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The World's Oldest Monopoly Is Finally Coming To An End

Stashed in: Business Facts, China!, History!, Alibaba, Alibaba, Taste!

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Starting in 2016, China will start liberalizing its nearly 2,600-year-old monopoly on table salt—opening up the world’s oldest monopoly to competition at last.

At the moment, China National Salt Industry Corporation is the only entity allowed to sell table salt in China. And it’s a big business. China produces more of it than any other country, and, if you count the demand from the chemical industry, uses a quarter of all the salt consumed on the planet, reports the China Daily.

In fact, demand is so stiff that contraband salt is a recurrent problem. Since 1994, Beijing had its own special salt monopoly-enforcing police force, which was at one point staffed with more than 25,000 officers, reports Forbes contributor Brian Viard. In 2013, Taobao, Alibaba’s massive online marketplace, and other e-commerce sites launched an illegal salt crackdown to comply with regulations.

I had no idea China had a 2600 year old monopoly. Wow. Is there a history of salt?

Also, amazing that Alibaba cracked down on illegal salt!

There's a huge book on the history of salt?! Whoa.

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