Antitrust experts Suzanne Rab and Jet Deng introduce Hong Kong’s new Competition Law and what it means for mainland China

Hong Kong shares many historical roots with mainland China, but its legal and judicial system maintain a separate identity under the One Country, Two Systems policy. One area where they have taken different approaches is the regulation of commercial practices and mergers under competition law.

An economy-wide competition law took effect in China in 2008, but Hong Kong has to now remained one of the few advanced economies without a general competition law. This will change on 14 December this year when the Competition Ordinance (CO) takes effect. The Competition Commission (the comission) and the Communications Authority, the telecommunications regulator, issued guidelines on the new law on 27 July.

The CO draws heavily on other competition laws including those of the European Union, United States and Australia. It also contains several features lacking an exact counterpart in other competition laws. Businesses in China and internationally with activities and investments in or affecting Hong King will need to keep abreast of the developing law and enforcement practice. This article provides an overview of the key features of the new law and the principal ways in which it differs from its counterpart in China.

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Suzanne Rab is an English barrister of Serle Court Chambers in London whose practice has a particular focus on the interface between competition law and economic regulation.

Dr Jet Zhisong Deng is an experienced antitrust lawyer and partner of Dacheng Law Offices in Beijing as well as a part-time researcher at the Competition Law Centre of UIBE.