Market Opening Promised, Visa Incentives in Shanghai, and In-flight Smartphone Use – China Regulatory Brief

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Top economic advisor pledges market opening

Liu He, a member of China’s politburo and one of President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisors, has pledged that China will accelerate economic reforms in 2018.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Liu stated that “some measures will exceed the expectations of the international community,” and noted that the reforms will celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up policy.

While short on specifics, Liu said that China would open up its market to more foreign imports, strengthen intellectual property protection, and further open up its financial sector. Liu also said that within three years, China would substantially scale up pollution control and have financial risks under control.

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Shanghai introduces visa incentives to attract foreign talent

The Shanghai government has announced eased visa and green card rules as part of a strategy to attract top foreign talent.

Outstanding graduates from top foreign universities who come to work in Shanghai will be able to apply for a two-year residence permit within two years of graduation, and will be able to apply for a green card after three years of working in the city. Leading experts will also be able to recommend foreign team members to apply for green cards. Additionally, top foreign talent will be able to work part-time for other companies or institutions while working in Shanghai.

Foreign holders of green cards can now also establish technology enterprises in Shanghai’s Pilot Free Trade Zone with the same priority as Chinese citizens, and enjoy a number of other incentives for establishing and operating a business there.

The relaxed visa and green card rules are part of Shanghai’s latest Five Year Plan covering the years 2017-2021, as the city looks to attract talent and boost its image as China’s most international city.

Smartphone use now allowed on major Chinese airlines

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has released rules that will allow air passengers in the country to use smartphones and other electronic devices during flights.

The new rules allow airlines to set their own policies on in-flight use of electronic devices. Major Chinese airlines, including China Eastern, Air China, and Hainan Airlines, have already relaxed their rules on electronic devices in response.

Previously, electronic devices – including smartphones set to ‘airplane mode’ – were banned from use on Chinese airlines, due to safety concerns over signal disruption.

The relaxed rules are part of an effort to introduce more market-based reforms to China’s aviation industry. Earlier this month, the CAAC liberalized price-setting rules for over 300 air routes, and eased restrictions on private investment in the sector.


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