Evaluating the Effectiveness of China’s Current Leniency Policy
Clare Ye | Tencent Research Institute, Institute of International Law, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
This chapter critically evaluates the effectiveness of China’s current leniency policy in fighting cartels. It considers the lack of individual accountability for cartels, highlights the risks of over-reliance on the leniency policy to fight cartels and points out certain aspects of China’s leniency policy that exhibit inconsistency and lack predictability. Drawing on lessons from overseas experiences, this chapter proposes that China should limit leniency to non-coercers or non-ringleaders only, establish a more structured and consistent program, and recognize and avoid the risk of over-reliance on the leniency policy in combating cartels. Additional resources and enforcement efforts are crucially needed for China to reach and maintain a rigorous enforcement level against cartels that is separate from the leniency policy, which will make leniency more effective.