‘Recent Competition Policy and Law Developments in China and Hong Kong’

After a short break, the CCP Seminar Series returns in 2016 with another inspiring line-up of presentations on competition policy (you can find out more by clicking here). On Friday 8th January 2016, we are delighted to welcome Mark Williams (Asian Competition Forum and Melbourne Law School) who will be kicking-off the year with his dissection of the ‘Recent Competition Policy and Law Developments in China and Hong Kong‘. Mark is the Executive Director of the Asian Competition Forum, as well as a Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne Law School where he teaches inter alia competition law and Hong Kong company/commercial . An abstract for his seminar can be found below.


Mainland China brought the Antimonopoly Law into force in 2008. The intensity of enforcement has increased markedly in the last two years, especially in relation to business conduct within its territory as opposed to global mergers that have some effect on Chinese markets. Whilst the application of the merger rules has been relatively orthodox, there has been increasing concern about the activities of the NDRC and SAIC with regard to ‘price monopoly’ cases. Transparency and due process issues have caused considerable anxiety, especially amongst the international business community and it is noteworthy that there have been no judicial appeals against any decision of the Chinese agencies since the antitrust system became operational. In Hong Kong, which retains its separate common law -based legal system, the Competition Ordinance only became fully operational on 14 December 2015. This structurally flawed system, that has no merger control provisions save in the telco sector, and adopts a judicial enforcement model, is, necessarily, wholly untried. This seminar will concentrate on recent developments in both systems and the challenges they face to attain international credibility.

The seminar takes place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03. Tea will be provided directly afterwards in the MBA Café (TPSC, Floor 2).

CCP Seminar: Fiscal decentralisation and efficiency of public service delivery: the case of UK and China

The CCP’s Spring seminar series continues on Friday 3rd May with our resident research associate Minyan Zhu (CCP). She will be presenting her research on ‘Fiscal decentralisation and efficiency of public service delivery: the case of UK and China‘ which has been conducted alongside Antonio Peyrache (University of Queensland). An abstract for her seminar can be found below.


We consider government inefficiency in delivering public services for the UK and China by using a production model where one input (government expenditure at regional level) produces outputs in main service areas including education (teacher availability and student achievements), health services (doctor and hospital bed availability), transport (road traffic flows and public transport availability) and housing (affordability). We use two different regional level datasets separately for the UK and China over the period from 2000 to 2010. The reason for choosing these two countries is that they show very different levels of fiscal centralisation/decentralisation.

In the UK local authorities’ expenditure accounts for around a quarter of total government expenditure and public services in each region are mainly funded and delivered by the central government. On the contrary in China, local governments (financed mainly by local tax revenue) are the key provider of public services in each region. Local government expenditure accounts for more than 80% of total government expenditure in 2010.

We firstly construct and estimate an inefficiency measurement that measures the overall inefficiency of each system against the production possibility sets defined at the national level. We then compare in each system whether inefficiency arises from inefficient performance within regions or from inefficient organisation of resources across regions.  Preliminary results show that the inefficiency regarding the public service provision in the UK is attributed more to inefficient organisation of resources across regions than to inefficiency within individual regions; whereas in China, inefficiency is attributed more to inefficient performance at regional level than to organisation of resources across regions.

CCP Member Presents Results Of His Competition Law Research In China

Dr Peter Whelan, a Lecturer in Law at UEA Law School and a Faculty Member of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, recently presented the results of his legal research at the conference ‘International Symposium on the Frontier of Antimonopoly Law Enforcement’ held in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China. The conference examined in particular how the enforcement of Chinese competition law could be improved in future. Speakers at the conference included officials from the Chinese competition authorities, as well as legal academics and/or practitioners from China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

Dr Whelan delivered a presentation entitled ‘The Challenges of Cartel Criminalization: Lessons from the EU and the UK’, in which he detailed some of the legal and practical challenges which face jurisdictions that wish to enforce their competition laws with criminal sanctions against individuals. Dr Whelan’s research on this particular topic forms the substance of his forthcoming book The Criminalization of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges, which will be published by Oxford University Press as part of their series Oxford Studies in European Law.