Tetra Pak probed by China for ‘market abuse’

China is investigating global packaging giant Tetra Pak for "abusing" its dominant market role, an official said Friday, the latest in a series of probes aimed at foreign companies.

The head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce gave no

specific details of the inquiry, but said it covered 20 provinces and cities.

“The administration has filed a case against Tetra Pak on suspicion of

abusing its market controlling position,” Zhang Mao was quoted as saying at a

meeting, according to a transcript posted online.

Tetra Pak China, whose parent is headquartered in Switzerland, confirmed a

request for information by the government and said it was cooperating. A spokesman for the firm declined to comment further.

Tetra Pak has more than 23,000 employees and its packages are available in

170 countries. It is part of the private Tetra Laval group, which is owned by the Swedish Rausing family.

According to Forbes’ latest billionaires list, four members of the family are among Sweden’s six richest people. Several of them live in Britain.

News of the investigation came after state media said earlier this week that another Chinese government agency has launched an “anti-monopoly” investigation into several foreign baby formula makers over high prices.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, is targeting Nestle unit Wyeth Nutrition, France’s Danone, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories and Dutch firm Royal FrieslandCampina.

Chinese consumers prefer foreign brand dairy products following a 2008 scandal in which tainted baby formula killed six children and sickened more than 300,000.

The NDRC also said this week it would investigate 60 pharmaceutical companies over their pricing, including several joint ventures with foreign firms, among them Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline.

Tetra Pak’s products include packaging for milk. The company has supplied Chinese dairy giant Mengniu and participated in a programme to boost sustainable dairy farming in China, company statements showed.

Tetra Pak entered the China market in 1972, according to its website. It

has a research centre in Shanghai and packaging material plants in several

Chinese cities.

AFP/The Local/pr

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Sweden’s Volvo Cars may merge with Chinese owner Geely

Sweden's Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner Geely announced on Monday that they are considering merging into a single group in order to share resources, but would preserve their separate brands.

Sweden's Volvo Cars may merge with Chinese owner Geely
File photo of a Volvo test-drive. Photo: Christine Olsson / TT

The merged firm “would have the scale, knowledge and resources to be a leader in the ongoing transformation of the automotive industry,” they said in a statement.

“The combination would preserve the distinct identity of each of the brands Volvo, Geely, Lynk & Co and Polestar,” they added.

Geely bought Volvo in 2010 from Ford which hadn't been able to turn around the Swedish automaker. But under the Chinese firm Volvo has rebounded and smashed its sales records.

Volvo sold more than 705,000 vehicles in 2019, besting the record it set in 2018 by 10 percent, and the automaker expects continued growth this year.

The statement said the firms would create a joint working group to prepare a proposal for the boards of both firms.

“A combined company would have access to the global capital market through Hong Kong and with the intention to subsequently list in Stockholm as well,” it added.

Volvo put off a share listing in 2018 due to tensions in global markets.