China Laws and Regulations Update in February 2015

  1. The New Foreign Investment Law(Draft) Published for Public Comments

On 19th of January 2015, the Ministry of Commerce of PRC published the Foreign Investment Law of PRC (Draft for Comments) (referred to as ‘draft FIL’ below). Opportunities to offer comments on the draft FIL will remain open to the public until 17th of February 2015.

Significantly, the draft FIL transforms the current foreign investment administration system by introducing the administration model combining pre-establishment national treatment policies and the Negative List and stipulating that foreigners intending to invest in one of the areas as specified in the Negative List shall apply for and obtain a foreign investment entry permit beforehand. Also, foreign investors throughout PRC shall perform the reporting obligation regardless of the Negative List. Under this new administrative system, foreign investment in most areas can be admitted to PRC without prior approval by relevant departments. In addition, the draft FIL includes provisions on China’s national security review system, the foreign investment promotion and protection system, supervision and inspection of investment and operational actions taken by foreign investors and foreign invested enterprises, strengthened in-process and after-the-fact administration.

Sourced from the official website of the Ministry of Commerce of PRC:

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Will China New Foreign Investment Law Wipe Out VIE Structure?

(By You Yunting) Abstract: The Foreign Investment Law (Draft for Comments) has shifted the standard of a company based upon the actual controller, instead of the shareholder of the company, and regulated that the domestic company must not engage in any industries where operation by foreign investors is prohibited. In case the Draft becomes law, it will cut off the survival basis of VIE structure, so that the VIE company controlled by foreign investors cannot be operated, that the overseas listed company controlled through the VIE structure by Chinese will lose its survival basis of oversea listing, and that the startup companies of VIE structure controlled by Chinese will be forced to abandon the VIE structure.

China Ministry of Commence issued the Foreign Investment Law (Drafts for Comments) (hereinafter the “Draft”) and began its revolution on the approval and management of foreign investment companies. However, the Draft regulated that a domestic company controlled by foreign investors must not engage in any industries where operation by foreign investors is prohibited, which will probably have some serious influence on industries such as internet companies that have already used variable interest entities (hereinafter the “VIE”) structure in gray zone, and might even wipe out the existence space for VIE structure. I am wondering Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in December 2014

  1. The State Council Releases the Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Verification and Approval (2014 Edition)

On 31st of October 2014, the State Council released the Notice of the State Council on Promulgating the Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Verification and Approval (2014 Edition), which became effective on the same date.

Enterprises that intend to invest in and construct the fixed-asset investment projects listed in the Catalogue shall apply to relevant project verification and approval authorities for verification and approval in accordance with pertinent provisions. Enterprises that intend to invest in and construct projects other than those listed in the Catalogue shall be subject to record-filing administration. Projects invested and constructed by public institutions, social organizations, etc. shall be governed by the Catalogue.

Sourced from http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2014-11/18/content_9219.htm

 

  1. The Supreme People’s Court Promulgates Provisions on the Jurisdictions over Cases by Intellectual Property Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou      

On 27th of October 2014, the Supreme Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in November 2014

  1. The State Intellectual Property Bureau of the P.R.China Publishes the Opinions on Investment Administration Regulations Concerning Intellectual Property to Foster Growth of Small and Micro Enterprises.      

On 11th of October 2014, the State Intellectual Property Bureau of P.R.China published the Opinions on Investment Administration Regulations Concerning Intellectual Property to Foster Growth of Small and Micro Enterprises. The Opinions involve fifteen specific measures to help small and micro enterprises obtain rights to their innovative achievements, improve patent sponsorship policies for small and micro enterprises and support small and micro enterprises by properly tackling intellectual property related issues, in order to foster innovation and growth of small and micro enterprises, perfect intellectual property services for small and micro enterprises, improve the ability of small and micro enterprises to use intellectual property and optimize the intellectual property development environment for small and micro enterprises.

Sourced from the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC:

http://www.sipo.gov.cn/tz/gz/201410/t20141011_1020001.html

  1. Twenty-one Provinces and Cities across P.R.China Witness Publication of the 2014 Salary Rise Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in Octorber 2014

  1. Intellectual Property Tribunals to Be Established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou

On 1 September 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the Decision to Establish Intellectual Property Tribunals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The Decision stipulates that the Supreme People’s Court should be entitled to set up intellectual property tribunals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou by taking into account types and numbers of intellectual property cases. Such tribunals govern first-instance civil and administrative intellectual property litigation cases relating to such technically demanding issues as patents, new species of plants, layout designs of integrated circuits, confidential know-hows, etc. and have the right to decide on any appeal against first-instance judgment or verdict by a local lower-level people’s court on civil and administrative intellectual property cases relating to copyrights, trademarks, etc.

