採訪/陳漢 編輯/陳潔 後製/李勇
What’s The Reason Foreign Companies Are Consistently Investigated In China?
Since last month, the US software giant Microsoft
was investigated by China’s regulator on August 4 in Beijing,
Shanghai and other cities.
Mercedes-Benz in Shanghai also faced
a “monopoly" investigation.
Car maker Chrysler and Audi have committed
“monopolistic behavior" and will be punished soon.
Why do the foreign companies in China
consistently face problems?
Let’s take a look.
China’s regulator raided a Mercedes-Benz office
in Shanghai on August 4.
Several senior officials have been questioned
and many computers have been forcibly inspected.
Sources reveal that the regulators directly investigated
Mercedes-Benz’s car prices and its lowest price policy.
On Aug. 3, Daimler announced that from Sept. 1, it would cut
the cost of spare parts 15 percent for its Mercedes cars in China.
This is the second time since July the company
made cuts after-sale maintenance price.
Experts analyze that there were two possibilities
for Mercedes-Bens being faced with sudden raids:
The regulators were not satisfied with the price cuts
Mercedes-Benz has touched forbidden areas
apart from “anti-monopoly."
On Aug. 4, China’s State Administration for Industry
and Commerce (SAIC) has been investigating Microsoft.
SAIC warned Microsoft not to interfere in the investigation.
On July 28, Microsoft faced sudden raid by regulators.
SAIC said that they have carried out an anti-monopoly
investigation into Vice President Mary Snapp and other Microsoft staff.
Jason Ma, NTD Television guest economic commentator:
“I don’t think anti-monopoly is to seek revenge against
the US’s cyber espionage incident,
because this action is not only aimed at Qualcomm
and Microsoft, German car makers are also included.
The Chinese regime also claimed they received
complaints from some companies.
China’s entire economic development is weak
and foreign companies have relied on China’s market.
Thus China takes advantage of its market
to blackmail and attack the foreign companies.
This is in order to support its domestic companies."
Earlier, China’s regulator has investigated into US chip-maker
Qualcomm was alleged of abusing its market position
and gain illegal profits in China.
Qualcomm could face a fine of over $1 billion.
China’s authority confirmed that investigation into Chrysler
in Shanghai and Audi in Hubei Province nearly complete.
The two companies would face a fine soon.
Jason Ma: “Tencent Holding Limited follows the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) closely.
People can tell that Tencent is the monopoly
PetroChina, Sinopec, CNOOC, telecommunication
companies, and banks certainly are monopolies.
The foreign companies actually haven’t taken up
a large percentage of the market in China.
These companies lead the market with its advanced
technology, establishing advantages.
For example, customers need to purchase Qualcomm’s chip
patent, this is recognized around the world.
However, the CCP wants to support its mobile phone industry,
using this way to force Qualcomm to profit share."
Frank Xie, Professor at University of South Carolina Aiken
believes these foreign companies in China cannot
be classified as monopolies.
The CCP’s actions manifest that its internal struggle
became very intensified.
Frank Xie: “The CCP raided German companies at the same
time as the US and other countries on different products and
sectors in China, which obviously did not look like a purely
economic or commercial action but rather a political action.
In other words, the CCP internal struggle has intensified,
it is possibly related to people in one faction who obtained
benefits from joint-venture companies.
It caused another faction to counter attack.
It is a reflection of the CCP’s internal political struggle,
but not a commercial or anti-monopolistic action."
On August 4, the Chicago Tribune reported that a global
food company OSI Group’s Shanghai plant reportedly sells
Chicago Tribune reminded its readers that “it’s tricky
to do business in an authoritarian state."
The report says that China “is an inherently unpredictable
partner because there are no checks on power.
The CCP controls all, from the food safety inspection system
to the judiciary, fom news organizations to social media.
So it’s difficult to anticipate how the government will act
at any given moment, because political considerations
can influence any situation."
Interview/ChenHan Edit/ChenJie Post-Production/LiYong