Unilever Learns The Hard Way What Happens When You Raise Prices In China


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China slapped a $307,000 fine on Unilever this weekend for “fabricating market information over a possible price hike of household chemical products,” according to Caixin.Unilever’s announcements had strengthened expectations of further price hikes, and set off panic-buying of household chemical products in some cities, the National Development & Reform Commission said on its website.

Unilever humbly responded with a statement that it respects the government’s decision.

This is a pattern we’ve seen several times. A global multinational tries to raise prices in China; the corporation is accused of criminal activity; the corporation humbly apologizes. Tacit price controls are a cost of doing business in China.

Earlier this year Walmart and Carrefour were fined for fraudulent pricing practices.

Last year when iron ore prices climbed too high, China arrested Rio Tinto execs for espionage.

See 17 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind About China >