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More Behind US Anti-dumping Charge
A United States anti-dumping lawsuit against Chinese and Malaysian TV makers is trying to do more than protect a local market - it is an attempt to defend the global share of multinational companies.

The allegation was made yesterday by Li Yong, president of the overseas operation department of Xiahua, one of China's major TV makers, which is based in Fujian Province.

US TV manufacturer Five Rivers Electronic Innovations and two labor unions, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Union of Electrical, Electronic, Furniture and Salaried Workers, formally accused color TV manufacturers in China and Malaysia of unfair trade practices on May 2.

Most of China's major TV manufacturers are affected, including Haier, Changhong, Konka and Skyworth.

Li claimed that there were no probable grounds for the case.

He said except for six small TV makers, the United States does not have enterprises which produce complete sets and it does not have any of its own color TV brands.

The Five River Electronic Co is not a TV manufacturer but produces projection TV shells. It means the company cannot initiate the lawsuit, Li said.

When analyzing reasons for the case, he said the lawsuit may have been prompted by a rapid increase in sales of Chinese TVs on the world market.

For instance, Changhong, a famous local color TV manufacturer, raised its exports from 200,000 sets in 2001 to 3 million in 2002.

The expansion has threatened rivals from the United States and Europe. To protect the benefits of multinational companies, the complaint was filed, Li alleged.

According to a reliable source, Philips, a well-known European-based manufacturer of colour TVs, is a large share holder of the Five River Electronic Co.

And the other two organizations have close business relationships with Philips and Thomason, which are both multinational companies.

China's exports of household electrical appliances grew about 37 percent in the first three months of this year over the corresponding period in 2002.

The United States has become the largest market for Chinese color TVs. At the same time, the market share of multinational companies has been decreasing.

Xiahua is not among the list of Chinese TV makers involved in the case.

(China Daily May 22, 2003)

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