the Anti-monopoly Law notification obligation. Third-party complaints are still the main trigger for MOFCOM investigations, which should remind companies of the importance of visible antitrust compliance during M&A activities.

Refusal to license intellectual property under antitrust regime
China | September 17 2015

IP rights holders' refusal to license patents or copyrights to other undertakings under China's antitrust regime remains a perplexing issue, as it lies at the crossroads of IP law and antitrust law. The high-profile antitrust case of Huawei v IDC is seen as the model in dealing with IP antitrust matters; however, there are caveats in applying this decision to similar cases.

Mercedes-Benz fined for price fixing: automotive industry at stake
China | July 02 2015

The National Development and Reform Commission recently imposed a $56.49 million fine on German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, along with a combined $1.27 million fine on its dealers. The fine came as a result of Mercedes-Benz concluding and implementing resale price maintenance agreements to fix the minimum prices of E and S Class cars, as well as certain auto parts.

China's first anti-monopoly regulation for intellectual property
China | June 11 2015

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce recently published China's first anti-monopoly regulation specifically aimed at the abuse of IP rights. The regulation intends to balance the lawful rights and interests of rights holders and other interested parties, while also further promoting innovation and market competition.

Antitrust agency renders milestone decision on SEP case
China | May 07 2015

The National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) recently announced the long-awaited penalty decision against Qualcomm with respect to its abuse of standard-essential patents in the wireless telecommunications industry. The NDRC imposed a penalty of Rmb6.088 billion (about $1 billion) on Qualcomm for its abuse of dominance in China, in addition to an order to cease illegal conduct.

MOFCOM steps up: merger control penalty decisions published for first time
China | January 29 2015

The Ministry of Commerce has stepped up its antitrust enforcement from its usual merger reviews with a new round of anti-monopoly crackdowns, publishing for the first time a series of penalty decisions regarding concentrations of undertakings. In particular, the first public announcement of a penalty against a non-filer will significantly deter any parties that attempt to avoid filing requirements for a notifiable merger.

Private Anti-monopoly Law enforcement catching up with public counterpart
China | December 18 2014

Public and private enforcement of competition law should be complementary mechanisms. However, until recently the trend in China skewed more in favour of public antitrust enforcement, which has progressed at a much more rapid pace than the private enforcement system. Since 2012 China has made a significant leap forward in the development of private Anti-monopoly Law enforcement.

FAW-Volkswagen, Chrysler and dealers fined Rmb280 million for price fixing
China | December 04 2014

The automotive industry has undergone a new round of antitrust crackdowns, with fines amounting to nearly Rmb280 million recently being imposed on FAW-Volkswagen Sales Co, Ltd, Chrysler (China) Automotive Sales Co, Ltd and their relevant dealers for price-fixing conduct. This marks the first time that both horizontal and vertical monopolies have been found in the same case.

Better late than never: NDRC publishes full decisions on car insurance cartel case
China | October 16 2014

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently imposed combined fines of Rmb110 million ($17.89 million) on 23 insurers and a local trade association for price fixing in relation to car insurance. This marks the first time since the 2008 implementation of the Anti-monopoly Law that the NDRC has published its decisions in full, signalling a move towards greater transparency in its enforcement regime.

Abuse of dominance in relation to intellectual property: the Chinese perspective
China | October 09 2014

Considering the exclusionary nature of IP rights, rights holders may engage in abusive practices in the name of exercising such rights. Although the Anti-monopoly Law is still in its infancy, the IP-related regulations issued by enforcement agencies are developing rapidly and significant IP rights-related competition litigation has also arisen – most notably, the recent case of Huawei v IDC.

Competition authorities respond to criticism from EU and US trade groups
China | October 02 2014

China's three antitrust law enforcers held a joint press conference in defence of the recent antitrust investigations into multinationals, including Microsoft and Japanese auto parts and bearing manufacturers. Issues surrounding the investigations came to light after US and EU trade groups claimed that China's antitrust investigators were unfairly targeting foreign businesses.

NDRC imposes record fines on 12 Japanese auto parts and bearing manufacturers
China | September 25 2014

Six years after the implementation of the Anti-monopoly Law, the National Development and Reform Commission – the agency responsible for supervising price monopoly – continues to strengthen its law enforcement efforts with an antitrust crackdown that has swept across a number of industries and companies, leading to record fines. The latest case targeted the automobile and auto parts industries.

