Top legislature to review draft amendment to Anti-Monopoly Law, aiming to bolster oversight
Published: Jun 16, 2022 02:26 PM Updated: Jun 16, 2022 02:22 PM
China officially launches anti-monopoly bureau in Beijing on Thursday. Photo:Li Hao/GT
China officially launches anti-monopoly bureau in Beijing. Photo:Li Hao/GT

China's top lawmakers will review a draft amendment to the Anti-monopoly Law, with focus on application of the law for internet-based platform operators and improvements in the oversight system to ensure the sound development of the sector, an official said on Thursday.

The draft amendment to the Anti-Monopoly Law will be reviewed during the 35th meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee to be held on June 21, according to Yang Heqing, a spokesperson for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee.

The draft amendment is expected include provisions that platform operators cannot use data and algorithms, technology, capital advantages, as well as platform rules to exclude or restrict competition.

It also requires the country's antitrust authorities to improve the oversight system based on different types of monopolistic behaviors and strengthen the inspection of concentration of business operators in important fields involving the national economy and people's livelihood in accordance with the law.

According to the draft, the "Safe Harbor" principle states that agreements between enterprises having market shares under the benchmark set by relevant regulators will not be banned, which will be a jolt for the platform economy, Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based veteran market analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The draft also aims to regulate some enterprises' acts of organizing or supporting other enterprises with common interests to commit unfair competition. "The law will be upgraded according to the country's support policies, and will firmly take a stance on supporting the development of the economy," said Liu.

While China has been strengthening regulation of the platform economy to combat monopolistic practices and prevent disorderly expansion of capital, authorities have also repeatedly vowed support for the sound development of internet platforms.

Recently, China's State Council, the cabinet, has announced policies aimed at stabilizing the domestic economy, vowing to support the development of the platform economy, while ensuring appropriate market order.

The NPC Standing Committee meeting will be held from June 21 to 24 in Beijing, and it will review eight laws covering anti-monopoly policies, sports, agriculture, and other issues.