The Cartels and Leniency Review: China

Enforcement policies and guidance

i Statutory framework

Cartels, or horizontal monopolistic agreements, are mainly regulated by Articles 13 and 15 of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML).2 Specifically, Article 13(2) sets out the following definition for all types of monopolistic agreements: 'a monopolistic agreement referred to under this law means any agreement, decision or other concerted action that excludes or restricts competition'.

Article 13(1) lists the types of horizontal monopolistic agreements by stipulating that 'competing undertakings are prohibited from entering into the following monopolistic agreements:

  1. fixing or changing the price of commodities;
  2. restricting the volume of output or sales;
  3. allocating the sales market or the raw materials procurement market;
  4. restricting the purchase of new technologies or new equipment, or restricting the development of new technologies or new products;
  5. jointly boycotting transactions; and
  6. entering into other agreements found to be monopolistic by the anti-monopoly enforcement agency under the State Council'.

Article 15 of the AML provides exemptions for monopolistic agreements, and Articles 13 and 14 will not be applicable to such an agreement if an undertaking can prove that the agreement:

  1. improves technology or research and develops new products;
  2. improves product quality, lowers costs, improves efficiency, unifies product specifications or standards, or implements specialisations;
  3. improves the operational efficiency of small and medium-sized undertakings;
  4. realises social public interests such as energy conservation, environmental protection and disaster relief;
  5. alleviates serious decline in sales volumes or obvious overproduction caused by economic depression;
  6. protects legitimate interests in foreign trade and foreign economic cooperation; and
  7. protects other situations provided for by law and the regulations of the State Council.

If the agreement falls into one of the categories mentioned in items (a) to (e), to exempt the agreement from the application of Articles 13 and 14, the undertaking must also prove that the agreement does not seriously restrict competition in the relevant market and that consumers are able to share the benefits generated therefrom.

On 23 October 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress published for public consultation the Draft Amendments to the Anti-Monopoly Law (the Draft Amendments). Among other provisions, the Draft Amendments have added one that introduces a safe harbour rule for monopoly agreements, stating that: 'if the undertaking provides evidence that its market share in the relevant market is below the threshold stipulated by the Anti-Monopoly Enforcement Agency under the State Council', the Anti-Monopoly Law prohibition on horizontal, vertical and hub-and-spoke agreements shall not apply, unless there is evidence that the agreements eliminate or restrict competition. The specific thresholds of this safe harbour rule, and whether hardcore cartels can also benefit from it, have yet to be clarified.

ii Enforcement regime and regulations

In 2018, the antitrust enforcement regime in China underwent a major reform. The antitrust enforcement functions formerly shared by the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Commerce have now been merged into the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR).

In July 2019, the SAMR promulgated three interim rules, including the Interim Rules on Prohibition of Monopolistic Agreements (the Interim Rules), which contain both procedural and substantive rules for regulating monopolistic agreements.

In terms of procedure, the Interim Rules clarify the jurisdiction of enforcement, case delegation to provincial market regulation agencies, filing of complaints, the commitment procedure, the leniency application, etc.

Substantively, the Interim Rules provide detailed guidance on the various types of monopolistic agreements and clarify the concept of 'concerted action'.

iii Controversies

The AML public enforcement agencies and the courts in China tend to have different understandings of the statutory framework for horizontal monopolistic agreements.

The agencies consider the types of horizontal agreements listed under Article 13(1) to be of themselves monopolistic agreements and thus, in principle, illegal. The only exception is that the undertaking under investigation may submit evidence to prove that the horizontal agreement satisfies the strict conditions laid out in Article 15 and is therefore eligible for an exemption.

The courts in China take a different view and consider that the types of horizontal agreements listed under Article 13(1) are merely presumed to be monopolistic agreements, and the defendants are entitled to rebut the presumption by proving that the horizontal agreement at issue does not exclude or restrict competition (i.e., does not fall within the definition of a monopolistic agreement under Article 13(2)).

Cooperation with other jurisdictions

China has entered into memorandums of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the area of competition law with several jurisdictions, including the European Union, the United States, Germany, Russia, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, South Africa and India. Coordinating investigations with other jurisdictions is an important issue addressed in these MOUs. The China–EU MOU, entered into on 20 September 2012, is a good example of this. Article 2.3 specifically states: 'Should the two Sides pursue enforcement activities concerning the same or related matters, they may exchange non-confidential information, experiences [and] views on the matter and coordinate directly their enforcement activities, where appropriate and practicable.'