Antitrust enforcement in full swing
China | September 18 2014

Since early 2014 China's antitrust enforcement measures have attracted increasing attention, both domestically and abroad. Apart from businesspeople, antitrust scholars and lawyers, even the general public have become familiar with antitrust terminology. Recent actions taken by the antitrust investigative authorities illustrate two prominent enforcement trends, with significant implications for companies.

SAIC moves closer to antitrust rules for intellectual property
China | July 31 2014

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently concluded a public consultation on the latest draft of regulations designed to implement the Anti-monopoly Law with respect to IP rights. The rules outline the SAIC's enforcement policies and criteria for acceptable evidence in its assessment of suspected anti-competitive conduct involving IP rights.

No way: MOFCOM rejects top three shipping lines' proposed alliance
China | July 24 2014

In a surprising move, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has prohibited the proposed alliance of the world's three largest shipping liner operators. The decision is a milestone in MOFCOM's merger review regime and serves as a reminder for companies considering large-scale mergers and acquisitions with a global dimension to take MOFCOM merger control into account in their strategic planning.

MOFCOM updates rules on merger control filing
China | July 17 2014

The Ministry of Commerce recently released the amended Guiding Opinions on Notification of Concentration of Undertakings. The new guiding opinions significantly expand on the previous version and clarify four important areas of merger control filing that have given rise to much debate: the definition of 'control', the calculation of turnover, the status of joint ventures in identifying concentrations and pre-notification consultations.

Non-filers beware: MOFCOM takes stricter approach to merger notification
China | July 10 2014

The Ministry of Commerce has announced that it will now publicise its administrative penalty decisions against undertakings which do not submit a notification before implementation of their concentration. This new approach does not intensify the penalties imposed on violators, but it does threaten their reputations. Companies should thus take the new regulatory regime seriously when planning and implementing a merger.

The new simple notification procedure for concentrations: is it really so simple?
China | July 03 2014

The recent establishment of the simple notification procedure for concentrations has been welcomed for its obvious merits and the convenience that it provides. However, the uncertainty and risks of the procedure are equally significant. Filing parties and practitioners should be careful in deciding whether to file the transaction through the simple procedure in order to avoid these risks.

Merck's acquisition of AZ Electronics: key observations
China | June 26 2014

Following in the steps of the antitrust watchdogs of Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has conditionally cleared Merck's acquisition of AZ Electronics. Although MOFCOM's clearance notice looks relatively concise in comparison with the other notices issued in 2014 to date, several observations in this case are worthy of attention.

CIRC issues new insurance merger rules to promote competition
China | June 26 2014

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has issued the Administrative Measures for the Merger and Acquisition of Insurance Companies, which recently entered into force. The CIRC devised the measures in a bid to promote and regularise mergers and acquisitions with a view to protecting consumers' interests, promoting competitiveness and enriching insurers' risk management tool kits.

Price deregulation in telecoms sector: a boon to competition?
China | June 19 2014

China has made another far-reaching step towards deregulating its telecommunications market with a recently issued notice announcing the liberalisation of pricing for telecoms services. The liberalisation is intended to curb abusive market practices and increase competition. However, it remains to be seen whether this will be the case, as market entry has not yet been fully liberalised.

MOFCOM raises concerns over adjacent markets in Merck/AZ merger review
China | June 12 2014

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently granted conditional clearance to the proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials SA by Merck KGaA in accordance with the Anti-monopoly Law. This marks the first time that MOFCOM has specifically identified the adjacent relationship between the relevant markets and also the first time that tying and cross-subsidisation have been considered in a merger review.

At last, MOFCOM formally adopts simplified merger review procedure
China | May 22 2014

The Ministry of Commerce has finally published the Guiding Opinions on Notification of Simple Cases of Concentration of Undertakings, which signal the formal implementation of the simplified merger review procedure. The guiding opinions clarify certain practical issues and are expected to reduce paperwork burdens. However, having 'simple case' status notably does not guarantee Phase I clearance.

MOFCOM publishes interim provisions on standards for simple merger cases
China | March 13 2014

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently published long-awaited rules on merger control cases subject to summary procedure. The interim provisions mainly set out the eligibility criteria for concentrations to be considered under the simplified review procedure. Although the provisions do not address key procedural issues, MOFCOM is expected to release supporting procedural rules in the near future.

