BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese vendors who collude to fix prices will face fines of up to 5 million yuan (751,880 U.S. dollars) under new penalties to control prices.
The new penalties, released by China's State Council, or Cabinet, on Friday overturn the previous 1-million-yuan maximum fine for collusion to manipulate prices.
The Revision to the Provisions on Administrative Penalty against Price-Related Unlawful Practices, which was passed on Nov. 29 at the 134th State Council executive meeting, is effective immediately.
The revision imposes stiffer penalties for a range of illegal pricing practices, such as hoarding, price fixing, fabricating information that affects prices and failure to comply with government-set price limits.
The regulation adds "maintaining normal price order" to the previously stated purposes of "penalizing price-related unlawful practices according to the law and protecting the lawful rights and interests of consumers and operators."
The regulation stipulates that anyone who severely disturbs market order and commits a crime will be prosecuted.
The new penalties come as China tries to deal with rising inflation.
China's consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of inflation, rose to a 25-month high of 4.4 percent in October from a year earlier.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said it would release the November CPI figures on Saturday.