China’s Ministry of Transport has fined 21 shipping companies operating on Sino-Japan routes have been fined for violating international regulations on fair competition.
The accumulated amount of the fines totals in USD 684,000 (RMB 4.25 million), the ministry said.
The ministry of transport announced that the companies fined were found to have offered lower-than-normal market prices to their customers, disrupting the average market rates.
The move follows an investigation launched by the ministry in 2014 that found that certain shipping companies operating on the route had offered lower market prices to attract clients, thus breaching fair competition rules.
The government urged shipping lines, both domestic and international, to operate based on fair competition regulations in order to maintain a “sustainable and healthy growth” of the industry.
The group of companies that have been fined includes some renowned market players such as Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL), Evergreen Marine, Sinotrans Container Lines, Yang Ming Marine and China Shipping Container Lines among others.
State-run shipping companies Cosco, China Shipping and Sinotrans formed the C3 alliance last year to jointly operate container services on Japanese routes. However it was opposed by a group of Chinese shipowners which operate on the same routes and claimed that the alliance has violated the fair competition regulations.