Baby formula brands benefit from Anti-monopoly Law's leniency programme
China | November 28 2013

The much-publicised conviction of several major baby formula brands for price fixing was notable in that the antitrust agency disclosed relatively detailed information on the case, including penalty amounts and the reasons for penalty reductions and exemptions. The agency's application of the leniency programme under the Anti-monopoly Law is particularly enlightening and may serve as guidance for future cases.

Rainbow v Johnson & Johnson: a roadmap for vertical monopoly assessment
China | November 07 2013

The Shanghai People's High Court recently handed down judgment in the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the minimum resale price maintenance clause of the Anti-monopoly Law. The judgment has helped to mitigate the perceived lack of transparency over how government bodies deal with vertical monopoly agreements, and has clarified the court's attitudes towards vertical monopolies.

MOFCOM conditionally approves Baxter's acquisition of Gambro
China | September 26 2013

The Ministry of Commerce has cleared the proposed acquisition of Swedish dialysis equipment manufacturer Gambro AB by US rival healthcare company Baxter in accordance with the Anti-monopoly Law. The approval is subject to two conditions: the divestment of Baxter's continuous renal replacement therapy business; and the termination of an outsourcing production agreement with Niplo Corporation in China.

SAIC Anti-monopoly Law enforcement: five years on
China | September 05 2013

On the fifth anniversary of the Anti-monopoly Law's entry into force, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) announced the opening of the antitrust case publishing platform. For the first time since the implementation of the law, all 12 of the SAIC's penalty decisions have been published. The decisions illustrate the SAIC's considerable initial success in antitrust enforcement.

Antitrust investigation of Shanghai jewellers heats up
China | August 29 2013

The National Development and Reform Commission has launched an investigation of Shanghai jewellers and the Shanghai Gold and Jewellery Industry Association for alleged price manipulation of gold jewellery. Thirteen members of the association are under investigation, including the world's biggest jewellery retailer. Several jewellers have already submitted reports to the antitrust agency admitting wrongdoing.

NDRC extends antitrust probe to Shanghai gold shops
China | August 15 2013

A number of gold shops in Shanghai are undergoing close inspection by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in relation to retail price manipulation of gold through the Shanghai Gold Jewellery Industry Association. The accelerated pace of the NDRC's investigations, despite its limited personnel resources, has impressed those following the developments in China's growing antitrust enforcement regime.

Antitrust enforcement moves forward
China | August 08 2013

Despite China's adoption of its first anti-monopoly law in 2008, state agencies conducted no major enforcement activities until recently. In 2012 the authorities finally commenced investigations of price cartels in the liquid crystal display industry, which has led to investigations of pharmaceutical and food packaging companies. Corporations in various industries are now waiting to see which sectors will be the target of future investigations.

NDRC flexes antitrust muscle with baby formula producers
China | August 01 2013

A National Development and Reform Commission price-fixing investigation of infant milk formula producers has garnered much attention recently. Although it is too soon to tell whether this will form an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to reform the domestic market, the lack of transparency and persuasive evidence to prove the alleged antitrust violations will only spur more calls for state intervention.

Baby formula brands face antitrust probe
China | July 25 2013

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's price monopoly regulator, is conducting an antitrust probe against several major baby formula brands. The companies are accused of limiting the lowest prices offered to their distributors and retailers, which potentially eliminated market competition. The NDRC is expected to issue new record-high penalties in the case.

MOFCOM improves rule-making process for merger control review
China | June 06 2013

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently published two sets of draft merger control rules – one governing the imposition of restrictive conditions and the other outlining a procedure for dealing with simple cases. These positive steps demonstrate MOFCOM's continued efforts to accelerate the rule-making process and improve the efficiency and transparency of the merger control review procedure.

MOFCOM conditionally approves Marubeni's acquisition of Gavilon
China | May 16 2013

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently announced its conditional approval of Marubeni Corporation's acquisition of Gavilon Holdings. Given Marubeni's advantage in China's soybean import market and Gavilon's influence in the North American soybean market, MOFCOM initially held that the proposed deal could lead to Marubeni's enhanced control over China's soybean import market and thus restrict competition.

Last hurdle cleared: MOFCOM approves Glencore/Xstrata merger
China | May 09 2013

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently gave the green light to the Glencore/Xstrata deal, which will be the largest merger in mining history. The approval has been awaited for more than a year. MOFCOM issued the approval with certain restrictive conditions on the deal, following the practice of merger review agencies in other relevant jurisdictions.

