China Fines International Shippers

Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital

After a year of investigations, China announced fines for eight international shipping companies for violating price fixing laws. The fines represent the most significant attempt by authorities to crack down on colluding in a sudden enforcement of an eight year old anti-monopoly law.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, the companies had coordinated with one another to raise prices on cars, trucks, and construction equipment over the next four years.

Among those fined were South Korean Eukor Car Carriers, Inc., which was ordered to pay 284 million yuan (just under $44 million), the largest single fine in this case.  Other guilty parties included Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics in Oslo, which was fined 45 million yuan (just under $7 million) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd in Japan, which was fined 38 million yuan (just under $6 million).

Several of business groups as well as US officials have complained that China selectively began enforcing the law against foreign companies. China, however, has dismissed such concerns, insisting that domestic companies have also come under scrutiny.

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