Fighting against international cartels is often the specifically addressed area of cooperation between China and other jurisdictions. According to the Terms of Reference of the EU–China Competition Policy Dialogue, the content of the Dialogue is particularly concerned with the '[e]xchange of views with respect to multilateral competition initiatives, with a particular mention to the fight against international “hard-core” cartels'.

Information sharing is important for improving efficiency, and the relevant documents, including the MOUs signed between China and other jurisdictions, do set down the framework and basis for cooperation in terms of information. A typical example is the Practical Guidance for Cooperation on Investigating Anti-Monopoly Cases between the Directorate-General for Competition of European Commission and the State Administration for Market Regulation of PR of China (the Practical Guidance) entered into in 2019. Paragraph 6 of the Practical Guidance provides that 'when confidentiality waivers have been exchanged for the purpose of an investigation and the Sides communicate information in accordance with the confidentiality waivers during the course of case cooperation, they will ensure the protection of business secrets and other confidential information'.

According to the criminal law of China, it is a precondition of extradition that the conduct in question constitutes a criminal offence according to the law of both China and the country that raises the extradition request. As China does not criminalise cartel activities, it is impossible for China to accede to cartel-related extradition requests from foreign jurisdictions for Chinese citizens.

As to private enforcement against cartels through extraterritorial discovery, because China has no discovery mechanism, foreign private entities aiming to initiate private action against cartel participants in China may encounter difficulties in acquiring evidence. Nonetheless, some Chinese companies are aware of the possibility of taking advantage of the discovery mechanisms established in foreign jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom. These Chinese companies have pioneered claiming damages in foreign forums, such as the United Kingdom, against cartel participants.

Jurisdictional limitations, affirmative defences and exemptions

i AML's extraterritorial reach

The AML applies to anticompetitive conduct outside the territory of China if the conduct has the effect of eliminating or restricting competition on China's domestic market. The statutory basis for this is Article 2 of the AML. In practice, companies that do not have a physical presence in China have been exposed to liability under the AML and one typical instance is the Huawei v. InterDigital Company case.3 Another example is an ongoing case in which China State Grid Group is claiming damages against foreign cable manufacturers that engaged in cartels outside the territory of China and have been penalised in the EU in accordance with EU competition law.4

ii Parent company liability

In China, the 'single economic unit' concept is not expressly recognised. However, in the realm of public enforcement, the 2016 Chlorophenol case,5 which concerned a price-fixing cartel, marked the agency's first attempt to apply this concept. In this case, five chlorophenol manufacturers that fixed prices of chlorophenol all sold their products through Shanghai Jiaodian Biotechnology Co Ltd (Jiaodian). While Jiaodian was the controlling shareholder of one of the five manufacturers, the agency viewed this manufacturer and Jiaodian as a single economic unit and, thus, although not viewed as the manufacturer of chlorophenol, Jiaodian was still liable for implementing the price-fixing cartel. Jiaodian's actual participation in the price-fixing cartel is the most important reason for it being found liable, otherwise its controlling shareholder (Huifeng Joint Stock), which was not involved in the cartel, would have been investigated and penalised. Therefore, according to this case, a parent company will not always be liable for the conduct of its subsidiary.

This recognition appeared to be reinforced indirectly by the 2018 Tally case, in which the two penalised tallying companies were both controlled by the China Merchants Logistics Group Co Ltd (CMLG).6 The AML enforcement agency reasoned in its decisions that the CMLG did not have independent control over the two tallying companies, and it was known that the two companies competed independently, in accordance with state policy, which specifies that a competition mechanism must exist in the industry. Therefore, although not expressly stated, the agency did not consider that the two tallying companies constituted a single economic unit and the CMLG was not penalised.

iii Available affirmative defences

Article 15 of the AML lists, not exhaustively, the situations in which monopolistic agreements prohibited by Articles 13 and 14 can apply for exemption, and which can be utilised as affirmative defences by undertakings that reach and implement monopolistic agreements. Regarding exemptions for industries, Article 56 of the AML provides an exception for cartel activities in the agricultural industry.

