【英语中国】“涨价”二字在中国说不得?

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所属分类:双语中国

2011-5-9 21:04

小艾摘要: With increases in raw material and input costs, many consumer product companies have either announced price hikes or said they're a real possibility.Typically, consumers will groan at the prospect and ...
With increases in raw material and input costs, many consumer product companies have either announced price hikes or said they're a real possibility.Typically, consumers will groan at the prospect and simply tell companies what they think with their wallets.

For companies, those comments are usually made to prepare consumers, investors, and the media for changes, but not with the intention of causing a run on supplies. As WSJ's Beijing bureau reports, China's National Development and Reform Commission has fined Unilever $308,000 for comments it made in March about raising prices on detergent in order to counter rising raw material costs. Those comments, the Commission said, triggered a run on detergent as Chinese consumers tried to stock up before a price hike:

The NDRC said Unilever's announcement of planned price increases 'had intensified consumer expectations of price hikes' and 'seriously distorted market order.'

The commission also scolded Unilever for answering numerous requests from the Chinese media about its plans, causing 'panic buying' in some cities. Unilever's actions had violated China's pricing laws, the agency said, adding 'this has been clearly determined with solid evidence.'

The NDRC said it will 'severely' punish any attempts by companies to collude on price increases. The NDRC statement didn't cite evidence of collusion in the Unilever case, however.

The penalties could have been worse for Unilever. The pricing agency noted that the maximum fine under pricing regulations is 3 million yuan and that severe violations could lead to a suspension of operations.

A 3 million yuan fine would have translated to roughly $460,000.

随着原材料和投入成本的增加,很多消费品公司要么已宣布涨价,要么表示极有可能涨价。一般来说,消费者对即将发生的涨价会有抱怨,并会根据自己的实际购买力对这些公司作出反馈。

但在通胀敏感的中国,仅是口头提一提涨价就明显构成了应该受到处罚的违法行为。这基本上是联合利华(Unilever)前不久的经历。

对公司来说,之所以做出有关涨价的言论,通常是让消费者、投资者和媒体为涨价做好思想准备,但无意引发抢购潮。正如《华尔街日报》驻北京记者所报道的,联合利华今年3月为应对原材料成本上涨而表示计划上调日化产品价格,中国国家发展和改革委员会因这番言论对联合利华处以200万人民币的罚款。发改委说,这些言论引发了日化用品的抢购风,因为中国消费者试图在涨价前囤积这些商品。

发改委说,联合利华打算涨价的言论增强了消费者的涨价预期,严重扰乱了市场秩序。

发改委还对联合利华有关负责人接受多家媒体采访的行为表示谴责,称这种行为引发部分城市发生日化产品抢购。发改委说,联合利华的行为违反了中国《价格法》,“事实清楚,证据确凿”。

发改委说,将“严肃”查处串通涨价等不法行为。不过,发改委未在联合利华一案中例举该公司存在串通涨价行为的证据。

对联合利华的罚款并不算最严重的处罚。发改委指出,根据《价格法》,罚款金额最高可达人民币300万元,情节严重的还将责令停业整顿。

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