Legal & Regulatory
China’s State Council released a circular on May 23 directing local governments to introduce 27 reforms piloted in its 11 free trade zones (FTZs) nationwide.
The reforms include opening-up measures in the services sector, namely for international shipping services, management, and agencies, as well as international maritime cargo handling services, container yards, and storage yard businesses.
China will simplify business registration procedures for foreign-invested enterprises in a bid to spur foreign investment, Premier Li Keqiang announced following a State Council meeting on May 16.
The measures, which will go into effect on June 30, 2018, include the “One Window, One Form” policy that is poised to streamline business filing and registration and cut bureaucratic red tape. Under the policy, filing with the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and registration with the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) will be unified into one step.
With the change, foreign investors will have a centralized point to liaise with the government for business registration instead of having to deal with multiple departments and offices.
By Dorcas Wong
Investing in a market as complex and expansive as China comes with legal, regulatory, and cultural challenges. Many investors establish a local presence through a foreign invested enterprise (FIE), which helps limit the cost and increase the ease of doing business in China.
However, investors need to choose their corporate structure carefully. Investors that select the wrong structure invite unnecessary business constraints, costs, and regulatory scrutiny. These challenges handicap growth following market entry and can undermine a company’s plans to expand.
By I-Ting Shelly Lin
On May 2, China’s State Council announced plans to shorten the business registration process for newly-established companies from 20 days to 8.5 days and to reduce the approval time for construction projects from 200+ days to 120 days.
Expedited business registration will first be implemented in municipalities directly under the central government (Beijing, Chongqing, Tianjin, and Shanghai), planned cities, sub-provincial cities, and provincial capitals this year. These regions include Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Ningbo, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, among many others.
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.
The authorities in Shanghai announced that they plan to increase the statutory minimum wage in the commercial capital from April 1, 2018.
Following the increase on April 1, wages for full time workers will be raised from RMB 2,300 (US$363.70) to RMB 2,420 (US$382.67) per month, while wages for part time workers will be raised from RMB 20 (US$3.16) to RMB 21 (US$3.32) per hour.
By Alexander Chipman Koty
China announced a sweeping restructuring of its government institutions at the ongoing Two Sessions meetings in Beijing.
The government overhaul is China’s most significant institutional reform in years, with various entities either newly created, merged, restructured, or dissolved.
Overall, the restructuring will affect over two dozen government bodies. It will cut the total number of ministerial-level entities by eight and vice-ministerial-level entities by seven, while creating seven new ministries and a number of new agencies.
China will implement a “One Window, One Form” policy for registering foreign-funded enterprises, according to a recently released circular.
The circular, which was issued jointly by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), will be implemented nationally from June 30, 2018.