EU may challenge China's financial information rules in WTO news
05 February 2008

Mumbai: The European Commission proposes to refer to the World Trade Organisation what it considers as "unfair treatment of financial information providers in China".

In a notice posted in the official register, EC official referred to a proposal by EU trade officials for a request to the WTO for the launch of a dispute settlement procedure.

The commission has moved the proposal, dated January 25, to other EC departments.

The EU and the United States have long been complaining about China's policies on financial information providers and have threatened to approach the WTO for remedial action.

Both EU and the US object to China's rules that require financial information providers like Reuters and Bloomberg to operate in that country only through Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

"While no final decision has yet been reached on whether to request WTO consultations, we have started to prepare for such an eventuality should our current approach not yield results soon," reports quoting an EC official said, adding, time is running out for a negotiated solution.

Xinhua was given sole power in September 2006 to regulate media organisations, including Bloomberg LP, Dow Jones & Co. and Reuters Group Plc to distribute news in China, while competing with them to sell information.

China has maintained strict controls on the news media. The country ranked 163rd in the 2007 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, just above Myanmar, Cuba and Iran, with Eritrea at the bottom in 169th place.

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EU may challenge China's financial information rules in WTO