China has imposed a fine totaling $29 million USD (201 million yuan) on Shanghai General Motors — GM’s primary joint venture in the country — for violating anti-monopoly laws. The fine comes on the heels of reports that the Chinese government was investigating an automaker exhibiting “anti-competitive” behavior.
According to the Shanghai Price Bureau, Shanghai GM — a joint venture between General Motors and state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp., unlawfully suppressed competition by enforcing minimum prices dealers could charge for Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick vehicles.
“GM fully respects local laws and regulations wherever we operate,” General Motors said in a news release. “We will provide full support to our joint venture in China to ensure that all responsive and appropriate actions are taken with respect to this matter.”
The fine comes on the heels of heated comments by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump about the relations between the United States and China. Earlier this week, Trump’s transition team announced that Peter Navarro will head a newly-created national trade council. A professor at the University of California-Irvine, 67-year-old Navarro has been an outspoken critic of China’s trade policy with the U.S., having referred to China as “the planet’s most efficient assassin” and a “totally totalitarian” state.
At the present moment, there is no clear evidence that China’s fine against Shanghai GM is in retaliation for Navarro’s appointment or for comments made by him or by President-elect Trump.