China has fined Japanese auto parts makers a record 1.235 billion yuan ($201 million) for manipulating prices as the government steps up its enforcement of an anti-trust law that has targeted major corporations and revived protectionism concerns.
The fines, the largest so far meted out by the pricing regulator, the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), follow a global crack down including in the United States and Europe on price collusion in the auto parts sector, which has also mostly affected Japanese companies.
In China, parts maker Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd was the hardest hit by the NDRC with a 290.4 million yuan fine.
Denso Corp and Mitsubishi Electric Corp were also among the 12 auto parts makers the NDRC said its investigation showed had colluded to reduce competition and establish favorable pricing on their products.
The agreements were in violation of China’s anti-monopoly law and “improperly affected the pricing for auto parts, entire vehicles and bearings”, the NDRC said in a statement published on its website on Wednesday.