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)


2.Announcement on Issues Connected with Expanding the Scope of Application of the Policy of Temporarily Exempting Foreign Investors from Withholding Income Tax on Direct Investment Using Distributed Profits

Promulgated by the State Administration of Taxation

Document number: No.53 SAT Announcement in 2018

Promulgation date: October 29th, 2018

Effective date: January 1st, 2019

The Announcement states that if a business distributing profits without examining information submitted by foreign investors as stated in Article Five of the Announcement, causing unqualified foreign investors to be exempted from the tax according to the Policy, the competent tax authority will legally hold the business responsible for not withholding the tax it should withhold and require the foreign investors pay the tax due but unpaid. (Source: Website of the State Administration of Taxation)


3.Circular Notice on the Enterprise Income Tax and Value-Added Tax Policy for Foreign Entities Investing in Chinese Bond Markets

Promulgated by the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation

Document number: F.T.(2018) No.108

Promulgation date: November 7th, 2018

The Circular Notice states that in order to further open up bond markets, from 7th November 2018 to 6th November 2021, foreign entities are temporarily exempted from enterprise income tax and value added tax on bond interest accruing from their investment in Chinese bond markets. However, enterprise income tax on bond interest obtained by and connected with a foreign-founded entity or venue in China cannot be exempted. (Source: Website of the Ministry of Finance)


4.Circular Notice on Better Regulation of Imports from Cross-Border E-Commerce Retailers

Promulgated by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, etc.

Document number: C.F.I. (2018) No.486

Promulgation date: November 28th, 2018

Effective date: January 1st, 2019

The Circular Notice states that regulatory authorities should treat imports from cross-border e-commerce retailers as personal items for which initial import permit approval, registration or recordation is not required. This rule does not apply to goods used in epidemic areas that the relevant authority orders to stop importing or goods that have serious quality problems causing safety risks which are being dealt with in an emergency process. (Source: Website of the Ministry of Commerce)


5.Opinions on Approval for Share Repurchase of Listed Companies

Promulgated by the Securities Regulatory Commission

Document number: No.35 (2018) SRC Announcement

Promulgation date: November 9th, 2018

Effective date: November 9th, 2018                                   

The Opinions contains six articles, stating that if the share price of a listed company is lower than the value of net assets per share or total decreases in the share price reach 30% within 20 business days, shares can be repurchased for the purposes of protecting its business value and shareholder rights and that it is recommended that shares legally repurchased be used in equity incentive and employee equity plans. (Source: Website of the Securities Regulatory Commission)


6.Announcement on Publishing the Special Inspecting Process for Creative Medical Instruments

Promulgated by the China Food and Drug Administration

Document number: No.83 CFDA Document in 2018

Promulgation date: November 2nd, 2018

Effective date: December 1st, 2018                                   

The Announcement states that in order to promote innovation and stimulate medical instrument manufacturers’ motivation for research and development work and taking account of characteristics of patents and the average time taken to develop a medical instrument, application for inspecting a creative medical instrument should be filed no later than 5 years following the announcement date of the patent approval. (Source: Website of the China Food and Drug Administration)


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