Zhang Xinzhu Dismissed from AMC Expert Committee

Xinhua reported on August 12 2014 that  the State Council Antimonopoly Commission today fired Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Zhang Xinzhu 张昕竹as a member of its expert advisory panel.  The official reason given was violating AMC expert advisory committee discipline. Zhang claimed the real reason was that he was speaking for foreign firms. Subsequent press reports have identified the relevant conflict of interest rules that Zhang is alleged to have violated. The relevant ethical code (enacted September 2008) is said to be “In order to protect the reputation of the experts committee, members cannot participate and effectuate activities conflicting with the interests of the experts committee; without the consent of the experts committee, they cannot use their title as a member of the experts committee to engage in activities unrelated to the work of the work of the experts committee” 《国务院反垄断委员会专家咨询组工作规则》第三章工作纪律中,第十三条规定了专家咨询组成员工作守则,其中第(三)项明确规定:“维护专家咨询组的声誉,不得从事与履行专家咨询组职责利益冲突的活动;未经国务院反垄断委员会同意,不得以专家咨询组成员身份从事与履行专家咨询组职责无关的活动。The conflict of interest appears to be that Zhang is identified as the second listed author of an AML report “Concerning Economic Evidence of Qualcomm’s Licensing Prices” “关于高通许可定价的经济学证据.”

This issue also continues to play out in the Chinese media and the facts remain unclear. Fortunately thus far it appears to me to be unrelated to efforts to rectify the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from foreign influence. In early August, the South China Morning Post, reported that Zhang Yingwei, head of the party’s discipline inspection office at CASS, said the academy had been “infiltrated by foreign forces” and “was conducting illegal collusion at politically sensitive times”. At the same time, no information has been provided about other ethical issues arising in AML investigations or whether this type of activity had otherwise been tolerated if, as Zhang might be suggesting, it had been conducted on behalf of a Chinese company despite any specific ethical rule.

 

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