Beijing is boosting efforts to crack down on monopolistic practices with a hiring spree at the government’s main market regulator that could see the antitrust team grow by as much as a third, news that came as the national legislature prepared to review a new antitrust law amendment on Wednesday. The amendment to the country’s Anti-Monopoly Law targets specific behaviours of Big Tech companies, banning the use of data, algorithms, technology, capital, or platform rules to exclude or restrict competition, according to the state-owned Xinhua News Agency . It also requires the antitrust regulator to increase scrutiny of market concentration, preventing businesses from taking up too much market share in industries such as finance, technology and media. To aid with the antitrust crackdown, the main enforcement bureau under the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) is looking to hire 18 people “to conduct antitrust policy research, legal enforcement and investigations into the concentration of operators”, according to an October 14 job posting on the SAMR website. Tencent to set up privacy oversight committee as China’s privacy law looms This is the first major recruitment drive since the bureau was formed in 2018 in an administrative overhaul. That year, deputy head of the bureau Lu Wanli said that the team’s headcount was 41. It currently remains under 50, according to a Southern Metropolis Daily report on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. If all its listed open positions lead to hires, China’s main antitrust enforcement authority could see its workforce jump by a third. Du Guangpu, an antitrust lawyer with the Jingsh Law Firm in Beijing, said that in addition to recruitment drives, the office could also poach talent from other government agencies. “The final expansion in headcount may be more than 18,” Du said. Beijing kicked off the current antitrust drive against internet platforms late last year. In December, the Central Economic Work Conference headed by President Xi Jinping said antitrust efforts would be a core mission for China in 2021. Multiple tech giants, including Tencent Holdings , Meituan and Alibaba Group Holding , owner of the South China Morning Post , have been fined for monopolistic practices this year. Beijing is also considering elevating the antitrust office from bureau to deputy ministry, granting it more authority, Reuters reported last week. The news outlet reported in April that the bureau plans to hire 20 to 30 more staff members. According to the latest job posting, candidates should have at least two years of working experience and an academic background in civil, commercial, economic, financial or international law studies. They must also be Communist Party members with good English skills, and some positions require “quite a number of business trips”. Du said that the English requirement may result from the need for international exchange and cooperation in antitrust enforcement and policy research.