GAFA in China?


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“I think it’s hard to have a mission of wanting to bring the whole world closer together and leave out the biggest country..”. That was Mark Zuckerberg’s response when asked recently about Facebook’s record of attempted entry into China.

By and large GAFA have struggled to compete in the largest economy in the world.  Meanwhile BAT (the homegrown tech trio, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) represent the new Chinese dragons, dominating in search, e-commerce, messaging, AI and other digital market spaces.

In this episode of Competition Lore Dr Wendy Ng, a specialist in the political economy of Chinese competition law at the University of Melbourne, shares her insights on the context that shapes the way in which the Anti-Monopoly Law works in China.

We canvas how the political and socio-cultural dynamics influence the law’s enforcement and the approach taken to abuse of dominance in particular. She explains the co-dependent relationship between the powerful domestic tech companies and the government and what challenges face their US counterparts.  Issues of digital protectionism come up!

For anyone practising in this field in China or wanting to understand the context in which Chinese competition law operates, I highly recommend Wendy’s book:

The Political Economy of Competition Law in China, 2018.

And here is a sample of some of her other recent papers on related topics:

The Influence of Socialist Principles on the Legal Regulation of Markets iChina: The Anti-Monopoly Law, 2018

The Independence of Chinese Competition Agencies and the Impact on Competition Enforcement in China, 2015

Policy Objectives of Public Enforcement of the Anti-Monopoly Law: An Assessment of the First Five Years, 2015

You can follow Wendy on Twitter at @wendyengee.

Featuring regular cut-through interviews with leading thinkers, movers and shakers, Competition Lore is a podcast series that engages us all in a debate about the transformative potential and risks of digitalised competition.

Join Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, to tackle what it means to participate as a competitor, consumer or citizen in a digital economy and society.

Competition Lore is produced by Written & Recorded.


Competition Lore