On February 19, 2014, the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), the country’s top economic planning body, launched an initial probe into the auto parts industry.
Responding to a reporter’s question, Mr. Kunlin Xu, the director genera of the NRDC’s Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau said that there has yet been a formal investigation, and currently the bureau is engaged mostly in gathering information on the auto parts industry. “Sometimes, disclosure of an antitrust investigation would be disadvantageous for us when collecting information,” said Mr. Xu. He also stated that the NDRC is following closely the progress of foreign monopoly investigation into auto parts.
On August of 2013, the spokesperson for China’s Automobile Dealers Association said he was not aware of any NDRC investigation specifically targeting the auto industry. However, during December, the Chinese state media accused foreign car makers of charging more for repairs in China than in other markets, which may have prompted the NDRC to begin its investigations. Over the past year, the NDRC have embarked upon investigations into many Chinese and foreign companies in industries ranging from jewelry to winery.