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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China Laws and Regulations Update in Augest 2017

1.Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (Revised Edition 2017)

Promulgated by the National Development and Reform Committee

File No. No.4 Order of the NDRC

Promulgation date: 28th June 2017

Effective date: 28th July 2017

The Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (Revised Edition 2017) first introduced the negative list for foreign investment access, containing 63 articles about restrictions and prohibitions, decreased by 30 articles compared with the 2015 edition. The Catalogue shall be the basis on which the pre-establishment national treatment and negative list administration model is implemented. No measure should be taken to restrict foreign investment access to any area outside the scope of the negative list. The new Catalogue further relaxes the restrictions on foreign investment access to service, manufacturing and mining industries and especially abolishes the restrictions on foreign investment access to industries of oil and gas for special use, precious metals, lithium ores, etc. (Source: Website of the National Development and Reform Committee)

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Does the Merchandizing Rights Fall into the Protection for Priority Right in China Trademark Cases?

(By Ning Tinggang) Beijing Intellectual Property Court recently introduced some movie, TV series, music, animation and game related cases it heard in 2015 and 2016 via its public WeChat platform, including the trademark “Kuroko Basketball” invalidity case which inspired me. The way that the court dealt with this case shows a new trend of protecting merchandizing interests which we legal professionals should pay attention to.

Case Introduction

Kuroko Basketball is a popular comic work about basketball created by ふじまき ただとし, a Japanese comics artist. The work was serialized on the magazine SHONEN JUMP published by Shueisha since the second issue in 2009, and then was adapted for an animation and first broadcast on 7th April 2012. The plaintiff, SL Sport Ltd. in Kaiping (“SL Company”), filed a trademark-register application to the trademark office on 19th July 2012. As approved, this trademark (“Disputed Trademark”) should be used under Class 25. In addition, SL Company registered tens of trademarks closely connected with popular comics works such as Kuroko Basketball and SLAM DUNK that Shueisha had published, including trademarks used under Class 18, 24, 25, 35 and other types of commodities or services. Thus, Shueisha filed a request for declaration of invalidity of the Disputed Trademark.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in July 2017

1.Circular on Special Administrative Measures for the Access of Foreign Investment to the Pilot Free Trade Zone (Negative List) (for 2017)

The revised edition is intended to further improve the access for foreign investment. The new negative list consists of 15 categories, 40 sub-categories and 95 special administrative measures, with 10 sub-categories and 27 measures removed from the negative list 2015, including 6 sub-categories with respect to subway equipment manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, road transport, insurance, accounting and auditing and other business services removed and 4 sub-categories combined with other sub-categories. The Special Administrative Measures on Foreign Investment Access to the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Negative List) published on 8th April 2015 was abolished at the same time.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in June 2017

1.The Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate Give the Clarification of Several Issues on Dealing with Criminal Cases of Personal Information Infringement

The Clarification consists of 13 articles to clarify the definition of “personal information”, the decision making criteria on unlawful “provision of personal information”, the conviction criteria on personal information infringement, etc. Article 2 thereof states that violation of laws, rules and bylaws governing the protection of personal information should be deemed as “violation of applicable national laws” specified in Article 253.1 of the Criminal Law.

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China Laws and Regulations Update in May 2017

1.The State Administration for Industry and Commerce Releases the Opinions on Making the Registration Process More Efficient and Reforming the Registration of Business Names System

In order to deepen the business system reform, make the process of registering business names (including names of farmers’ cooperatives and individually owned businesses) more efficient and reform the registration of business names system, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce released on 19th April 2017 the Opinions on Making the Registration Process More Efficient and Reforming the Registration of Business Names System, opening the database of business names and related services.

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For What Reason Should an E-Group Administrator Be Brought to Account for an Unauthorized Piece of Work Transmitted through the E-Group: Indirect or Direct Infringement?

(By Albert Chen)Last year Beijing Intellectual Property Tribunal dealt with an infringement case involving a QQ group and made the same decision as the first-trial court that the group’s administrator should be responsible for the infringement, but with different reasons. Detailed analysis of differences in the reasons for decision given by the two courts will help you answer the question of whether the group administrator should be brought to account for direct or indirect infringement.

Case Introduction

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Laws and Regulations Update in March 2017

1.The National People’s Congress Votes to Adopt the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China

On 15th March 2017 the National People’s Congress voted to adopt the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China which will take effect on 1st October 2017.

The new General Principles of the Civil Law includes new provisions on inheritance rights of a fetus, boundaries of limitation on capacity for civil conduct, legal entities, statutes of limitations, etc.

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