Shanghai's regulator charged GM's joint venture in China with monopolistic pricing of certain models. As Fred Katayama reports, it may be a warning sign to the incoming Trump administration.
China slapped a $29 million fine on a GM joint venture for monopolistic pricing, according to CCTV. The report said Shanghai's regulator charged the venture with China's SAIC Motor set minimum prices on certain Cadillac, Chevy and Buick models. The move comes after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump questioned the "One China" policy and named a hardliner on trade with China as his trade adviser. But sources say this specific probe was already underway before Trump's recent comments. And other foreign auto joint ventures have also been subject to penalties in the past. But the timing of the move raises fears Beijing could be using the case to send a warning to the incoming administration. General Motors said in a statement, "GM fully respects local laws and regulations where we operate. We will provide full support to our joint venture in China to ensure that all responsive and appropriate actions are taken with respect to this matter." The fine is just a fraction of GM's $152 billion in annual revenue. But China's car market - the world's largest - is key for foreign automakers. For GM, it accounts for more than a third of its vehicle sales and a fifth of its profit.