Private Ordering in Chinese Antitrust with Dr. Angela Zhang
This article begins with an inquiry into why there is a rarity of private challenges of decisions made by the Chinese antitrust authorities. The legal approach to the study of administrative law, which has received most academic attention, has not been able to provide a satisfactory answer to this question. To resolve this puzzle, this article draws attention to the factors beyond the law, particularly the reputation sanction that Chinese antitrust agencies can strategically inflict on firms under their investigations. Based on event study methodology, Dr. Zhang identifies significant abnormal stock returns in response to an antitrust agency’s proactive public disclosure of its investigation. As the regulator has the discretion in deciding whether and when to disclose its investigation, this gives it significant clout in influencing the stock performance of firms subject to its investigation. In addition, Dr. Zhang hand-collected data from 860 news articles on three high-profile antitrust cases and identified an editorial slant that can further inflate the reputation damage to these firms. A close review of these news articles reveals that such bias stems not only from supply but also demand factors. This article contributes to several strands of research, particularly on the use of reputation sanction in regulation, the role of media in legal enforcement, and the limits of law in resolving administrative disputes in China.
About the speaker
Dr Angela Zhang is a Senior Lecturer in competition law and trade (Associate Professor equivalent) at King’s. Her research focuses on applying economic analysis to the study of transnational legal issues. Specifically, she seeks to explore how institutional factors drive the legal outcomes affecting global businesses. She is currently working on two empirical projects: one on the clash between antitrust and China and the other on the behaviour of EU judges.
Angela’s work has been published by academic journals including Stanford Journal of International Law, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Cornell International Law Journal and Journal of Competition Law and Economics. In 2014, she received the Concurrence Antitrust Writing Award for her study on bureaucratic politics in Chinese antitrust law. In 2015, her work on EU judges was chosen to be presented at the Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum. Angela is also frequently invited to speak at antitrust conferences in the United States, Europe and Asia. Her research has attracted media inquiries from The Economist, The New York Times and Reuters, and she regularly contributes op-eds to the popular press.
Before joining academia, Angela practiced bankruptcy law at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York and antitrust law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels. She also has practice experience in Beijing, Hong Kong and London. She was admitted to the New York bar in 2009.
Angela received her LLB from Peking University in 2004 and her JSD (2011), JD (2008) and LLM (2006) from the University of Chicago Law School. While at Chicago, she wrote her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Judge Richard A Posner.
About the series
This seminar is part of the Law & Economics Workshop series. The King's Law & Economic Workshop, directed by Dr Angela Huyue Zhang, is a forum devoted to discussing the latest research in law and economics featuring both external and internal speakers. The Workshop aims to promote interdisciplinary research, and to foster collaboration between law professors and scholars from other disciplines.
Anyone with a keen interest in law and economics is welcome, yet potential attendees should bear in mind that we prefer to commence substantive conversation as quickly as possible without much in the way of presentation by the guest. Taking a look at the paper in advance is, therefore, advisable.