China Regulatory Brief: Record Filing Procedures in FTZs, Bank Card Clearing Market Liberalization
China Releases Record Filing Procedures for Foreign Investment in Free Trade Zones
Following the approval of the Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian Free Trade Zones (FTZs), the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently released record filing procedures for foreign investment in the FTZs. Foreign investors not investing in industries that are explicitly restricted or prohibited on the Negative List shall be subject to the following record filing rules, which will take effect on May 8.
Foreigners seeking to set up a company in the FTZ need to login to the online service platform of the FTZ and fill in the Application Form before making the investment or within 30 days upon making an investment. Investors are also required to submit an application form online upon making any changes to the company such as changes of business scope, registered capital, enterprises’ names and early termination. The registration authority in the FTZ will take charge of the record filing procedures. The procedure will be completed within three work days. Lastly, a report regarding the enterprise’s operational status has to be submitted online before June 30 each year.
Shenzhen to Simplify Company Name Registration Procedures
The Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) in Shenzhen recently announced that enterprises established in the city will no longer need to get pre-approval for the company name prior to the establishment of the company. The registration of a company name can be made along with the company establishment procedures. Meanwhile, the AIC is required to disclose names that have already been registered by other companies and release related rules or specific requirements for a standard company name.
Foreign Companies Allowed to Provide Bank Card Clearing Services in China
Foreign bank card companies are newly allowed to conduct bank card clearing activities by setting up their own clearing companies in China starting June 1, 2015. Following the Announcement released by China’s State Council, foreign companies seeking to engage in clearing Chinese domestic bank card transactions must have a registered capital of over RMB 1 billion and obtain a bank card clearing business license from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC ), China’s monetary authority. Foreign companies that only provide bank card clearing services in foreign currencies for cross-border trade are not required to set up legal entities in China. However, they need to report on their operational status to the PBoC and the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
Guangdong FTZ to Set up Intellectual Property Court
On April 23, the Hengqin New Area in Guangdong FTZ officially went open for business. On the same day, the Zhuhai government established an intellectual property (IP) circuit court in the Hengqin New Area, dedicated to handling legal disputes filed by enterprises located in the Guangdong FTZ and Zhuhai city. In 2009, the nation’s first IP court designated by the intermediate court was established in the Zhuhai High-tech Development Zone. Earlier this month, the Guangdong higher people’s court released the White Paper on IP Protection for 2014, which pointed out that IP infringements online have been on the rise.
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