By Zhan Hao, Song Ying, Lv Hongjie & Wei Fei

As the world’s largest internet market and one of the most influential antitrust jurisdictions, China is fast amending its competition laws and strengthening antitrust enforcement to deal with novel challenges posed by the digital economy. This article provides an update on the latest developments in China’s antitrust legislation, public enforcement and private litigation as well as an overview of the legal framework in the context of internet innovation. It examines the difficulties in assessing online platforms’ competitive impact, illustrates the divergent approaches taken by various authorities and practitioners, and proposes reforms to safeguard the competitive process.

By Zhan Hao, Song Ying, Lv Hongjie & Wei Fei1

I. INTRODUCTION

After more than two decades of rapid development, China’s internet industry boasts the largest number of netizens, and the most extensive broadband network in the world today. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, by the end of June 2019, the number of Chinese internet users had surpassed 854 million, and the internet penetration rate had reached 61.2 percent, a rise of 1.6 percent over the previous year. Chinese netizens are active in a variety of internet segments, such as instant messaging, social networking, online shopping, mobile payment, video and music streaming, mobile ride hailing, and online education.

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