Levelling the playing field: time to reconsider the treatment of China’s state-owned undertakings in EU competition law?

The economic rise of China, and especially its global initiatives such as Belt and Road Initiative and Made in China 2025 have led to the increased presence of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the global markets. In the field of competition law, the scholars have already exposed a number of challenges posed by the SOE acquisitions for application of the traditional competition law tests deeply rooted in the traditions of the free market and corporate legal personality. The present paper builds upon the ongoing research on the conceptual and procedural challenges raised by the corporate acquisitions and commercial practices of the Chinese SOEs under EU competition law. It will address the following issues : (1) application of the traditional antitrust tests to the commercial conduct of the SOEs; (2) application of the merger control rules to the concentrations involving the SOEs; (3) reliance on antitrust enforcement including the extraterritorial application of competition law.