Chinese and foreign companies are equal in front of China’s anti-monopoly law, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said on Saturday in response to recent probes into a number of foreign firms.

These investigations target monopolistic practices in general and aim to promote fair competition and protect consumer interests, said Shen Danyang.

Both domestic and foreign firms must bear the due liabilities if they break the law, Shen said.

China’s probes into multinationals including Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft and U.S. chip maker Qualcomm have made headlines in the past few weeks.

Under the Anti-Monopoly Law of China, which came into force in 2008, enterprises involved in monopolies may be fined between 1 and 10 percent of their total sales of the previous year.

“Looking back at the past six years after the Anti-Monopoly Law took effect, both domestic and foreign firms have been probed according to the law,” according to the spokesman.

Shen said foreign-invested firms have played an active role in China’s social and economic development over the past three decades.

“The Chinese government has always been dedicated to creating an equitable business environment for companies and safeguarding the order of market competition,” he added.

The country will continue to adopt the same standards for domestic and foreign companies and welcome multinationals to cooperate with Chinese firms in diversified ways.

Meanwhile, foreign investors and the companies they invest in must strictly comply with Chinese laws and regulations and fulfill their social obligations, the spokesman said.

Shen also commented on the probe into the scandal-saddled Shanghai Husi Food Co., Ltd., which was reported by a local TV station to have supplied products tainted with reprocessed expired meat to a string of fast food chains and restaurants in China.

The ministry has pressed involved companies to stop selling questionable products and actively cooperate during the investigation of China’s supervising authorities, he said.