China publishes new negative lists for foreign investment
Lists for pilot FTZs and the rest of the country contain fewer access-limiting measures, especially concerning transport, infrastructure and telecommunications
2 Jul 2019 | Michael Marray

On June 30, China revised its negative lists for foreign investment market access, saying that it was introducing a greater opening up and allowing foreign investors to run majority share controlled or wholly-owned businesses in more sectors.

With the approval of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce released two negative lists.

The two lists, one for the pilot free trade zones (FTZ) and one for the rest of the country, contain fewer access-limiting measures. According to Xinhua, Pilot FTZs now have 37 listed items for foreign investors, down from 45, while non-FTZ areas are required to implement 40 items instead of 48.

The negative lists for market access outline sectors, fields and businesses that are off limits for investors. Industries, fields and businesses not on the lists are open for investment to all market players. Chinese authorities revise the negative lists for market access on an annual basis. The 2018 versions were released last December.

The Chinese service sector is expected to see greater opening-up in transport, infrastructure, culture, and value-added telecommunications.

The restriction that domestic shipping agencies must be controlled by the Chinese side has been scrapped. The restriction that gas and heat pipelines in cities with a population of more than 500,000 must be controlled by the Chinese side has been lifted.

The restriction that cinemas and performance brokerage institutions must be controlled by the Chinese side has been rescinded. The restriction on foreign investment in domestic multi-party communications, store-and-forward and call center services is now canceled. 

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