At the instigation of the China branch of the International Ramen Manufactures Association (IRMA), a dozen Chinese instant noodle brands, such as Master Kong and Uni-President, raised their noodle prices on July 26, the highest rising 40 percent. The joint price hike caught nationwide attention, leading some consumers and lawyers to complain about the instant noodle price hike to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The NDRC, China's top pricing supervision body, ruled that the nationwide price hike for instant noodles was an act of illegal collusion between companies and the industry-based association.
The higher prices instituted by IRMA have "seriously distorted the market order and hampered fair competition in the industry," the NDRC said in a statement on its website.
The statement was issued after the commission created a team to investigate the prices of instant noodles last month.
The NDRC has pledged to nab anyone who colludes to drive up prices amid surging food costs.
Instant noodle prices were brought back to normal on the day after NDRC's notice. The curtain had been drawn on the instant noodle price hike, but people are still pondering the lessons learned from this incident.