Environmental Protection Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (2015 Draft)

June 10, 2015 marked the day that the Chinese government released a new draft law for public comment. China’s increased awareness of the long lasting effects of pollution on the country’s land, water, and people is reflected in the 2015 Environmental Protection Tax Law. The law represents a joint effort between the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration of Taxation, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection “to protect and improve the environment, to encourage energy conservation and emissions reduction by the society, and to promote the construction of ecological civilization.” [1] However, the underlying motives seem to be: 1) to restructure the current enforcement of fines for pollution and 2) to push for a change in the behavior and operation of businesses.

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Changes in Margin Trading and Short Selling Regulations and the Potential Impact on Client Investment’s Through QFII A-Shares

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has revised the rules on margin trading and short selling in response to the current conditions surrounding China’s stock market. The new rules were released to the public on June 12, 2015 as a draft document for public comment.[1]  These new rules have the potential to ease investor concerns over the volatility of the market as well as bring about more favorable returns when closing out investor contracts.  Since the announcement of the new rules, the markets here in China have fluctuated in response with a 13% decline across the Shanghai Composite Index during the week following June 12th’s market peak.[2]  The new rules address the contract length for margin trading and would allow for an extension of contract terms beyond the current fixed period of six months.  Additionally, the new rules will ease barriers to enter the market and work with securities brokerages in China.

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Guiding Opinions to Promote Healthy and Rapid Development of Cross-Border E-Commerce

The Chinese e-commerce industry is rapidly expanding, and the nation is the world’s second largest online retail market. The business-to-consumer industry in particular is expected to see record growth in the next few years. Until recently, the e-commerce market was not specifically regulated. The Chinese government, however, has begun to implement regulations to boost the e-commerce industry for a more consumption-driven economy, including regulations to protect consumers and to more tightly regulate online sellers. For example, the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests[1] was revised in March of 2014 to grant consumers a right to return goods within seven days after purchase without giving a reason, to require online sellers to register their names and addresses, and to require sellers to authenticate and verify their websites. The government has also been active in fighting against online sales of counterfeit products. And, most recently, China announced it will allow full foreign ownership of some e-commerce businesses to increase competition and development.[2]

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NDRC Issued Opinions and Notice on Drug Price Reform

On May 4, 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and seven agencies including the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly published Opinions on Promoting Drug Price Reform (the “Opinions”).[1]  The NDRC also issued a Notice on Strengthening Monitoring of Drug Prices (“Notice”)[2] and a press release on the same day. Continue Reading

Work and Resident Permits for Short-Term Working Foreigners

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Culture jointly issued a notice of the Relevant Handling Procedures for Foreigners Entering China for the Accomplishment of Short-term Work Assignments (the “Notice”) on November 6th, 2014 and this Notice became effective on January 1st, 2015. Continue Reading

An Introduction of Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (2015 Revision) 《外商投资产业指导目录(2015年修订)》简介

Introduction: On March 13, 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) and the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (2015 Revision) (the “2015 Catalogue”), which is the 6th amendment to the said catalogue since first promulgated in 1995. The 2015 Catalogue will take effect on April 10, 2015, and the 2011 Catalogue Amendment (the “2011 Catalogue”) will be repealed on the same date.

引言: 2015年3月13日,国家发展和改革委员会(下称“国家发改委”)和商务部正式发布了《外商投资产业指导目录(2015年修订)》(下称“2015年版《目录》”),这是《目录》自1995年公布以来的六次修订。2015年版《目录》将于2015年4月10日起施行。《外商投资产业指导目录(2011年修订)》(下称“2011年版《目录》”)同时废止。 Continue Reading

PRC Foreign Investment Draft Law: What You Should Know

On January 19, 2015, China’s foreign investment regulatory authority Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) released a draft of new Foreign Investment Law (“Draft Law”)  (See blog article Comparison Chart re JV Law and Foreign Investment Law Draft for Comments dated February 10, 2015).  This Draft Law is expected to come into force in the next couple of months overhauling the 25-year-old regulatory framework of inbound foreign investment in China (See Unofficial English Translation of the Draft Law by AmCham China). Continue Reading

Antitrust Enforcement in China: Understanding the Framework of the Anti-Monopoly Law

China’s adoption of the Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) is a landmark in the evolution of China’s economic transformation. The AML was a carefully thought-out, negotiated, strategic development dictated by the central government, and the culmination of a process that started almost twenty years ago. China has moved from a centrally planned command economy to one that is largely a free market economy, despite the existence of state-owned enterprises as major players. The AML is the ultimate recognition on the part of the Chinese government that free and fair competition in the market place is in the essential interest of the Chinese people.

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Comparison Chart re JV Law and Foreign Investment Law (Draft for Comments)

On January 19, 2015, MOFCOM released a draft for comment of PRC Foreign Investment Law (the “FIL”). The deadline for comments is February 17, 2015. The purpose of the FIL is to replace the present-day laws for foreign investment, i.e. PRC Sino-foreign Equity Joint Venture Law, PRC Sino-foreign Contractual Joint Venture Law and PRC Foreign Invested Enterprises Law (collectively, the “JV Law”). The major difference between the JV Law and FIL are as follows.
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China Arbitration Update: New CIETAC Rules Effective January 1, 2015

The China International Economic & Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) approved a new set of arbitration rules effective on January 1, 2015.  The 2015 CIETAC Rules include a number of important updates and revisions that bring CIETAC arbitration proceedings closer in line with international arbitration practices. The revisions include the following:
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