South China

China Regulatory Brief: Injury Insurance in Guangzhou, Annual Inspections in Dongguan and Container Export Refunds

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China-Regulatory-BriefAustralia to be Exempted from China’s New Tariffs on Imported Coal

On October 22, Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that Australian coal will be exempted from China’s new tariffs on imported coal based on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in negotiation between the two countries. On October 15, China restarted its levy of import tariffs on coal after nearly a decade of suspension, aiming to boost its domestic coal industry and curb carbon emissions. Australia, the largest exporter of coal to China, was severely threatened by this new policy and opened an urgent discussion with China last week to seek a reversal of the decision. During the meeting, the Chinese government urged Australia to relax restrictions on Chinese investment in return.

Guangzhou Releases Provisions on Work-related Injury Insurance

The Guangzhou municipal government recently released the “Provisions on Work-related Injury Insurance in Guangzhou (Hui Fu [2014] No.30),” which took effect on September 1, 2014 and will be valid for five years. According to the Provisions, work-related injury insurance premiums are to be levied based on a rate of between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent of an employee’s gross wages in the previous year. Further, employees suffering a work-related injury will be able to apply for a paid recovery leave of no more than 12 months.  Continue reading…

Hong Kong’s Absorption into Mainland China

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“One country, two systems” is fast running out of special treatment favors

Apartment Block in Tai Po, Hong Kong, in cheaper area of the territory, near to border with Shenzhen. Cost of 750 sq. ft. apartment: HKD6.2 million. Mortgage payments per month (20 years) HKD22,000. Average salary of Hong Kong Office Administrator per month: HKD21,000.

 Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

On the afternoon of June 30th, 1997, I walked across the Shenzhen border at Louwu and into Hong Kong, taking the MTR straight into Central. There was nothing remarkable about the trip per se; I had completed it hundreds of times previously, with Dezan Shira & Associates offices already well established in both cities. Yet the date was of significance – it was the last day of Hong Kong being under British administration. At midnight, it would all return to China.

At that time there was doom and gloom. To many, China was still very much an unknown quantity. Fortune magazine had run a cover story, “The Death of Hong Kong” and two years previously, Jardines, the old British trading hong, and then the most powerful company in the territory, had redomiciled from Hong Kong to Bermuda, and thousands of Hong Kongers were acquiring secondary passports.

Today, the pressure is not so much directly about democracy, but the impact of decades of poor governance and neglecting the needs of Hong Kong’s population. This is manifesting itself in a desire to have a greater say, or at least be governed by leaders who can provide Hong Kong’s residents with a future and the ability to sustain themselves in their own city. The problem is that even this most basic of rights is being eroded. Continue reading…

Spotlight: Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone

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Qianhai 230x300

Officially approved by China’s State Council on August 26, 2010, the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone (Qianhai) was established with the aim of serving as an experimental business zone for better interaction between Mainland China and Hong Kong in the financial, logistics, and IT services sectors. The zone, which is still in the process of setting up, covers 15 km² and provides various incentives and preferential finance policies for foreign investment. Continue reading…

Hong Kong Considers Easing Housing Market Restrictions

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HONG KONG – Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Chan Ka-keung, has said that Hong Kong will consider easing measures implemented to check real estate speculation if U.S. interest rates begin to rise, but will not make any significant changes to the city’s policy in the meantime.

Quantitative easing in the U.S. has led to record low interest rates both in the U.S. and Hong Kong, whose currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar. The low cost of borrowing has caused the Hong Kong property market to experience an unprecedented boom, and property prices have more than doubled in the past five years. Continue reading…

Hengqin New Area Announces Preferential Policies

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GUANGZHOU – On Mar 27, the Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation jointly issued a Preferential Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Catalog for Hengqin New Area (hereinafter referred to as “Preferential Catalog”), which lists the industries that will be eligible for the preferential CIT rate of 15 percent.

Hengqin New Area, located in the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone in Guangdong Province, is situated next to Macau and only a stone’s throw away from Hong Kong. Given its geographic advantage, the Hengqin New Area is the first pilot zone of the “one country, two systems” policy and has already attracted over RMB226.3 billion (US$36.4 billion) total investment so far. It is equipped with high-quality development resources and advanced management mechanism, as well as provides the most preferential investment policies in South China. Continue reading…

Guangzhou Implements Commercial Registration Reform

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Jan. 15 – The Guangzhou Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) released the ”Circular on Fully Implementing the Commercial Registration in Guangzhou Municipality (hereinafter referred to as ‘Circular’)” on December 30, 2013. The Circular, which rolls out commercial registration reform across the city, began January 1, 2014. Detailed information can be found below. Continue reading…

Update: Shenzhen Residence Permit Interviews with Public Security Bureau

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Oct. 30 – China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) requires a preliminary interview for any foreigner that wants to apply for a residence permit in Shenzhen (applicants under age of 18 years old or above 70 years old are exempted). Only applicants who have passed the interview will have their residence permit application put forward for further review.

According to the recent notice released by the Entry and Exit Division of the Shenzhen PSB, starting from November 1, 2013, the residence permit interview for foreigners will be handled by the Foreigner Administration Office (FAO) of the Shenzhen Municipal PSB instead of the district PSB at the registered location of foreigner’s employer. Continue reading…

The State of Domestic Coffee Production in China

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In a nation of avid tea drinkers, coffee continues to gain ground.

By Nathan Barlow

Oct. 22 – Coffee first made its initial appearance in China when a French missionary in the 1890s planted beans throughout Yunnan Province. Over the next hundred years, coffee would go largely unnoticed but, as is the case with many things in China, the market has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years.

This is the final section of our three-part series detailing various facets of China’s coffee industry, and this article focuses on domestic coffee production in China. Part one, introducing the China’s coffee industry, can be found here, while part two, detailing importing and exporting coffee beans in China, can be found here. Continue reading…

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