Chinese inflation

Why China's bullying is a bad idea

It’s not just because your mother told you not to do it (or should have), it’s because it usually backfires.

On the face of it, China’s actions against consumer product giant Unilever last month looked like a classic case of attack the foreigner. But it wasn’t, it was part of China’s overall bullying tactic.

On May 6, China’s National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful central planning agency, said in a statement that comments by Unilever about possible price rises had “intensified inflationary expectations among consumers” and “seriously distorted market order”, and it fined Unilever Rmb2 million $308,000 for that so-called distortion.

Five days later, the government released data that everyone expected anyway consumer prices rose 5.3% from a year earlier for the month of April. Inflation...

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