Sourced from the NPC News Website:

http://npc.people.com.cn/n/2014/0901/c14576-25574846.html

  1. The Shanghai Municipal Government Publishes the Priority Work Arrangements in 2014 through 2015 for Establishment of the International Trade Center

On 27 August 2014, the Shanghai Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in September 2014

1.The PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange releases the Notice on the Pilot Reform of the Administrative Approach Regarding the Settlement of the Foreign Exchange Capitals of Foreign-Invested Enterprises in Certain Areas

On 4 August 2014, the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange released the Notice on the Pilot Reform of the Administrative Approach Regarding the Settlement of the Foreign Exchange Capitals of Foreign-Invested Enterprises in Certain Areas to launch the pilot reform of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of foreign invested enterprises on a discretionary basis in 16 areas throughout the P.R.China, including the Suzhou Industrial Park, on 4 August 2014, after such reform was first launched in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

In addition, according to the Notice, the uses of the foreign exchange capitals of foreign invested enterprises and the RMB capitals acquired through the settlement of such foreign exchange capitals are restricted, and the payment management, the management of settlement and use of the capitals in foreign accounts for direct investment and the post-supervision of the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange are standardized.

Website of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange:

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Analysis on New Provision of Agent’s Trademark Rush-Registration in China Trademark Law

(By Luo Yanjie) According to the latest news report, more than 14 millions of trademark applications in China have already been filed by June 2014. It indicates that Chinese economy develops very fast and also that brands across China and even all over the world, big or small, are attempting to the protection of trademark registration in China. However, there is no doubt that some trademarks were registered with bad faith at the beginning, i.e., pirate trademark rush-registrations. Among those trademark rush-registrations, some of rush-registrars are connected to the original holders, thus leading to prevention from agent’s trademark rush-registration as regulated in Article 15 of the Trademark Law (2001 version). Furthermore, in the newly applicable Trademark Law from May 2014, legislature departments made implementation on the Article 15. In today’s post, we will discuss the modification and its application.

1.   Modification of Article 15 in the 2013 Trademark Law

The 2001 version of Trademark Law stipulates that, in the event that an agent or representative seeks Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in August 2014

  1. The Shanghai Municipal People’s Government Releases the 2014 Revised Version of ‘Negative List’ Applicable in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

On 1 July 2014, the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government released the 2014 Revised Version of ‘Negative List’ applicable in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, containing 139 special administrative measurements, while the previous version contained 190 ones, representing a change of 26.8% contents of the Negative List.

The Revised Version of ‘Negative List’ eliminated fourteen (14) material clauses to expand business scopes, fourteen (14) material clauses to lift dual restrictions on both domestic and foreign investments and twenty three (23) clauses to readjust categories. The eliminated clauses, including those restricting foreign investment in mail orders and online sales of ordinary commodities, allowing wholly owned foreign businesses to deal in railroad transport, etc., relate to manufacturing, real estate, infrastructure, commercial trade, shipping, social service sectors, etc.

Website of the Municipal Government of Shanghai:

http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/node2314/node2319/node12344/u26ai39501.html

  1. The Ministry of Commerce Publishes the Notice on Improving the Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in July 2014

  1. The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council Releases the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and Solicits Public Opinions for It

On 6 June 2014, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council released the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and solicited public opinions for it. The deadline for opinion solicitation will be 5 July 2014.

What is most significantly revised according to the draft copyright law under review includes provisions on objects, contents, ownership and the validity period of rights within the scope of copyright. Also, it has stipulated more penalties that will be imposed on those who infringe others’ copyrights and has set forth means of enforcement by administrative authorities concerned, who have powers of seizure and confiscation, which was first stipulated by laws.

(Website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council:

http://www.chinalaw.gov.cn/article/cazjgg/201406/20140600396188.shtml)

  1. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Solicits Public Opinions for Regulations (Used for Opinion Solicitation) on Prohibiting Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in June 2014

  1. The State of Council Promulgates the Newly Amended Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China

On 29 April 2014 the State Council promulgated the newly amended Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China. The Regulations took effect on 1 May 2014.

