Aux Group sues MII over mobile access

25 Oct 2004

Aux Group, a private Chinese company which manufacturers electrical products for the domestic market, is suing the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) over what it sees as the state’s practice of restricting access to the mobile phone market, according to the Financial Times. Aux Group claims that the MII’s decision to bar it from selling cellphones under its own brand name is in direct violation of recently passed legislation designed to free up China’s overly bureaucratic economy. The law, which took effect in July, is part of a series of new rules brought in to harmonise China with legislative norms for membership of the World Trade Organisation, by reducing the state’s control on certain sectors of the economy. If Aux Group wins the landmark case it could establish a crucial precedent for other companies wishing to sidestep the state’s sometimes arbitrary micro-management of the nation’s industries. However, the highly unusual case could fall at the first hurdle as the courts are seemingly unsure whether to try it – the MII is a high profile and highly influential central government agency, and it is extremely rare for a private company to sue the government.