China, AnJie Law Firm updates

Competition & Antitrust

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
SAMR revamps procedural penalty rules
  • China
  • 29 November 2018

The newly established State Administration for Market Regulation recently embarked on its first major overhaul of procedural rules by publishing the draft Interim Provisions on Administrative Penalty Procedures in Market Regulation and the related interim measures for public comment. Unsurprisingly, market observers and practitioners promptly examined the draft documents in an attempt to deduce any changes to the intended-to-be-repealed State Administration for Industry and Commerce rules.

Court examines refusal to deal in private antitrust litigation against Tencent
  • China
  • 18 October 2018

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court recently issued its judgment in the private antitrust litigation brought by domestic software company Shenzhen Micro Source Code Software Development Co Ltd (SMSCSD) against tech giant Tencent. SMSCSD had alleged that Tencent possessed a dominant position in the China mainland market for mobile instant messaging and social platform services and had abused this dominance by blocking its WeChat Official Accounts and engaging in discriminatory practices.

The global influence of Chinese merger control
  • China
  • 04 October 2018

China's rise to prominence as an antitrust regime of major importance for companies engaging in global M&A activity has granted it considerable leverage to influence the landscape of the industries in which its domestic companies participate. However, recent events have raised the prospects for greater activism by the national regulators in determining whether a merger or acquisition should go ahead and, if so, on what conditions.

SAMR adopts stricter view on identification of competitors in monopoly agreement case
  • China
  • 30 August 2018

The State Administration for Market Regulation recently fined two Shenzhen tally companies a total of Rmb3,163,108 for entering into a horizontal monopoly agreement. This is one of the first cases to be announced by the newly established antitrust law enforcement agency and may therefore indicate its attitude towards certain industries and behaviours. In particular, the way in which the competitors in this case were identified could raise new compliance challenges for companies doing business in China.

SAMR finalises long-awaited reform of its antitrust agency
  • China
  • 16 August 2018

The finalised three-pronged plan for consolidating China's antitrust agencies under the State Administration for Market Regulation was recently released. This initiative has been anticipated and speculated on since the central government's release of its structural reform plan in March 2018. According to the government's plan, the three-pronged plan should have been released in June 2018, but this was substantially delayed due to differences of opinion regarding the reform.


Insurance

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
Shift towards digital insurance and its regulation
  • China
  • 02 October 2018

Ping An Insurance (Group), a relative newcomer to the insurance industry, now ranks among the world's largest and most valuable insurers. Notably, its use of technology to embrace new business models that supplement its core insurance offerings is indicative of a wider global trend of providing customers with digital, added-value services. However, in China, this evolution towards added-value ecosystem-related services and the potential advantages on offer is marked by a different set of market considerations.

Rise of private health insurance: challenges and opportunities
  • China
  • 17 July 2018

Despite a range of stakeholders having vested interests in developing the private health insurance market, it has remained underdeveloped and is generally considered by Chinese insurers to be unprofitable compared with life insurance lines. Insurers have also found it hard to stimulate uptake by a consumer base that is relatively unfamiliar with the added value of such products. As such, the Chinese health insurance market is not as mature, innovative or profitable as it could be.

How can foreign-invested insurers apply new CIRC regulation by reference?
  • China
  • 17 April 2018

The China Insurance Regulatory Committee recently promulgated the new Measures for the Administration of Equity in Insurance Companies, which state that if the shareholding proportion of an insurer's foreign shareholders accounts for more than 25% of its registered capital, the relevant provisions of the measures must be applied by reference. This express inclusion of foreign-invested insurers represents a substantial shift away from current practice.

CIRC's assertive action underlines renewed emphasis on controlling financial risks
  • China
  • 20 March 2018

Since the end of 2017, the China Insurance Regulatory Committee has taken numerous regulatory measures to address disorder in the insurance market, some of which have brought certain domestic life insurers to task. The measures are notable, as they underline a renewed emphasis on controlling financial risks, which is of utmost concern for the government.

Increased insurance investment limits further liberalise insurance industry
  • China
  • 16 January 2018

Following the resumption of bilateral trade treaty talks between China and the United States, a 100-day plan was mooted which promised to improve trade ties going forward. One area of focus in this regard has been the foreign ownership limits that apply to inbound investment in Chinese financial services groups, including those pertaining to the country's insurance industry. This policy shift has given rise to expectations that further foreign investment in the insurance industry will increase significantly.


Litigation

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
Blockchain evidence accepted in judicial proceedings for first time
  • China
  • 27 November 2018

The Hangzhou Internet Court recently confirmed, for the first time, the effectiveness of evidence recorded via blockchain. Shortly after, the Supreme People's Court cemented the lower court's view by implementing the Provisions on the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts. This is the first time that blockchain technology has been officially accepted in a judicial interpretation as a valid technical means for preserving and presenting evidence.

Court examines refusal to deal in private antitrust litigation against Tencent
  • China
  • 23 October 2018

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court recently issued its judgment in the private antitrust litigation brought by domestic software company Shenzhen Micro Source Code Software Development Co Ltd (SMSCSD) against tech giant Tencent. SMSCSD had alleged that Tencent possessed a dominant position in the China mainland market for mobile instant messaging and social platform services and had abused this dominance by blocking its WeChat Official Accounts and engaging in discriminatory practices.


Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
Ministry of Public Security publishes rules on supervision and inspection of internet security
  • China
  • 14 December 2018

The Ministry of Public Security recently released the Provisions on the Supervision and Inspection of Internet Security by Public Security Organs. According to the provisions, public security organs must supervise and inspect internet service providers and network entity users that provide a range of internet-related services. They also list certain powers that public security organs may use when supervising and inspecting internet security on-site.

Pilot work commences on critical information infrastructure security examination assessment guidelines
  • China
  • 07 December 2018

The National Information Security Standardisation Technical Committee recently held a meeting to commence the pilot work on the Information Security Technology – Guidelines for Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) Security Examination Assessment (For Approval). The pilot work will focus on the reasonability and practicability of the guidelines. Twelve CII operators from the telecoms, internet, transportation, energy, finance, e-government and public services industries have been selected as pilot units.

Internet watchdog issues first measures to regulate blockchain services
  • China
  • 30 November 2018

Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly prominent in Chinese judicial proceedings. However, the government's growing concerns about certain aspects of blockchain have triggered a number of regulatory responses. For example, the Cyberspace Administration of China recently released draft provisions, which are intended to govern all entities that provide blockchain-based information services in China and are the first step towards regulating this technology at the government level.

Blockchain evidence accepted in judicial proceedings for first time
  • China
  • 23 November 2018

The Hangzhou Internet Court recently confirmed, for the first time, the effectiveness of evidence recorded via blockchain. Shortly after, the Supreme People's Court cemented the lower court's view by implementing the Provisions on the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts. This is the first time that blockchain technology has been officially accepted in a judicial interpretation as a valid technical means for preserving and presenting evidence.

SHCA criticises telecoms and internet companies for failing to improve network security
  • China
  • 16 November 2018

The Shanghai Communications Administration (SHCA) recently criticised four telecoms and internet companies for failing to improve their network security monitoring and forecasting systems and report important matters to the SHCA. The SHCA ordered the companies to rectify these failings and emphasised that telecoms and internet companies have a number of obligations in order to ensure the security and stability of Shanghai's public networks.


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