The First Chinese Court Decision on Antitrust Issues in Labor Markets

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Antitrust enforcement in labor markets has become a focus of the U.S. antitrust regulators in recent years, with particular scrutiny on agreements between employers not to recruit or solicit each other’s employees—so-called “no poach” agreements. In a recent decision, a court in China held no-poach and employee compensation-fixing agreements to be illegal, the first such court decision in the country. The court’s decision, however, reveals the difficulties in analyzing no-poach agreements within China’s existing antitrust regime and analytical framework. This article provides an overview of the Chinese court’s reasoning in its recent decision and a comparative assessment to the approach in the United States.