Tencent defeats Qihoo 360 in first instant messaging antitrust case
China | April 11 2013

The simmering war between two large Chinese internet companies has culminated in Qihoo 360 losing the first-ever antitrust litigation involving instant messaging services. The court held that Tencent did not commit an abuse of dominance as defined in the Anti-monopoly Law. The case shows that henceforth, Chinese courts will challenge monopoly behaviours with more muscle.

The rumours are true: antitrust watchdog imposes record penalties on luxury liquors
China | March 14 2013

Less than two months after a breakthrough cartel case resulting in record fines, the Chinese price monopoly watchdog has levied another harsh punishment against two luxury Chinese liquor producers. This case reaffirms that companies operating in China should prudently review their distribution policies in particular and antitrust compliance in general in order to avoid antitrust risks.

Hunan AIC fines auto insurance monopoly Rmb1.7 million
China | March 07 2013

At the end of 2011 the Hunan Province Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) received multiple reports concerning monopoly agreements and the elimination of competition on a new auto insurance market operated by the New Auto Centre. Following an investigation, the AIC has imposed a penalty of Rmb1.7 million on some of the involved parties.

Price Law or Anti-monopoly Law: NDRC's antitrust enforcement
China | February 07 2013

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), one of the main anti-monopoly regulatory authorities in China, recently imposed its highest-ever fines on six liquid crystal display panel manufacturers found guilty of price collusion under the Price Law. The case provides particular insight on when and how the NDRC exercises its discretion to apply either the Price Law or the Anti-monopoly Law to investigations.


China 2020: world's largest insurance market and foreign insurers' strategies
China | November 14 2017

China's shift towards a knowledge-based digital economy is fuelling growth in the insurance sector, which aligns with the government's plan to double the rate of insurance penetration by 2020. By this date, insurance premium income is expected to have reached Rmb4.5 trillion. If this aim is achieved, China will have usurped the United States to become the world's largest insurance market, which bodes well for overseas insurers looking to participate in the domestic market.

The rise of insurtech in China
China | October 31 2017

A new wave of 'insurtech' companies (ie, insurers engaging with online distribution models and tech companies foraying into insurance) are recognising the gains to be made by entering into this emerging market. However, these developments by no means spell the end of the larger, more traditional Chinese insurers, which are adapting their longer-term business development strategies in response.

Cyber-insurance: a closer look
China | August 29 2017

Recent ransomware attacks across the globe have once again brought to the fore the all-encompassing enterprise risk management challenge that cyber-risks present to corporations. The raft of operational consequences of such an attack present an ever-burgeoning opportunity for insurers to expand further into this potentially lucrative new line of business. This is particularly pertinent in China, where there has been a shift towards increasing digitisation and automation in various high-tech industries.

Upcoming regulations for investors in insurers
China | June 06 2017

The regulations concerning investment limits and the required qualifications for shareholders that want to invest in Chinese insurers continue to be a focal point for potential investors. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission recently published the Administrative Measures for Equities of Insurance Companies (Draft for Comments), which make fundamental changes to the existing regulatory framework.

Comparative insight into China Risk-Oriented Solvency System
China | May 30 2017

At present, the recently adopted China Risk-Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS) is the only regime which regulates mainland insurers' capital adequacy. By appropriating the most useful features of existing global regimes, C-ROSS has formulated a risk-based supervision regime that is on a par with global standards, yet remains tailored to the specifics of the Chinese insurance market.

Declarations of death in personal insurance contract cases
China | May 16 2017

When declarations of death are sought for insured persons, two issues arise: whether the declaration relates to accidental death; and whether it falls within the insurance period. The popular viewpoint is that a declaration of death is regarded as resulting from an accident, in which case the insurer must provide compensation. While the declaration may be dated after the period of cover under the insurance contract, this does not absolve the insurer of responsibility to compensate the claimant.

Presidential summit postulates rise of insurance investment ceiling
China | May 09 2017

At the first meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, the two leaders set the tone for future cooperation on a wide range of issues, not least market access between the two countries. According to Chinese and US officials, better access for US financial sector investments into China was mooted for inclusion as part of a 100-day plan to improve trade ties. This could have notable implications for the Chinese insurance industry.

CIRC imposes significant penalties on insurers due to irregularities
China | March 14 2017

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) recently penalised two insurers for illegal practices with regard to the use of insurance funds. The penalties came just a few days after the CIRC chair stated that the regulator will continue to put significant pressure on companies and maintain close control over disorderly expansion and radical investment in order to eliminate potential risks. Companies that refuse to rectify their actions will be subject to the CIRC's strictest penalties.

