China has announced it will hit an unnamed automaker with a penalty for what it’s calling “monopolistic behavior” in the country, according to Reuters.
The news comes at a sensitive time following President-elect Donald Trump‘s recent challenge to the “One China” policy the United States has adhered to for decades. The National Development and Reform Commission stated the news is not in response to Trump’s recent actions but is meant to show it will not tolerate price fixing in the country.
Investigators reportedly have evidence pointing to a U.S. automaker fixing prices beginning in 2014, leading to monopolistic behavior.
General Motors responded to the news saying:
GM fully respects local laws and regulations wherever we operate. We do not comment on media speculation.
This will be the second penalty the NDRC will issue this month and follows fines issued to a variety of automakers since 2011 as part of a national crackdown on monopolies. China has targeted Audi, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and a Nissan joint venture in the past.
China has become an ever-important market for General Motors, specifically with the Buick brand, where it moves hundreds of thousands of vehicles every year between its SAIC joint venture.