China Regulatory Brief: Negative List System to be Expanded Nationwide in 2018

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China to Implement Negative List System for Foreign Investment Nationwide in 2018

The Chinese government has recently announced that the State Council is looking to publish a negative list of industries in which foreign investment is restricted or prohibited. Further, the country will implement the negative list system for foreign investment nationwide in 2018. Investments in the restricted industries need to be pre-approved on the provincial level or the State Council. In January this year, China released the draft of the proposed new Foreign Investment Law to solicit public opinions. Once the law comes into effect, most of the foreign-invested companies will be subject to the same legal treatment as domestic companies. WFOEs, foreign-invested equity JVs and contractual JVs will no longer have separate legal regimes. More details on the draft Foreign Investment Law can be found in our previous article here. 

Private Enterprises Allowed to Provide Broadband Access Services

On September 23, the Ministry of Industry & Information Technology (MIIT) issued an announcement to further open up the country’s broadband access services market, allowing private-owned enterprises to carry out broadband access business in 44 cities including Tianjin, Dalian and Zhuhai. Companies looking to engage in broadband access business may apply to the local communication bureau starting September 23. In December last year, the Chinese government announced its decision to open up its broadband access market to private companies in 16 pilot cities.

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UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue Held in Beijing

On September 21, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai concluded the seventh UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD). During the conference, the UK and China agreed to support the Shanghai Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange Group to carry out a feasibility study on a stock connect. Both sides agreed to strengthen long-term cooperation over the capital market and deepen collaboration in the healthcare sector. The two sides are committed to addressing business concerns regarding market access and regulations. China was the UK’s sixth largest goods export market in 2014, up from 14th in 2003.

China to Boost Online Tourism Industry

On September 23, China’s State Administration of Tourism released its strategic plan to support the development of China’s online tourism industry. According to the plan, China will lower the entry barriers for companies looking to engage in the online tourism industry. Investors are encouraged to carry out online car leasing and online vacation rental businesses. Meanwhile, e-commerce companies are encouraged to provide travelling services overseas by setting up branches and cooperating with foreign-invested travel agencies.


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