The European Union and the USA are to launch formal proceedings at the World Trade Organization to open the market to financial information.  Currently China’s news agency Xinhua is China’s regulator and also a commercial news provider, thus an arch rival of Western news organizations.   Companies such as Reuters, Dow Jones and Bloomberg that sell financial data are barred from selling directly to Chinese clients, in effect requiring them to work through Xinhua.  Nevertheless Xinhua had not acted against international financial news providers, even though they have been operating de facto without a business license.  Therefore industry insiders wondered what caused the EU and the USA to take such action at this point in time.  

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce however reacted in a relatively mild fashion to the complaint stating that it would study the issue and handle it in accordance with WTO dispute resolution procedures.  The conciliatory tone has fueled hopes within the EU and the USA that a compromise may be reached on this issue.

Source: Financial Times

BIIA Newsletter March 2008 Issue