China Laws and Regulations Update in February 2019

1. Announcement on Publishing the Regulations on Overseas Inspection of Medicine and Medical Instruments

Promulgated by the State Administration for Market Regulation

Document number: No.101 in 2018 by the State Administration for Market Regulation

Promulgation date: 26 December 2018

Effective date: 26 December 2018

The Announcement states that overseas inspections are conducted for medicine and medical instruments that have been marketed or are proposed to be marketed and that overseas inspections do not only include inspections in places where production is being performed but mean inspections in places where research, development or production is being performed. Matters to be investigated are decided by considering risks in registration, supervision, examination, inspection, reporting, adverse effect, etc. of medicine and medical instruments as required for risk control. (Source: Website of the State Administration for Market Regulation)

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Comments on Important Clauses in the Legal Interpretation (II) of Construction Work Contracts (First Part)

(By Shi Weidong)On 4 January 2019 the Supreme Court of China promulgated the Legal Interpretation (II) of Issues Concerning the Application of Laws Relating to Construction Work Contract Disputes (“Interpretation II”) .

The promulgation of the Interpretation II marks the first time in the past fourteen years that the supreme court gives a detailed explanation of laws relating to construction work contracts since the Legal Interpretation (I) of Issues Concerning the Application of Laws Relating to Construction Work Contract Disputes (“Interpretation I”) was carried out on 1 January 2005.

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Responsibilities of “Old” Company Founders for Capital Contributions

(By Tian Shanshan) The Chinese Company Law and legal interpretations thereof provide that founders are responsible for paying in full their capital contributions. However, should founders of a company be responsible for paying in full their capital contributions if the company was established before the Company Law 2005 took effect, the first law setting forth responsibilities of a company’s founders for paying in full their capital contributions? Another issue in this case is how to define the founder’s responsibilities and protect the creditors’ interests. Legal authorities didn’t deal with this issue in the same way.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in December 2018

1.Patent Agent Regulations

Promulgated by the State Council

Document number: No.706 State Council Order

Promulgation date: November 19th, 2018

Effective date: March 1st, 2019

The Regulations sets forth patent agent responsibilities for their signature, stating that patent agents should be responsible for patent cases they have signed to handle. In addition, it contains details of patent agent aid services and encourages patent agencies to provide aid services for small businesses and low-income people, advising on patent applications and their legal rights. (Source: Website of the State Council)

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Comments on the Preliminary Process for Filing Infringement Action Against False Statements in the Registration-Based Case Filing System

(By Li Xiang)Article Six of the Regulations of the Supreme People’s Court on Hearing Civil Compensation Cases Arising from False Statements in Securities Markets (“Regulations”) states that “courts should accept and hear litigation cases brought by investors claiming damages for themselves arising from a false statement on the basis of decision made by an administrative authority or a criminal court”. According to this, administrative or criminal punishment is the preliminary process for filing a civil compensation case arising from a false statement.

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Application of Laws on Non-Competition Clauses (Part II)

(By Lisa Li) The following is Part II of the topic on application of laws on non-competition clauses from perspective of Chinese employment law.

1.Termination of non-competition agreement

Article 4 of the Judicial Interpretation IV stipulates that if there are non-competition obligations and compensations agreed in the employment contract or confidentiality agreement, the employer’s failure to pay the compensations for three months will entitle the employee to request terminating the non-competition agreement. In accordance with the wording of these provisions, the employee has the right to request terminating the non-competition agreement, however the non-competition agreement shall not end automatically. However, local practice varies from place to place; even the same court rendered different judgments for similar cases according to the search conducted by the author.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in August 2018

1.Decision to Amend the Provisional Rules on Filings of Establishment and Change of Foreign Funded Enterprises

Promulgated by the Ministry of Commerce

File number: No.19 MOC Order in 2018

Promulgation date: 29 June 2018

Effective date: 30 June 2018

The Provisional Rules states that in order to establish a foreign funded enterprise or change a domestic enterprise into a foreign funded enterprise by merger, acquisition, absorption, combination, etc. by filing as required by the Provisional Rules, filings of establishment of the foreign-funded enterprise shall be submitted online during the establishment and change recordation processes of the administration of industry and commerce and the market supervision and regulation department and the recordation authority shall begin the recordation process upon and inform the investor of receipt of the filings transferred by the administration of industry and commerce and the market supervision and regulation department. If the foreign-funded enterprise or its investor delays in submitting or has a material omission in its filings, the commerce department should give an order to correct it within a limited period of time. A fine of less than RMB 30,000 should be payable for a failure to correct it as required or a serious misconduct. (Source: Website of the Ministry of Commerce)

