Date
26 May 2017
Anna Wu says the Competition Commission has received more than 500 inquiries and complaints about price competition issues since the new law went into effect on Monday. Photos: HKEJ, Wen Wei Po
Anna Wu says the Competition Commission has received more than 500 inquiries and complaints about price competition issues since the new law went into effect on Monday. Photos: HKEJ, Wen Wei Po

New competition law sparks aggressive price cuts

Price cutting on electronics and other consumer products greeted Hong Kong’s Competition Ordinance which went into effect on Monday.

Sky Post is reporting that many stores launched cut-price promotions, offering up to a 40 percent discount.

The aggressive offers came mainly from sportswear retailers in Mong Kok, the newspaper reported, citing its own survey.

A pair of Nike Air Max sneakers which retails for HK$1,469 (US$190) were going for HK$879.

The price of Adidas ZX750 shoes were being slashed to HK$489 from HK$699.

Discounts on certain sportswear were being advertised at “20 percent off for two” and “30 percent off for three”.

A sports store manager said he has never seen such cut-throat behavior in the industry.

Insiders attributed it to a slowing economy and the new ordinance which seeks to stop price fixing, bid-rigging and other anti-competitive practices.

Meanwhile, the price of unleaded gas was unchanged.

Asked whether oil resellers were in breach of the ordinance by not lowering prices, Anna Wu Hung-yuk (胡紅玉), who chairs the Competition Commission, said such violations are decided not only by pricing but also by proof of conspiracy.

The commission said it had received more than 500 inquiries and complaints about price competition issues as of Monday.

Wu said the number was a big increase compared with the level before the ordinance, showing more people have become aware of it.

Also, the commission is dealing several applications for exemption, she said.

Wu reminded businesses to think carefully before filing for exemption to avoid potential legal issues in the future.

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TL/JP/RA

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