The fine, handed down by the Shanghai municipal pricing authority, came amid China's
efforts tonail down inflation that has spiked prices across the country.Unilever China made
remarks that led to the rush buying of consumer goods in some Chinese cities,according
to a statement posted on the website of the National Development and ReformCommission
(NDRC), China's top economic planner and price regulator.
The NDRC statement said that Unilever purposely spread misinformation which caused
consumersto expect massive price increases. This caused sales of Unilever products to
soar, with somesupermarkets reporting sales of Unilever products ten times what they
would normally be."Such moves have severely disrupted the market order," said the
statement.The NDRC said the fine was handed down according to China's pricing laws
Unilever, the world's second-largest consumer goods producer, has postponed price
increasespreviously scheduled to begin on April 1 this year after the NDRC asked
Unilever China's managersto explain the company's remarks.