Does the accessory principle apply to surety bonds?
China | November 22 2016

China's surety bond market underwent significant development in 2016 and surety bonds have become one of the most important methods for securing a financial guarantee. However, due to a lack of clear Supreme Court guidance on the matter, the laws that apply to surety bonds issued by insurers in China are still the subject of much debate. One key issue is whether the Guarantee Law's accessory principle applies to surety bonds issued by insurers in China.

Duty to report: obligations of insured under Insurance Law
China | August 16 2016

Article 21 of the Insurance Law sets out the duty of an insured party to notify its insurer of an accident in a timely manner. However, the vagueness of the article has led to issues regarding its interpretation, including the definition of 'timely manner' and whether insurers are still liable in the event that an insured party fails to issue a timely notification.

New CIRC measures strengthen supervision of illegal foreign insurance policy sales
China | June 14 2016

Foreign insurance policies have attracted many mainland China residents, but they are not without risks. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission – which prohibits insurers from conducting illegal insurance activities and organisations or individuals from conducting illegal intermediary insurance activities without its approval – recently issued significant supervisory measures in relation to the potential risks and effects of such policies.

CIRC issues Risk Alert on Purchase of Insurance Policies by Domestic Residents in Hong Kong
China | May 17 2016

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission recently issued an alert to notify mainland Chinese residents of the risks arising from the purchase of insurance policies in Hong Kong. This marks the third time this year that the authorities have publicly taken a negative attitude towards the purchase of foreign insurance policies.

The function and regulation of credit insurance in China
China | May 10 2016

Credit insurance has become increasingly popular in China over the past few years. However, credit insurance differs from warranties under Chinese law and questions have been raised as to its scope and function. In peer-to-peer and other transactions, it is often used to protect creditors' benefits. Creditors should be aware of certain legal points relating to credit insurance before taking out a policy.

Insurance trusts: a new means of wealth management
China | April 26 2016

Numerous financing products have become available to high-net-worth individuals in order to meet their wealth management needs. One of the most popular of these is the insurance trust, which creatively combines features of a trust and life insurance. Insurance trusts can preserve assets and control risks – the fundamental function of insurance – while also allowing the assets to be managed according to clients' instructions.

Antitrust agency fines insurers for co-insurance agreement
China | March 29 2016

The Hubei Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined 12 insurers for concluding an illegal co-insurance agreement. The antitrust agency found their co-insurance agreement for construction project personal accident insurance to violate the Anti-monopoly Law prohibition against monopolistic agreements. The insurers were fined Rmb4.69 million in total.

State Council publishes draft amendments to Insurance Law
China | December 01 2015

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council recently published the draft Decision on Revising the Insurance Law for public comment. The proposed amendments aim to deregulate certain aspects of the industry, promote innovation and energise the insurance market, and will provide more comprehensive regulatory mechanisms and more severe penalties for wrongdoing.

Overseas use of foreign exchange insurance funds: an overview
China | May 26 2015

Overseas use of foreign exchange insurance funds is governed by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). The CIRC's latest regulations include the Interim Measures for the Administration of Overseas Investment with Insurance Funds, as well as detailed implementation rules. These have significantly expanded the scope and range of products for investment in foreign markets.

Jurisdiction issues in insurance contract disputes
China | April 14 2015

The Supreme People's Court Interpretations on the Application of the Civil Procedure Law introduced many changes to Chinese civil procedure. One major change relates to the issue of jurisdiction. Aside from the general provisions on jurisdiction, special provisions have been introduced regarding jurisdiction in insurance contract disputes.

Insurers brewing new equity incentive plans
China | February 10 2015

Although equity incentive plans have previously come close to becoming a reality at several Chinese insurers, none has reached fruition. However, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission has gradually eased its restrictions on such plans, encouraging more insurers to implement them and optimise their corporate governance structures and occupational spectrums.

Extended warranties: service or insurance?
China | January 20 2015

Chinese retailers are increasingly promoting extended warranty services. Some foreign insurers have also sought to take advantage of their experience in overseas markets in developing extended warranty services in China. Despite the growing popularity of such services, they raise significant regulatory concerns – particularly with regard to their similarity to insurance products.

