CIBEL-NFACR Conference | Session 1: Digital Economy and Competition in China and Australia

Opening Remarks

Deputy CEO, National Foundation for Australia China Relations (NFACR) 澳中基金会

Session 1: Digital Economy and Competition in China and Australia

The dynamic nature of the digital environment impacts all aspects of business, and particularly international trade. Traditional approaches to issues of market power posed by digital giants and other market players requires reconsideration of traditional competition laws and their economic assessment tools.  Crucial issues such as assessment of market power, market definition, network effects and analysis of conduct such as killer acquisitions, platform self-preferencing, tying and bundling take on a new dimension in the digital environment. Newer legislation outside competition laws is being enacted globally to deal with some of the more intractable problem areas. This session addressed both Australia and China’s legislative approaches to these problem areas, their practical impacts on business, and what business could do to navigate the environment.


Professor Liyang Hou

Dr Liyang Hou is professor of competition law and director of Coase Law and Economics Centre at KoGuan School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China). He obtained the doctoral degree at Faculty of Law, Catholic University Leuven (Belgium). His research covers a variety of legal domains, including competition law, digital regulation, EU law and economic analysis of law. Liyang has published about 10 books and more than 80 articles in referred journals, and received multiple academic awards. He serves as an antitrust expert at China’s State Administration for Market and Regulation. In the past years Liyang has been extensively involved in enforcing and amending competition law in China. He constantly offers consultancy to international companies, such as Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba, TikTok. He is now working on a national key project about competition and regulation in the digital economy.

Yan Yu

Yan Yu is a Partner of RBB Economics with more than 15 years’ experience in providing economic advice on competition matters. Yan has experience in a wide range of sectors including mining, aviation, healthcare, energy, advertising, retailing, entertainment, and transport. Yan regularly contributes to the capacity building of the competition law development in Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong and other Asian jurisdictions.

Since joining RBB in 2006, Yan has been involved in many high-profile competition cases before both the European Commission and national authorities including in the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, and China. That experience includes advising on in-depth Phase II merger investigations, alleged abuse of dominance matters, and investigations of agreements.

Yan advised many international clients on merger notifications in China including WABCO/ZF, Essilor/Luxottica, Dow/Dupont, FedEx/TNT, Shell/BG, Coca-Cola/Chuliangwang, Wilmar/Kemira, Samsung/Corning JV, and others.

Yan was retained by SAMR (and MOFCOM) to provide economic advice on high-profile mergers and acquisitions including Applied Material/TEL, and MediaTek/MStar, as well as abuse of dominance matters.

Yan regularly delivers competition seminars on timely issues to leading law firms, industry bodies, and competition authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong. In 2020, Yan was retained by SAMR to formulate the standards of economic analysis and submission in AML cases.

Yan is a regular lecturer at SAMR (previously SAIC, NDRC and MOFCOM), and has delivered lectures on many antitrust economic topics to national and provincial competition bureaus in China.

As a regular conference speaker in Asia Pacific, Yan has contributed to various GCR, ACF, CIIAI and Concurrent conferences in the region.

Ms Kate Reader

Kate Reader has been the General Manager of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Branch (formally the Digital Platform Inquiry) since 2017. The original inquiry looked at the impact of social media platforms, search engines and other digital content aggregators on the media and advertising markets. The current 5 year Inquiry requires 6 monthly reports to the Treasurer on various digital platform services.

Ms Reader has previously been a Director of Merger Investigations, a Principal Lawyer and a Director of the Mobile and Consumer Engagement at the ACCC.  Ms Reader has worked across a number of significant issues including international mergers, NBN related matters, mobile roaming and gas and electricity matters.

Prior to joining the ACCC, Ms Reader was a Principal Lawyer at the Australian Communication and Media Authority. She also worked in regulatory roles at Ofgem and the Office of Rail and Road in the United Kingdom. Kate has Bachelor degrees in Law and Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in EC Competition Law from Kings College London


Deborah Healey headshot

Deborah Healey is a professor at UNSW Law and a co-director of China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre, UNSW Law & Justice. Her research and teaching focus on competition law and policy in Australia, China, Hong Kong and the ASEAN nations and she has written widely on them over a long period of time. She is a regular visitor to those jurisdictions to research and teach. Within the area of competition law, she is particularly interested in the role of government in the market, both in Australia and internationally; merger regulation; competition in banking and finance; and the digital economy. Deborah has undertaken substantial research in the development of the Anti-Monopoly Law of China against the background of its political economy and has written widely alone and with Chinese co-authors and in material translated into Chinese. She has consulted with, and completed research projects for, UNCTAD, OECD and ASEAN. She is a Non-Government Adviser to the International Competition Network and a member of the Law Council of Australia Competition Law Committee.

About CIBEL-NFACR Conference

Australia China Business in the Digital Age: Navigating the Rapids

CIBEL-NFACR Conference

The digital environment has radically changed the way that global supply chains operate. This conference brings together experts and business operators from Australia and China to discuss frameworks, developments and pain points with the aim of enabling businesses in Australia and China to deal more confidently with their counterparts overseas. It also aims to facilitate further collaboration and opportunities. It focuses on four important areas: competition law, which applies to businesses but has had particular impact on digital players; trade law, which sets many of the rules of engagement for global business; digital finance, an important and essential element of trade and commerce; and dispute resolution, which focuses on what to do when the deal goes wrong.

See the full program here


The ‘Competition Law in the Digital Age: Enhancing Australian and Chinese Business Understanding' project is supported by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. UNSW CIBEL is proud to be a National Foundation for Australia-China Relations grant recipient.