Competition Law in the Digital Age: Enhancing Australian and Chinese Business Understanding


About the Project 

Deep collaboration on commercial policy and law is crucial for building resilient supply chains between Australia and China. This project aims to enhance the capacity of Australian business to engage confidently with their counterparts in China to tackle shared challenges posed by ongoing and potential supply chain disruptions in a sustainable way. The project will focus on Competition Law in the Digital Age: Enhancing Australian and Chinese Business Understanding. It will engage with policymakers, regulators, businesses and academics in both countries to enable the development of practical solutions and opportunities for on-going collaboration. To achieve its goals, the project will organize two bilateral forums: a conference for stakeholders in the first year, facilitating inclusive discussions on research and policy implications; and a closed-door roundtable in the second year, encouraging frank exchange between authorities, businesses and experts. The project aims to enhance engagement with existing Chinese university partners, establish new collaborations in the Asia-Pacific region, foster mutual understanding between authorities and businesses, and create a dedicated webpage to explain the project and its outcomes.

This research is funded by a research grant from the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations – see below.


Conference | Australia China Business in the Digital Age: Navigating the Rapids

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 key 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.

Sessions involved short presentations with time for questions from the audience. 


Project team

Deborah Healey is a professor and Co-Director of China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre at 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 on 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.

Weihuan Zhou is an associate professor, Co-Director of China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre, and Director of Research at UNSW Law and Justice. His research explores current issues in international economic law, particularly the nexus between international trade law and China. He has published widely in the field of international economic law (IEL), particularly on the nexus between international trade law and China.

He is currently co-Secretary of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) and editorial board member of the Journal of International Trade Law and Policy. He is a qualified lawyer in Australia and consults for governments and major companies on trade remedy cases and other cross-border trade and investment matters.

Dr Xue (Sophia) BAI is a Postdoctoral Fellow at China International Business & Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre, Faculty of Law and Justice, University of New South Wales. Her research explores different government restraints on competition, with a particular focus on how state-owned enterprises (SOEs) interact with competition law and policy. Other research areas include the interaction between sustainability and competition law, the application of competition law in the digital market, competitive neutrality policy, and competition impact assessment. She has published widely in the field, including her recent co-authored article ‘Competitive Neutrality: OECD Recommendations and the Australian Experience’ (2023) 19(2) Journal of Competition Law & Economics. 

Dr Bai was awarded the Concurrences Ph.D. Award in Law 2022, for her thesis ‘Reform of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises - What China Can Learn from the Practice of Competitive Neutrality Policy in Australia’, and her book based on the thesis was published in June 2023. 

Feon Chua is the manager of the China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre at UNSW Law and Justice. She has extensive experience within the higher education sector, having held various positions at UNSW Law and Justice since 2008 including Manager of the Centre for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Team Lead of UNSW Law Student Services. Before joining UNSW, she worked as Administrator, Training and Examination at the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and has experience in the private sector. She received a Bachelor of Media in Writing from Macquarie University.

Alice Hung is an Engagement Administrator for the CIBEL-NFACR project. She is an experienced event coordinator and has 5 years' event coordination experience in the Strategic Events and External Projects Office at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Hong Kong.