11 May '11, 4pm

China's Unilever fine a warning to others: experts

China's Unilever fine a warning to others: experts

BEIJING : China's decision to fine consumer products giant Unilever over planned price hikes sends a warning to other companies and highlights the growing anxiety in Beijing about soaring costs, analysts say. The rare move to slap a two million yuan ($308,000) fine on the Anglo-Dutch firm also shows the challenges faced by companies selling daily household necessities in a country obsessed with social stability, they said. The National Development and Reform Commission -- China's powerful economic planning agency -- said Friday that Unilever had "illegally disseminated news of price hikes" which sparked panic-buying of shampoo and detergents in March. "This is a very unusual measure. I think it is a way of scaring companies to think twice before they raise prices," Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai, told AFP. Unilever said it would "t...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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