May 1 – China’s new Foreign Minister Wang Yi has made Southeast Asia his first overseas destination since his appointment, a move signaling Beijing’s renewed desire for closer ties with its neighbors. For the first time in over 15 years, Asian destinations were given first priority by a newly-appointed foreign minister. Wang’s first overseas mission is now underway, and will include a six-day visit to ASEAN member states Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. The last time Asia was the first port of call for a new Foreign Minister was in April 1998, when Tang Jiaxuan visited Indonesia and Singapore to discuss financial issues across Asian currencies amid the Asian financial crisis.
Analysts have suggested that Southeast Asia was prioritized as part of the new foreign policy goals set during China’s 18th Party Congress held last November in a bid to settle border disputes and simmering tensions over claims in the South China Sea. These issues were also discussed during last week’s ASEAN summit in Brunei. During the summit, China appeared to have relaxed on its previous policy of only dealing with maritime disputes on a bilateral basis, a position which ASEAN nations believe to delay effective agreements on the handling of regional disputes. Continue reading
Apr. 29 – China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) released the “White Paper on Intellectual Property Rights Protection (2012)” (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Paper’) on April 22, which summarizes the progress China has made in promoting and implementing the national intellectual property strategy in 2012. Detailed information can be found below. Continue reading
Apr. 26 - Over the last few years, delays and uncertainties have arisen in many merger control cases in China mainly due to the lack of a simplified merger review process. Therefore, it has become urgent and necessary for China to adopt a simplified procedure to review its merger cases. In the first quarter of 2013, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) cleared 45 mergers unconditionally, a 24 percent decline compared with the mergers cleared in the last quarter of 2012.
In response, the MOC released the “Interim Regulations on Standards for Simple Cases (Draft for Comments) (hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulations’)” on April 3, which sets out standards for simple merger cases that can be subject to a fast-track clearance process. Detailed information can be found below. Continue reading
As increasing numbers of foreign companies come to China seeking to do business and trade with Chinese companies, an area of concern revolves around their ability to pay. Just how creditworthy are they?
Apr. 25 – In China, limited liability status is directly linked to the amount of registered capital a company has – an amount which can be determined by requesting to see the actual figure listed on a Chinese company’s business license (this also appears on licenses issued to foreign companies). This amount varies depending from company to company and is typically linked to governmental guidelines concerning the type of industry and the “minimum registered capital amounts” that needs to be injected into a business to qualify for the business scope in question. Continue reading
By Yao Lu
Apr. 24 – China’s National People’s Congress adopted the “Decision on Revising the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China (Order No.73 of the PRC President)” on December 28, 2012, which provides that no entities or individuals are allowed to engage in the labor dispatching business without an administrative license, and that applications for such licenses shall be filed with the relevant labor authorities.
In response, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released the “Administrative Measures for Labor Dispatching Licenses (Draft for Comments) (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Measures’)” on April 19, 2013. The Measures contain 35 articles and regulate the following areas:
Regulatory duties and jurisdictions concerning the administrative licensing of labor dispatching business
Requirements and application materials for administrative licensing of labor dispatching businesses
Procedures, requirements and terms for administrative licensing of labor dispatching businesses
Establishment of branch offices for labor dispatching entities
Supervision and inspection of labor dispatching businesses
Legal liabilities and transitional provisions
Detailed information on the Measures can be found below. Continue reading
Apr. 22 – With a view to reduce administrative burdens on importers and exporters, as well as expedite customs clearance, China’s General Administrative of Customs (GAC) introduced the “Paperless Customs Clearance Pilot Reform” on August 1 last year, which allows customs declaration information to be stored and transferred through computers and other electronic media, and be automatically reviewed by customs.
The reform has greatly improved customs clearance efficiency and has reduced labor costs at the same time. Previously, all import and export enterprises had to print out and fill in various kinds of documents for every single transaction that goes though Chinese customs, which was time consuming and highly inefficient. Furthermore, the recent reform also allows GAC to improve data collection and analysis, thereby strengthening its supervision on trading information.
With the successful implementation of the pilot reform, the GAC released the “Announcement on Deepening Paperless Customs Clearance Pilot Reform (hereinafter referred to as ‘Announcement’)” on April 10, 2013, which expands the pilot scope and regulates the application procedure for the reform. Detailed information can be found below. Continue reading
Apr. 18 – China’s National People’s Congress adopted the “Decision on Revising the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China” on December 28, 2012, which tightens loopholes on hiring dispatched workers and offers better protection for such workers. However, the revised law fails to provide clear and practical guidance over some common issues arising out of labor disputes. In response, China’s Supreme People’s Court issued two interpretations to deal with labor disputes in January this year. Detailed information can be found below. Continue reading
ASEAN is set to become China’s top trade partner by 2015
Apr. 17 – Dezan Shira & Associates, one of Asia’s premier professional services firms, has just launched a brand new website: ASEAN Briefing. ASEAN, a 10 country trade bloc that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is strategically highly important for China as the bloc in its own right has a free trade agreement with China, and China also individually has double tax agreements with many of the ASEAN members states. Continue reading