The newly amended Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law provides supplementary provisions to the new Trademark Law, in connection with renewing the trademark application division system, in which the part of any patent application that does not be refused may be registered before the refused part of the same application is completely reviewed, initiating the trademark agency filing system, clarifying legal responsibilities for illegal acts of trademark agencies, imposing tougher punishment on those who infringe others’ exclusive trademark use rights and adding a chapter entitled ‘international registration of trademarks’.

 (Authorized to be published on

http://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2014-05/01/c_1110495197_4.htm)

  1. Pilot Intensive Operational Management of foreign exchange funds of headquarters of multinational companies in Shanghai Free Trade Read More...

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Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?

Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?

–Analysis on the Prohibition of Installing Youku App and Iqiyi App on the Internet Cable Box

 

广电总局(By You Yunting) According to some media reports, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (the ”SARFT”) issued a rule to local administrations requesting to delete Youku App, Iqiyi App, Sohu App and browsers from Wasu Box and Internet cable Set-top boxes (the “boxes”), which enables users to support TV, games, online video, music and photos. At first glance, i was astonished how it could be called boxes if without Youku App, Iqiyi App and browsers. However, Hangzhou Wasu Digital TV Media Group confirmed receiving the rule shortly after the reports came out. That being the condition, we would like to analyze the rule.

The rule relies on the Demands for Management Concerning Operation of Institutions with Internet Television Licenses (the “Demands”), stipulating that “institutions integrated Internet and television shall be designed to Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in May 2014

  1. National Development and Reform Commission of PRC Promulgates Foreign Investment Project Approval and Record Management Rules

The National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China promulgated the Foreign Investment Project Approval and Record Management Rules on April 8th 2014.  The Rules have effect from May 1st, 2014.

The Rules were made to do away with provisions that mark distinctions between overseas investment in resources and investments in other areas, except for those in connection with sensitive countries, territories or sectors. According to the Rules, the National Development and Reform Commission is entitled to assess and approve the overseas investment projects where Chinese investors contribute no less than USD 1 billion, while those with contributions of less than USD 1 billion by Chinese investors shall be put on record, no matter whether the projects relate to resource development or not. Before the Rules became effective, the minimum amount of Chinese investors’ contribution to overseas investment projects for resource development that the National Development and Reform Commission had the right to assess and approve were USD 300 million and that to other overseas investment projects were USD 100 million.

In September of last year, the Shanghai Municipality Government published the Incorporation Record Management Rules for Foreign Invested Enterprises in Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in April 2014

  1. Shanghai Customs Reform the Supervision and Administrative System of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Eleven (11) Respects

In response to AQSIQ’s (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China) issuance of the Notice on Supporting Animals and Plants Inspection and Quarantine Reforms in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone on March 4th, Shanghai Customs has  launched a series of administrative system reforms in eleven (11) respects, introducing a negative list, entitlements to ‘post customs declaration’, ‘free freight transport,’  ‘unified customs declaration’ , a list of goods applied to simplified import filing procedures, etc. to the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Subject to international conventions and current laws of the People’s Republic of China, the negative list was published by Shanghai Customs setting forth four (4) kinds of commodities that are prohibited from being imported or exported and fifty seven (57) kinds of commodities restricted under import and export supervision and controls to make sure commodities excluded from the list are circulated in a highly efficient and convenient way.

Since the Shanghai Free Trade Zone was launched at the end of January 2014, a total of 139 business transactions with an aggregate value of 204 million USD have been completed by companies in the zone. It Read More...

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Regulations against Intellectual Property Malicious Litigation in China

    (By You Yunting) Malicious litigation refers to instituting a lawsuit through fictional facts and falsified evidences for the purpose of receiving unlawful benefits. In today’s post, we will introduce some provisions about malicious litigation in intellectual property laws and civil procedure law in China.

    I. Provisions on wrongful litigation injunction can be applied into malicious litigation.

    In litigations concerning patent, trademark and copyright, the right holder always applies for such litigation injunctions as termination of infringement, evidence preservation and property preservation. Where the court approved the application, if the litigation is proved to be malicious, the respondent may require the applicant to compensate for such losses. Article 13 of the Several Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on the Issues Concerning the Application of Law to Terminating Infringement upon Patent Prior to Litigation stipulates that:

    In the event of any losses incurred to the party against which the request is filed due to the applicant’s failure to prosecute or any mistakes in the request, the party against which the request is filed can appeal to the People’s Court having jurisdiction over this matter requiring the applicant to compensate for such losses, or alternatively the People’s Court shall Read More...

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