Leniency programmes

i Overview

In China, rules on leniency are mainly found in Article 46 of the AML, Articles 33 and 34 of the Interim Rules, and the Leniency Programme Guidelines. Whether a leniency applicant qualifies for immunity from penalty, or favourable treatment, depends on factors including the chronology of the application filing, the significance of the evidence submitted and the situation in which the monopolistic agreement was reached and implemented.

ii Leniency application

To successfully obtain leniency, an applicant is required to voluntarily report relevant situations concerning the monopolistic agreement and to submit important evidence.

The Leniency Programme Guidelines set out the standard of reporting and evidence to be submitted to qualify for immunity from and reductions in fines.

Report

According to the Leniency Programme Guidelines, the report submitted in the context of an immunity application must expressly admit that the applicant has engaged in the conduct of concluding and implementing monopolistic agreements prohibited by the AML, and must provide detailed information, including:

  1. basic information on participants in the monopolistic agreement (including but not limited to the names, addresses, contacts and relevant representatives involved);
  2. information on the monopolistic agreement (including but not limited to the contact time, addresses, content and individual participants);
  3. the main content of the monopolistic agreement (including but not limited to products or services, prices or quantities) and information on the undertakings concluding and implementing the monopolistic agreement;
  4. the territorial scope and market scale affected by the agreement;
  5. the duration of the implementation of the monopolistic agreement;
  6. an explanation of the evidence submitted;
  7. a statement as to whether a leniency application has been filed with any overseas enforcement agency; and
  8. other relevant documents and materials.

In comparison, the report submitted with the application for a fine reduction must include the participants in the monopolistic agreement, the products and services involved, the duration of the implementation of the monopolistic agreement and the territory affected.

Important evidence

According to relevant statutory rules, important evidence refers to evidence that plays a key role in initiating an investigation or in finding monopolistic agreements, including evidence in relation to participants in the agreement, products covered by the agreement, the form and contents of the agreement and the implementation of the agreement.

In particular, important evidence submitted by immunity applicant means not only evidence sufficient to enable the agency to docket one case or initiate an investigation where the agency has not yet obtained any clues or evidence in the case but also evidence provided by an undertaking after the agency has docketed the case or initiated an investigation and that the agency has not previously obtained, and on the basis of which the agency can make a finding of a monopolistic agreement.

In contrast, important evidence submitted for the purpose of obtaining a reduction in fines refers to evidence that the agency has not previously obtained and that has significant probative value for finding monopolistic agreements.

iii Immunity or reduction in fine

The Leniency Programme Guidelines classify the fine reduction range according to the sequence of the application filing:

  1. for the first applicant: immunity or a fine reduction of no less than 80 per cent;
  2. for the second applicant: a fine reduction of 30 to 50 per cent;
  3. for the third applicant: a fine reduction of 20 to 30 per cent; and
  4. for a subsequent applicant: a fine reduction of no more than 20 per cent.

iv Marker system

To encourage cartel participants to report violations as soon as possible, the Leniency Programme Guidelines address China's marker system in an official document for the first time. An undertaking that first applies for immunity from fines may secure its place in the queue while earning more time to gather evidence via the marker system.

Where the first immunity applicant submits to the agency the required report but fails to provide evidence or all evidence, the agency may grant a marker and issue an acknowledgement of receipt of documents. Additionally, the agency will specify the period within which the applicant must submit the evidence required. Normally, this is no more than 30 days as of the date the marker is registered, but it may be extended to 60 days in exceptional circumstances.

Where the applicant provides evidence as required within the designated period, the application for leniency will be deemed to have been submitted on the date when the marker is granted. Where the applicant fails to do so, the agency will disqualify the applicant for a marker yet still reserve the applicant's right to apply for immunity again after collecting relevant evidence.

v Duties of cooperation

Apart from submission of a report and important evidence, Article 10 of the Leniency Programme Guidelines provides other obligations for the applicant to secure a leniency application. These obligations include:

  1. timely termination of its involvement in the illegal conduct;
  2. full cooperation with the agency expeditiously and truthfully on a continuing basis;
  3. proper preservation and submission of relevant evidence and information;
  4. non-disclosure of the application to any other party; and
  5. non-engagement in any other conduct that affects the investigation.

Penalties

i Overview

In China, antitrust liability is limited to corporate liability. Article 46 of the AML provides the statutory penalties for cartel participants. For those who conclude cartel agreements and implement cartel activities, the penalties include disgorgement of illegal gains and imposition of fines amounting to 1 to 10 per cent of turnover. For those who merely conclude the cartel agreement but do not implement it, penalties are limited to 500,000 yuan.

