LLAW6264 Competition law and policy in China

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6264 /JDOC6264
Course name: Competition Law and Policy in China
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

The unveiling of the Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”) on August 30, 2007 marked a symbolic commencement of a new era of competition for China.  Long heralded as the economic constitution, the AML is the first modern competition law adopted in China.  Although China only began to enforce the law in 2008, Chinese administrative antitrust agencies have not shied away from bringing high-profile cases with lasting impact on both the domestic and global markets.  For instance, in 2015, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) imposed a record-high fine against Qualcomm for charging excessive licensing fees in China, fueling speculation that China is using its competition policy to protect domestic industries from foreign competition.  However, the AML has not only been applied to foreign firms.  Chinese domestic firms, including state-owned firms, are also frequent targets under the law.

This course aims to provide students with a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the AML and its enforcement practice by situating the discussion in the broader institutional context of the Chinese political economy.  It covers all the substantive aspects of the AML, including horizontal agreements, vertical agreements, abuse of dominance, concentrations, and abuse of administrative monopoly.  It also covers the procedural aspects of the AML, including the enforcement structure, the administrative agencies, the courts, the merger review process, remedies, leniency and fines, and the newly introduced fair competition review system.  More specifically, this course will introduce students to the major investigations brought by the administrative agencies and the leading cases decided by the Chinese courts in civil litigations.  It will conduct a critical evaluation of the enforcement record by Chinese enforcement agencies and will compare enforcement practices in China and those in other major jurisdictions, such as the EU and the United States.  To help students understand the pattern of enforcement, this course will also examine the forces that have propelled the active enforcement of the AML in recent years.

This course encourages active class participation.  When appropriate, experienced practitioners and enforcers will be invited to share with students their experience and insights with Chinese antitrust practice.  The course aims to develop skills that will be of benefit to those students who seek to enter professional practice after their degree, and those who would prefer a career in business.  A range of practical skills will be developed including the ability to think broadly beyond just solving legal problems to considering how global businesses can adapt to the new regulatory environment in China.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Angela Zhang angelaz@hku.hk CCT 913 By email


2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Understand the substantive and procedural aspects of the AML, including restrictive agreements, abuse of dominance, merger review and administrative monopoly.

CLO 2 Demonstrate an awareness of the main antitrust legislation and regulations in China.

CLO 3 Apply the provisions of the AML to analyze new legal contexts.

CLO 4 Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of the AML on global businesses.

CLO 5 Demonstrate an awareness of how the various institutional factors could influence the enforcement outcome of the AML.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 3  ✓
CLO 4  ✓
CLO 5  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation N/A 10% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Take home exam TBC 90% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  *Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by convenor.

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by the convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.