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China fines GM unit $29 million for 'price-fixing'
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 24, 2016


BMW to recall nearly 200,000 cars in China
Beijing (AFP) Dec 26, 2016 - German luxury carmaker BMW will recall nearly 200,000 vehicles in China because of flawed airbags, according to the country's quality regulator and the company.

Some 168,861 imported cars produced between December 2005 and December 2011, and 24,750 vehicles produced locally between July 2005 and December 2011 will be recalled, according to a statement posted Friday on the official website of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (ASDIQ).

Gas generators in the defective airbags of the recalled cars could break unexpectedly, creating debris that poses a threat to riders' safety, ASDIQ said.

The company will replace the flawed gas generators in the airbags for free, it said.

Earlier this month, BMW China said they would recall some 22,543 imported BMW and Rolls-Royce vehicles also with flawed airbags.

The airbags in some imported BMW and Rolls-Royce cars produced between 2011 and 2012 might not deploy properly due to a programming error, the company said.

Beijing has fined the Chinese unit of General Motors nearly $29 million for "infringing on the rights of consumers and its competitors" via price-fixing, Shanghai authorities said.

SAIC-GM -- a joint venture between the American company and the state-owned SAIC Motor Corporation, China's biggest automaker by production volume -- has been ordered to cough up 201 million yuan ($28.9 million), approximately four percent of its mainland sales last year, Shanghai's top development and economic reform body said on their website in a Friday statement.

"The fine is fair. We just aim to improve market order," the state-owned China Daily newspaper cited Xu Xinyu, the official in charge of the GM investigation, as saying.

"SAIC-GM will respect the views of the National Development and Reform Commission," a spokesperson from the company said Friday, according to Chinese website Today's Economic News.

It is the second time in weeks China has slapped a multi-million dollar fine on a US company for alleged monopolistic pricing behaviour, the paper added.

Earlier this month, the country's top economic regulator issued a 119 million yuan ($17.1 million) fine to Medtronic, an American supplier of high-end medical devices.

As of Friday, China has issued 2.25 billion yuan in fines to automakers since 2014, according to the China Daily.

The penalty comes in the midst of a war of words between US President-elect Donald Trump and Chinese media, after the billionaire Republican businessman suggested he may reject the One China policy unless Beijing makes concessions on trade and other matters.

Trump, who takes office on January 20, has also repeatedly threatened to slap 45 percent tariffs on Chinese exports to the US.

He has picked outspoken China critic Peter Navarro to head the White House National Trade Council, a new office that will oversee trade and industrial policy -- leading Chinese media reports on Friday to state that Beijing ought to prepare for a potential trade war.

rld/fa

MEDTRONIC

SAIC MOTOR

GENERAL MOTORS


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