Major changes will be made regarding antitrust liability in China in the near future. According to the Draft Amendments, these changes may include:

  1. a fine capped at 1 million yuan will be introduced for legal representatives, major responsible persons and directly responsible persons, who shall be held personally accountable for the conclusion of the monopoly agreement;
  2. a fine capped at 5 million yuan will be introduced for undertakings that had no turnover in the preceding year;
  3. an increase in the upper limit of the fine for undertakings that merely conclude but do not implement a monopoly agreement, from 500,000 yuan to 3 million yuan;
  4. imposition of a fine equal to that imposed on cartel participants on undertakings that organise or provide substantive help to other undertakings to conclude monopoly agreements;
  5. addition of a new provision on serious violations entitling the antitrust agency to multiply the antitrust fine by two to five times if the antitrust violation is especially severe, has pernicious effects or causes extremely serious consequences; and
  6. retention of the option to criminalise certain antitrust violations in the future – the Draft Amendments have added, in Article 67, a new provision whereby relevant individuals or undertakings shall be subject to criminal liability in accordance with the law if the antitrust violations constitute criminal offences.

ii Factors to be considered

Pursuant to Article 49 of the AML, factors to be considered in terms of penalties include the nature, gravity and duration of the violation.

In addition, Article 27 of the Administrative Sanction Law also sets out several attenuating circumstances in which the agency reduces or mitigates the proposed penalty accordingly:

  1. the undertaking has taken the initiative to eliminate or lessen the harmful consequences occasioned by its illegal act;
  2. the undertaking was coerced by another to commit the illegal act;
  3. the undertaking has performed meritorious deeds when working in coordination with administrative organs to investigate violations of law; or
  4. other circumstances exist for which the undertaking shall be given a lighter or mitigated administrative penalty in accordance with the law.

Although there is no statute specifically addressing aggravating factors for antitrust violations, in practice the agencies tend to view the following circumstances as such:

  1. the undertaking organised the cartel or played a major role;
  2. the undertaking coerced other companies to participate in the cartel;
  3. the undertaking has engaged in several types of monopolistic conduct or has repeatedly violated the AML;
  4. the undertaking did not cooperate with the investigation;
  5. the cartel conduct was of a long duration, wide influence or has had an impact on nationally important construction projects; and
  6. the cartel in which the undertaking participated was harmful to industry competition and consumer interests.

iii Settlement procedure

Overview

In China, neither the law nor any regulations explicitly provide a settlement procedure. However, Article 45 of the AML sets out a commitment procedure whereby the undertaking under investigation can earn suspension or even termination of the investigation by offering certain commitments to the agency. Based on this, the Guidelines for Commitments by Undertakings in Antitrust Cases (the Guidelines for Commitments) further elaborate the commitment procedure.

The Guidelines for Commitments make it clear that the agency shall disregard any commitment made by participants in hardcore cartels or any commitment made after the agency has found the monopolistic conduct upon investigation.

Suspension of the investigation

Article 45(1) of the AML provides that a suspension of the investigation is possible if an undertaking under investigation commits to adopt specific measures to eliminate the consequences of its conduct within a certain period accepted by the agency.

The Guidelines for Commitments provide the criteria for evaluating the sufficiency of the commitment (i.e., the attitude of the undertaking in carrying out the suspected monopolistic conduct; the nature, duration, consequences and social impact of the suspected monopolistic conduct; and the proposed commitments and expected outcomes thereof).

Termination of the investigation

Where the agency decides to accept the undertaking's commitment and suspend the investigation, it shall oversee how the commitments are fulfilled. Where the undertaking fulfils its commitments, the agency may decide to terminate the investigation.

Resumption of the investigation

In any of the following circumstances, the agency shall resume the investigation:

  1. the undertakings concerned fail to fulfil their commitments;
  2. material changes have taken place in respect of the facts on which the decision to suspend the investigation was based; or
  3. the decision to suspend the investigation was based on incomplete or untrue information provided by the undertaking concerned.

iv Recent developments

In the past, the fine for antitrust violation in China was based on the relevant turnover (i.e., the turnover generated from products or territories covered or affected by the antitrust violation). However, in 2019, the Director General of the Anti-Monopoly Bureau at the SAMR clarified that the basis for the fine shall be the total turnover in the preceding year, which means companies are facing significantly heavier financial liability for antitrust violation. As can be seen from the administrative penalty cases in the past two years, it has been the norm to take the total turnover of the previous year as the basis for calculating fines.