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China Laws and Regulations Update in July 2018

1.Circular on Promoting Economic Growth by Actively and Effectively Using Foreign Funds

Promulgated by the State Council

File number: No.19 issued by SC in 2018

Promulgation date: 15 June 2018

Effective date: 28 April 2018

The Circular states that the foreign funds “regulatory system” reform will continue. Provincial governments are responsible for approving and administering the incorporation and change of any foreign-funded company with a total investment of less than USD 1 billion in items on the negative list for admittance of foreign investment funds. Local governments are encouraged to attempt an intensive reform of the administrative permit system. Foreign-funded companies outside the negative list can complete the recordation and the AIC registration formalities through “one-stop” service. (Source: Website of the State Council)

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Application of Laws on Non-Competition Clauses (Part I)

(By Lisa Li) In accordance with relevant laws of People’s Republic of China (“PRC), judicial interpretation by PRC Supreme People’s Court, judicial interpretation by local Superior People’s Courts and local regulations and based on the author’s research into and analysis of over two dozens of litigation cases from Shanghai and Beijing etc, the author elaborates on the application of laws on non-competition clauses from the perspective of Chinese employment law practice. The following is Part I of this topic on application of laws on non-competition clauses.[1]

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Key Points on Early Dissolution and Liquidation of WFOEs

(By Lisa Li)In accordance with the PRC Company Law (hereinafter referred to as the “Company Law”), the Regulations of PRC on Administration of Company Registration (hereinafter referred to as “Company Registration Administration Regulations”) as well as the Law of PRC on Foreign Invested Enterprises (hereinafter referred to as “Foreign Invested Enterprises Law”) etc and based on the author’s prior experience in handling cases of early dissolution and liquidation of companies, we summarized key points and practical experience regarding the early dissolution and liquidation process of wholly foreign invested companies, including foreign invested enterprises owned by one sole foreign investor and those jointly owned by foreign investors (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “WFOE”) prior to expiration of the registered operation term.

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A Brief Overview on the Foreigner’s Work Permit in China

(By Lisa Li) As of April 2017, the Circular on Fully Implementing the Work Permit System for Foreigners to Work in China jointly issued by the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security (the “Circular”) has been implemented in China to integrate previous foreigner’s employment permit and foreign expert work permit as the foreigner’s work permit, aiming to simplify the foreigner’s work permit application procedures and to facilitate the introduction of foreign talents. In accordance with the relevant laws, regulations and policies regarding the foreigner’s work permit and from our recent experience, we summarized the following main points and some best practices regarding the foreigner’s work permit in order to provide a brief overview on the foreigner’s work permit system in China.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in December 2017

1. Circular Notice on Adjusting Import Taxes on Certain Commodities
Promulgated by the Ministry of Finance
Document number: No.25 [2017] TB
Promulgation date: 22nd November 2017
Effective date: 1st December 2017

As from 1st December 2017 import taxes on certain commodities are reduced based on current tax rates. The import tax reduction this time applies to 187 commodities with an 8-digit tax number such as food, healthcare products, medicine, cosmetics, clothes, shoes and hats. The average tax rate is reduced from 17.3% to 7.7%. The tax rate of diapers and nappies is reduced from 7.5% to 0%. The tax rate of certain baby milk powder products is reduced from 20% to 0%. (Source: Website of the Ministry of Finance)

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How to Appropriately Deal with a Lawyer Letter- about Copyright

(By Xiong Leizhi) Some popular We Chat accounts recently received a lawyer letter about copyright infringement from a well-known picture library. Before that some We Media were sued for picture infringement. Content creators are in trouble since 2015 when capital flooded in and proceeds surged. In the circumstances where start-ups abound and the gross national attention remains constant, each start-up tries to attract customers quickly and keep their interest for a long time. However, it takes much time to create an original piece of content. As a result, increasingly more unauthorized copies of works appear. The above cases that recently happened arose out of infringement.

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How does China’s Court Determine the Validity of Arbitration Clauses in Monopoly Dispute?

Pursuant to the Anti-Monopoly Law, the Civil Procedure Law and the Arbitration Law, there is no limitation of applying arbitration clause as a settlement to monopoly disputes in China. The Arbitration is well acknowledged for its confidentiality, flexible legal or commercial basis of arbitrating and its finality of one award, which are perfectly adapted to the requirements of confidentiality, efficiency and reliance on customs in business operation. Therefore, the practice of arbitration clause can bring about significant values and meanings to commercial subjects, and furthermore help indicate various risks and opportunities of different timing in relevant market. In this essay, we will introduce relevant cases and investigate whether the judicial opinions on arbitration clauses applied in monopoly disputes are appropriate.

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