Strengthened Regulations for Digital Platform Businesses in China: Focusing on the Anti-Monopoly Law

Author Name KAWASHIMA Fujio (Kobe University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2022 22-J-009
Research Project Comprehensive Research on the Current International Trade/Investment System (pt.V)
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Since December 2020 when the Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and the Central Economic Work Council adopted a priority policy to ‘strengthen the Anti-Monopoly and prevent disorderly expansion of capital,’ regulation based on the Anti-Monopoly Law has actually been strengthened, particularly against digital platform businesses such as Alibaba and Tencent, who had been regarded as operating outside of the scope of its regulation and thus as ‘sanctuary’ businesses. This discussion paper firstly examines the background behind the strengthening of its regulation and secondly introduces and analyzes concrete cases of the application of the Anti-Monopoly Law regulation against digital platform business. Thirdly, it introduces the trends in the application of the regulations of other laws such as the Network Security Law to such business and clarifies the trends and characteristics related to the Antimonopoly Law regulations in comparison with other regulations. Towards the design and creation of multilateral rules on digital trade, this discussion paper's examination has practical implications as a foundational work, describing the state-of-play of relevant regulations in China, which can significantly affect the future direction of said rules.