March 13, 2018 / 3:21 AM / 9 months ago

China plans new competition regulator in government revamp

BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) - China will form a powerful new competition regulator in a bid to ramp up oversight of mergers and acquisitions and price-fixing as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to make policymaking more efficient and coordinated.

In much-anticipated plans to create seven new ministries and a raft of government agencies announced on Tuesday, one of the most significant changes was creation of the national markets supervision management bureau.

The new body will decide on antimonopoly and pricing issues, replacing the roles played by the three national antitrust regulators: the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).

Unifying the structure under one agency, rather than handing the responsibility to one of the three existing watchdogs, reflects the growing importance of the issue for the government.

The restructuring comes as President Xi Jinping vowed to make the economy more responsive to market forces and shift to consumer-focused investment from a state-led model.

The new agency will also take on the roles of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) as well the China Food and Drug Administration. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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