By Mark Preen
As the capital city of China, it is widely known that Beijing has a significant and central role in many aspects of modern day China. However, less is known about Tianjin and the Hebei province, which make up the region surrounding Beijing and are somewhat overshadowed by the capital.
However, this is set to change, with the inclusion of Tianjin and Hebei province in a grand project that aims to create a world-class city cluster centered around Beijing. This project is known as the “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Integration Plan”, as well as “Jing-Jin-Ji” and the “capital economy circle”.
By Helen Kong, Human Resources Manager
A firm understanding of China’s laws and regulations relating to human resources and payroll management is essential for foreign investors who want to establish or are already running foreign-invested entities in China.
In China, there are a wide range of government institutions involved in HR processes, and while key laws are drafted by the central government – such as the Labor Contract Law – numerous bylaws and regulations are instituted at the local level.
Nevertheless, many HR laws and principles are fairly universal across China. Here, we offer eight quick tips to handle the fundamentals of employing staff in China.
By Daisy Huang, Senior Manager, Corporate Accounting Services and Molly Lao, Senior Auditor
China recently announced that it would lower its value-added tax (VAT) rates and expand the criteria for businesses to qualify as small-scale VAT taxpayers, as part of an RMB 400 billion tax cut package.
In support of this announcement, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) issued two new circulars explaining the changes to the VAT system: SAT Announcement  No. 17 and SAT Announcement  No. 18.
The announcements explain changes to the VAT system, and offer timelines and guidance for implementation. As the bulk of the changes are set to take effect on May 1, 2018, companies located in or doing business with China should take action to adjust to the tax updates and determine how their operations will be affected.
By I-Ting Shelly Lin
In 2017, China maintained its spot as Germany’s largest trading partner for the second consecutive year.
The two countries moved to a full strategic partnership in 2014, and have since benefited from investments in the areas of trade, technology, and innovation.
After the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the US election of President Trump, China and Germany – as the second and fourth largest economies in the world – have been increasingly called upon to lead on global economic affairs.
Our weekly round up of other news affecting foreign investors throughout Asia:
Thailand’s Special Economic Zones – Opportunities for Investment
Likely to benefit further from Thailand’s continued economic growth are businesses that choose to locate in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Thai border provinces. Here, we analyze the opportunities and incentives on offer in these SEZs.
Auto Components Manufacturing in India: Robust Investment Outlook, Growth Potential
India’s rapidly increasing domestic demand and proximity to key Asian markets has made it a strong auto components sourcing hub. In 2016-17, the annual turnover of the auto component industry in India crossed US$43 billion; it is expected to reach US$115 billion in 2020-21.
By I-Ting Shelly Lin
In March, the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce, the Tax Bureau, the Commission of Development and Reform, and other relevant bureaus issued a series of policies and measures designed to improve the ease of doing business in the capital city. Beijing businesses now enjoy simplified establishment procedures, reduced costs, and greater transparency on the government’s actions.
The reforms should be familiar to anyone who has read a World Bank Doing Business report: manual transactions are now online; procedures have been streamlines and shortened; costs have been reduced. Every little counts. The initiative will undoubtedly help businesspeople in the capital.
By Alexander Chipman Koty
China has announced that it will eliminate ownership limits on automotive enterprises by 2023, allowing foreign investors to establish wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) in the industry.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission, ownership limits on new energy vehicles (NEVs) will be scrapped this year, commercial vehicles by 2020, and passenger vehicles by 2022. By 2023, all other ownership limits on autos will be eliminated.
China will also remove ownership limits in the shipbuilding and aircraft industries later this year.
By Alexander Chipman Koty
China recently lowered its value-added tax (VAT) rates, as part of an RMB 400 billion (US$64 billion) tax cut package.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) recently released the Circular about Adjusting the Rates on Value-added Tax, which explain the details of the new VAT rates.
According to the circular, the tax cuts reduce the 17 percent VAT bracket to 16 percent, and the 11 percent VAT bracket to 10 percent. The six percent VAT bracket remains unchanged. The new VAT rates will go into effect on May 1, 2018.