Third judicial interpretation of Insurance Law issued for public comment
China | December 16 2014

The Supreme People's Court recently promulgated its third interpretation of the Insurance Law in order to solicit advice from the public. The draft interpretation addresses in detail several common issues in judicial practice with respect to life insurance contracts. It will also be helpful in the resolution of disputes in this regard, and in protecting parties' legitimate rights and interests.

Better late than never: NDRC publishes full decisions on car insurance cartel case
China | October 21 2014

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently imposed combined fines of Rmb110 million ($17.89 million) on 23 insurers and a local trade association for price fixing. The NDRC found that the insurers, organised by the Zhejiang Insurance Industry Association, had concluded and executed horizontal monopoly agreements to fix car insurance premiums and handling fees.

Applying reinstatement value insurance: key considerations
China | September 09 2014

Reinstatement value insurance has been increasingly applied in the Chinese insurance market, even though the Insurance Law does not specifically define 'reinstatement value' or specify how to apply reinstatement value insurance. Although there are benefits in applying reinstatement value insurance to equipment and other fixed assets, insurers should nonetheless be cautious when doing so.

CIRC issues new insurance merger rules to promote competition
China | July 01 2014

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has issued the Administrative Measures for the Merger and Acquisition of Insurance Companies, which recently entered into force. The CIRC devised the measures in a bid to promote and regularise mergers and acquisitions with a view to protecting consumers' interests, promoting competitiveness and expanding insurers' risk management tool kits.

CIRC eases restrictions on investment of insurance funds
China | February 04 2014

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has issued the Draft Notice on Strengthening and Improving Regulation of Proportional Use of Insurance Funds for comment. The notice regulates the use of insurance funds by way of proportional limits on broad categories, rather than on specific products, and should facilitate a more prosperous insurance fund market.

Guangdong introduces credit guarantee system for insurance litigation
China | January 21 2014

In insurance contract disputes, insurers are often faced with a dilemma when applying to the court for property preservation, having to choose between maintaining a strong overall financial position and pursuing the smaller amount at issue. To solve this problem, a credit guarantee system for insurance litigation has been introduced in Guangdong Province, which will be worth promoting nationwide in the near future.

Subrogation cases: arbitration or litigation?
China | December 17 2013

Chinese insurers often face the question of whether to submit subrogation cases to arbitration or litigation. Several issues should be taken into account when answering this question, including the judiciary's relative inexperience in handling insurance disputes, the divergent opinions on the treatment of arbitration clauses in subrogation cases and the obstacles encountered in court reviews of arbitral awards.

CIRC introduces support measures for Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone
China | October 29 2013

Following the recent opening of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission announced measures to support the free trade zone in several areas. With these measures, the insurance industry has ushered in unprecedented development opportunities. Although it is too soon to judge the success of the free trade zone, financial breakthroughs are keenly anticipated, particularly in the insurance sector.

New committee introduced to approve establishment of Chinese insurers
China | August 20 2013

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) recently published a notice on its website regarding the establishment of the Chinese Insurance Entities Access Examination Committee. The CIRC set up the committee to improve the insurance market's entry and exit mechanisms, and to enhance the quality and transparency of the examination process. The CIRC has also stipulated the working rules of the committee.

Supreme Court issues second interpretation of Insurance Law
China | June 25 2013

Given the complexity of the problems and discrepancies in the Insurance Law following its amendment in 2009, the judgment criteria for several significant issues vary from court to court. The Supreme People's Court has therefore enacted its second interpretation of the law, which aims to lay down definite and feasible rules concerning the law's application.

A new kind of compulsory insurance?
China | March 26 2013

The environment is an important issue for the Chinese government, while surveys and social media show increasing public concern over environmental pollution. Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission have issued new guidelines establishing the pilot enterprises that are subject to compulsory environmental pollution insurance.

Hunan AIC fines auto insurance monopoly Rmb1.7 million
China | March 05 2013

At the end of 2011 the Hunan Province Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) received multiple reports concerning monopoly agreements and the elimination of competition on a new auto insurance market operated by the New Auto Centre. Following an investigation, the AIC has imposed a penalty of Rmb1.7 million on some of the involved parties.

Supreme Court launches mediation system for insurance disputes
China | February 12 2013

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the Supreme Court have jointly issued a notice to establish a collaboration system linking insurance litigation to mediation in some areas. Considering the limited judicial resources in many insurance disputes, the court has chosen insurance litigation as the first sector in which to begin actively encouraging alternative dispute resolution over court proceedings.