On 3 September 2016, revisions to four laws regulating foreign investment, namely the Law on Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprises, the Law on Sino-foreign Equity Joint Ventures, the Law on Sino-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures, and the Law on the Protection of Investment of Compatriots from Taiwan (“Revisions”), passed at the close of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s bi-monthly session. The Revisions will take effect on 1 October 2016. On the same day, the Ministry of Commerce has solicited public opinion on the implementation measures for establishments of foreign invested enterprises, which is also to come into force on 1 October 2016.
Based on the Revisions, administrative approvals have been suspended for foreign and Taiwanese investors setting up ventures regulated by the four laws, and such investors are only required to file for record to local regulators as long as their business is not on a “negative list”, which is expected to be released by the state council before the effectiveness of Revisions. This is to follow successful trials in Free Trade Zones in Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian.