China

On July 15, 2022, China’s antitrust authority SAMR announced a three-year pilot program beginning August 1, 2022 to delegate the review of certain simplified-procedure merger filings that the agency currently handles on its own, to five of its local branches (“AMRs”) in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Chongqing, and Shaanxi.  Each of the five local AMRs will be responsible for a specific geographic area (“Territory”) within China.  This is the first step to implement China’s “categorized and classified” merger control review regime under the new Anti-Monopoly Law.[1]

Antitrust enforcement in labor markets has become a focus of the U.S. antitrust regulators in recent years, with particular scrutiny on agreements between employers not to recruit or solicit each other’s employees—so-called “no poach” agreements.  In a recent decision, a court in China held no‑poach and employee compensation-fixing agreements to be illegal, the first such court decision in the country.  The court’s decision, however, reveals the difficulties in analyzing no-poach agreements within China’s existing antitrust regime and analytical framework.  This article provides an overview of the Chinese court’s reasoning in its recent decision and a comparative assessment to the approach in the United States.