China hits Japanese auto parts makers with record fine


China handed down its biggest-ever antitrust fine to 10 Japanese car parts makers as a nationwide crackdown on price gouging by foreign companies gathers pace.

The National Development and Reform Commission said it had fined the companies a total of 1.24 billion yuan ($201 million), over a quarter of the fine falling on Sumitomo Electric.

Most of the companies involved operate joint ventures in China with locally-owned companies, something that the Financial Times said suggested that the NDRC wasn’t afraid to attack domestic vested interests in the interest of consumers.

“China is a country ruled by law, everyone should be equal before the law,” Li Pumin, NDRC’s secretary general, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Reuters noted that some of the companies fined have also been fined by U.S. and European regulators.

Two other companies, Hitachi and Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp, were spared punishment after providing evidence of price-fixing to the investigators…

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