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


BBC Business Live

    BARCLAYS FINE 06:10:
    A Barclays sign hangs outside a branch of the bank in the City of London

    Ahead of its trading statement later this morning Barclays Bank appears to have found itself in some regulatory hot water again. the Financial Times reports the bank will later today be fined £38m for failing to keep client's money separate from its own at its investment arm. The fine, levied by the Financial Conduct Authority, would be a record for this type of misconduct.

    TESCO IN SOUTH KOREA 06:03: Radio 5 live

    Tesco's troubles follow it to South Korea, the BBC's Steven Evans in Seoul tells Wake Up to Money. Regulators there have opened an investigation into Home Plus - a local Tesco subsidiary with 400 stores. Allegations include the selling of customer data, and the suggestion that a BMW car, meant as a customer lottery prize ended up in the hands of a friend of the staff - so not related to Tesco's current UK problems.

    06:00: Edwin Lane Business reporter, BBC News

    There's also more on the Labour party conference, which continues today. Get in touch with us throughout the morning on or on Twitter @BBCBusiness.

    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks. This morning we have a trading update from Barclays bank as well as one from Punch Taverns. We also learned of 1,700 job losses at Phones 4U overnight. There are the latest set of public sector finances to examine later on. And there's bound to be more on Tesco's accounting irregularities. Stay with us.



From BBC Capital


  • TokyoThe Travel Show Watch

    Japan has a reputation for being expensive but can you visit without breaking the bank?

BBC © 2014 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.