China fines Japanese car parts firms for price-fixing

A worker at an auto shop changes the tyres on a car in Shanghai China overtook the US as the world's largest car market four years ago

Related Stories

China has levied a record fine totalling 1.24bn yuan ($202m; £121m) on twelve Japanese car parts companies for price-fixing.

The country's anti-monopoly regulator said the companies were found to have colluded to reduce competition.

Japan's Sumitomo Electric and Mitsubishi Electric were among the firms that received the heaviest fines.

The ruling comes amid a crackdown on multinational firms found to have broken China's anti-monopoly laws.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement the Japanese firms "improperly affected the pricing for auto parts, entire vehicles and bearings".

Under China's anti-trust law, which was enacted in 2008, authorities can fine a company as much as 10% of its annual revenues.

The state broadcaster CCTV said the fine was the biggest China had imposed since its anti-monopoly law took effect.

China is the world's largest car market and auto makers have been under scrutiny following allegations they were earning high profits by overcharging customers.

On Sunday, China's state-run news agency Xinhua said Mercedes-Benz had been found guilty of fixing the cost of spare parts.

Other high profile car companies that have been targeted include BMW, Audi and Chrysler. No penalties on them have yet been announced.

Corruption crackdown

Start Quote

China is a country ruled by law, everyone should be equal before the law”

End Quote Li Pumin Secretary general, China NDRC

As part of its overall crackdown on corruption, the Chinese government has been conducting investigations into foreign business practices.

Over the past year, multinational firms in the pharmaceutical, technology and food sectors have come under particular scrutiny.

Last August, six producers of infant formula - all foreign companies - were given a record fine for price-fixing.

As a result, there have been rising concerns in the foreign business community that they are being disproportionately targeted.

However, China says it does not discriminate between domestic and overseas companies.

"China is a country ruled by law, everyone should be equal before the law," Li Pumin, the secretary general of the NDRC, said on Wednesday.

"It's no matter whether they are domestic or foreign-funded firms, they will receive a punishment as long as they violate laws," Mr Li said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

Business Live

  1.  
    06:05: Rangers FC
    A general view of the Ibrox Stadium, in Glasgow,

    It's a big day for Rangers FC as the club holds an emergency meeting where Dave King hopes to oust the board. However, there are question marks over King - who wants to become chairman - because of his convictions in South Africa for tax offences.

     
  2.  
    06:03: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Happy Friday everyone. Don't forget you can get in touch by email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or via twitter @bbcbusiness.

     
  3.  
    06:00: It's Friday Chris Johnston Business Reporter

    Good morning and welcome to the last day of the working week. US unemployment figures are set to dominate the day and are out at 13:30. We'll bring you the reaction to those numbers and all the day's other business news as well.

     

Features

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Woman wearing a niqab in Raqqa (31 March 2014)'Run for your life'

    How IS fighter's tip-off led to narrow escape for Syrian woman


  • Target practice for Lithuanian troopsBaltic shiver

    Europe editor Katya Adler on the alarm at Russian muscle-flexing


From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • A robotClick Watch

    The latest in robotics including software that can design electronics to solve problems

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.