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Hong Kong: Amid historic protests, experts say focus should be on competition rules

 |  October 6, 2014

As protestors continue to call for the resignation of president Xi Jinping to step down, some experts say the demonstrators are focusing on the wrong issues, and should instead look towards the nation’s competition rules.

Financial Times writer Joe Studwell penned an essay arguing that protestors should refocus their efforts on Hong Kong’s economy, which, at present, allows for anticompetitive conduct and cartel behavior. The economic climate, he argues, promotes inequality among Hong Kong residents.

Duopolies exist in the supermarket and pharmaceutical industries, while the bus sector is a cartel. Two monopolies control the city’s energy market.

In recent years, the “Four Families” have come under fire for hiking prices of properties at several times what they cost to develop, reports say.

Hong Kong only implemented its Competition Ordinance and Competition Commission in 2012, and the watchdog is seeking more funding for the future. But some experts say it’s not enough, and little has changed to improve competition in the city.

Full content: Financial Times

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