'Day one' response

i Procedure

Unannounced on-site inspection against undertakings under investigation is possible in China. The team conducting the dawn raid usually consists of between 10 and 30 officials, depending on the significance and complexity of the case and the scale of the undertaking.

The dawn raid team usually takes the following enforcement measures during the on-site inspection:

  1. entering into the business premises of the undertaking. In some cases, the business premises of other undertakings relevant to the case may also be subject to dawn raid. For instance, in its investigation against Microsoft, the agency raided Microsoft's outsourced financial provider, Accenture Information Technology (Dalian) Co Ltd;
  2. interviewing relevant employees. Questions frequently asked include explanations on documents, location of designated documents and explanations of relevant facts; and
  3. reviewing and copying relevant documents and materials, as well as sealing and seizing relevant evidence. In practice, the agency will directly seize or copy relevant hard copies. To obtain electronic evidence, officials may search relevant employees' computers or even mobile phones and extract relevant evidence.

The dawn raid may take place over more than one day, after which the agency will usually issue a list of requested information or documents to the undertaking and require the undertaking to submit materials within a designated period.

ii Tasks and choices of the undertaking

It is essential for undertakings to develop a compliance programme to properly respond to an unexpected dawn raid. Among other things, the following are very important:

  1. undertakings should prepare dawn raid response guidelines in advance, setting out the members of the task force and their respective responsibilities, the dos and don'ts to be observed during a dawn raid, and measures to be taken at each step, etc.;
  2. at the onset of a dawn raid, the undertaking should circulate an email to all employees at the site, explaining the situation and advising employees of requirements, including instructions to cooperate with the agency and not to interfere with, disclose or discuss the dawn raid;
  3. during a dawn raid, undertakings are advised to show a strong willingness to cooperate with the agency, including preparing the documents required by the agency and assisting the agency in accessing IT systems or copying relevant materials;
  4. during a dawn raid, undertakings are advised to keep a copy of all materials being collected by the agency, which is essential for subsequent risk assessments; and
  5. during a dawn raid, undertakings are advised to brief relevant employees on the fact that anything they say to the officials may be recorded as evidence, and that they need to be cautious in giving answers. If employees do not or cannot clearly answer a question during a raid, they can seek to submit a response after the raid, rather than giving false answers.

iii Risks of failing to respond properly

Failing to respond properly may adversely affect the company in the following ways:

  1. it may affect the subsequent response or defences to be raised by the undertaking. For instance, some companies fail to keep a record of the materials being collected or of interviews and are, therefore, unable to properly identify the legal risks, which further adversely affects the preparation of the response strategy. In other instances, some employees who are over-nervous may give inaccurate answers to the interview questions and may, therefore, put the company in a very passive position in defence;
  2. it may incur liability for the company or relevant individuals. There have been several cases in China where employees have interfered with an investigation or have even had physical conflicts with officials and, as a result, significant penalties were imposed on the company or on relevant individuals; and
  3. it may adversely impact the image of the undertaking. For instance, in some cases, the employees of the company being raided improperly discussed the raid and even disseminated information about the dawn raid, and thus adversely affected the company brand image, as well as the operation of the company.

Private enforcement

i Basics of private right of action under the AML

A private right of action is available and the statutory basis is Article 50 of the AML. However, as China does not have a collective action regime, it is impossible for private entities to claim damages through a class action mechanism. Furthermore, unlike some other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, which has funding rules for private litigation, China has yet to issue any rules in this area.

However, according to Article 60(2) of the Draft Amendments, the people's procuratorates are entitled to bring public-interest civil litigation against undertakings that engage in antitrust violations and harm social and public interests, mirroring some features of the collective action regimes found in other jurisdictions.

Another development of note concerns the recent Brick and Tie Association case,7 in which the Supreme People's Court held that a voluntary participant in a cartel is not entitled to seek damages from other cartel participants since such a damages claim would by its nature be a request to divide up the illegal monopolistic benefits of cartel conduct and this is not something that the AML is intended to remedy.

ii Damages calculation

The issue of damages calculation has yet to be addressed by either the law, other specific regulations, rules or judicial interpretations in China. The horizontal monopoly agreement dispute case8 involving Healthcare Co Ltd, Fujian Fuhua Industry & Trade Co Ltd, Cangzhou Dahua Co Ltd, Yantai Juli Fine Chemical Co Ltd and Gansu Yinguang Chemical Industry Group Co Ltd provided some clues about how the courts in China may calculate cartel overcharges. In that case, the court emphasised the causality between the monopolistic conduct and the claimed damages (i.e., loss of profit). The court further emphasised that normal profits in a market where no such cartel is in place should be the basis for damages calculation, similar to the 'but for' analysis used in other jurisdictions, such as the United States.

iii Interplay between government investigation and private litigation

Under the AML, private and public enforcement can occur simultaneously. There is no requirement as to the sequence of action taken. However, if an administrative decision is issued after an investigation, that decision is legally binding on the undertakings being investigated. Hence, if no application was filed for judicial review of the decision, or if the decision was reviewed but the court did not overturn the decision, the illegality of the conduct in question will be affirmed.

The decision will be a basis for the relevant undertakings to claim damages against those who implemented the monopolistic conduct, and usually has a twofold influence on the follow-on damages claim: the findings of fact in the decision are usually presumed to be true by the courts, whereas the legal findings are considered to be only of referential value, which means the courts tend to conduct independent legal analysis of the illegality of the matter.

Current developments

i Unsettled points of law application

In China, the courts and the enforcement agencies do not seem to have arrived at a uniform understanding as to whether a horizontal restrictive agreement violates the AML. In addition to focusing on whether an agreement has the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, some courts also take the view that undertakings referred to in Article 13 of the AML should be operating at the same economic level as, and have a competing relationship with, different brands from different companies. Consequently, distributors of the same brand cannot be eligible entities for horizontal monopolistic agreements under Article 13 of the AML, even though they may decide to allocate the market between them.

Hence, either by pointing to actual effects or by emphasising that the competing relationship between undertakings should be between competitors of different brands, the courts set a high standard for finding cartels, and they do not appear to favour a presumption of illegality of the restrictive agreements listed under Article 13 of the AML. Nevertheless, the courts have not yet reversed any of the decisions in those cases involving judicial review of public enforcement decisions concerning the conclusion and implementation of cartels, even though the AML enforcement agency does not appear to have fully considered the harm caused to competition by the cartels concerned.

ii Cutting-edge issue in key cases of public enforcement

In 2018, the public enforcement agency adopted the hub-and-spoke conspiracy theory to penalise three glacial acetic acid manufacturers for implementing a price-fixing cartel.9 Although they agreed and implemented the cartel under the organisation of Jiangxi JinHan Pharmaceutic Adjuvant Co Ltd (JinHan), JinHan was not penalised. One important reason for the failure to apply the AML to JinHan may be that liability is limited to industrial associations that facilitate cartels under the AML. While China is a statute law country, there is basically no room for the AML enforcement agency to penalise JinHan according to the AML. This decision has triggered criticism. Notably, the Draft Amendments explicitly prohibit undertakings from organising and assisting other undertakings in concluding monopolistic agreements and they impose the same legal liability on these undertakings as that imposed on undertakings that actually engage in monopolistic agreements. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines for the Platform Economy promulgated this year clearly identified the concept of hub-and-spoke agreements and it is anticipated that this legislative gap may soon be closed.

Footnotes

1 Wei Huang is a managing partner and Wendy Zhou and Bei Yin are senior associates at Tian Yuan Law Firm.

2 The AML does not use the term 'cartel', but rather the term 'monopolistic agreement'. These two terms are used interchangeably in this chapter.

3 (2013) Yue Gao Fa Min San Zhong Zi No. 306, Guangdong Higher People's Court, 16 October 2013.

4 (2019) Zui Gao Fa Zhi Min Xia Zhong No. 356, Supreme People's Court, 01 December 2019.

5 (2015) Su Jia Fan Long Duan Nos. 1-001 to 1-006, Jiangsu Price Bureau, 10 May 2016.

6 (2018) Guo Shi Jian Jia Jian Chu Fa Nos. 5 and 6, State Administration for Market Regulation, 9 July 2018.

7 (2020) Zui Gao Fa Zhi Min Zhong No. 1382, Supreme People's Court, 6 November 2020.

8 (2018) Zhe 02 Min Chu No. 867, Ningbo Intermediate People's Court, 28 December 2020.

9 (2018) Guo Shi Jian Chu No. 17, State Administration for Market Regulation, 5 December 2018.

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