China Laws and Regulations Update in January 2022

1. Civil Proceeding Law (Amended)

Promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National Congress

Promulgation date: 15 December 2021

Implementation date: 1 January 2022

Publication No. 106 President Order

The main amendments to the Civil Proceeding Law involve legal confirmation, small action and simplified procedures, sole adjudicator rules and online actions.

First, improvements to the legal confirmation procedures. In the amendment the application scope of the legal confirmation procedures are appropriately broadened to cover agreements reached through legally founded mediation organizations and allow intermediate people’s courts to deal with legal confirmation applications within their competent jurisdictions.

Second, improvements to small action procedures. In the amendment application conditions and limits on amounts in dispute in small action procedures are clarified with a negative list for the application of the small action procedures, setting out six types of cases, i.e. confirmation of rights, alien related, appraisal or examination required, missing person and counterclaim cases where the small action procedures cannot apply.

Third, improvements to the simplified procedures. Provisions relating to extension of the period of time for dealing with cases under simplified procedures, stating that the period of time for dealing with cases under simplified procedures may be extended for one month in special circumstances subject to the court head’s approval.

Fourth, the application scope of the sole adjudicator rules is broadened. The amendment sets out the model of dealing with general and appeal cases under the sole adjudicator rules; adds the negative list for the application of the sole adjudication rules, stating that the sole adjudicator rules are not applicable in six types of cases that involve major interests, influence social stability, have extensive social effect, are new, difficult or complicated or should be dealt with under the collective decision making rules; adds the change mechanism between the sole adjudicator and collective decision making systems, stating that people’s courts have the authority to legally change adjudicators and parties involved can file opposition to the application of the sole adjudicator.

Five, improvements to online action rules. The amendment adds legal force clauses for online actions, stating that online actions are not applicable until parties thereto agree to go through the online action and the legal force of acts in online and onsite actions are the same; improves the electronic delivery rules to strengthen the implementation of the electronic delivery rules without violating the voluntary principles; and shortens the period of time of an announcement of delivery from sixty days to thirty days to adapt to social and economic developments and changes.

(Source: Xinhua News)

2. Trade Union Law (Revised)

Promulgated by Standing Committee of National Congress

Promulgation date: 24 December 2021

Implementation date: 1 January 2022

Document number:107 President Order

The new trade union law reflects new requirements of the worker development reform in general industries, adding that the trade union should promote the reform, improve the overall qualities of workers, treat them as the backbone of the industry, protect their legal rights, ensure they are in leading positions and develop a large ambitious, faithful, skilled, creative, responsible and devoted team of workers.

The new trade union law sets out the rights to join and organize the trade union of workers in emerging jobs such as truck drivers online hailing car drivers, couriers and food deliverymen, adding that the trade union should adapt to changes in the organizational form, personnel structure, employment relations, jobs, etc. and legally protect employees’ rights to join and organize the trade union.

In addition, the new trade union law amends basic duties of the trade union by changing “protect employees’ legal rights” to “protect employees’ rights and provide excellent services to employees and the public”; expands the coverage of trade unions at lowest levels, stating employees in social organizations are entitled to legally join and organize trade unions; and are better connected with relevant laws, stating general trade unions above the county level can legally provide legal services such as legal aids to affiliated trade unions and employees.

(Source: Xinhua News)

3. Noise Pollution Prevention Law

Promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National Congress

Promulgation date: 24 December 2021

Implementation date: 5 June 2022

Publication No. 104 President Order

The law gives a new definition of noise pollution that in addition to annoying noise above accepted levels, also includes noise in areas where there are no relevant standards that affects people’s life, work or study in an unpleasant way without legally taking action to prevent and control it, broadens the application scope by changing industrial noise to noise from production activities to protect basic interests of all the people, adds measures to regulate and control annoying noise from subways, “roaring” automobiles on streets, public vehicles, pets, restaurants, etc., applying provisions that only applied in urban areas to rural areas, and includes environmental vibration control standards and requirements.

(Source: Xinhua News)

4. Technology and Science Advancement Law (Amended)

Promulgated by the Standing Committee of Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress

Promulgation date: 24 December 2021

Implementation date: 1 January 2022

Publication No. 103 President Order

To deepen the technological and scientific reform, the amended technology and science advancement law states that our country supports the growth of emerging innovation entities such as emerging research and development organizations and improves the development model with diverse sources of funds, modern management, market based operational systems and flexible employment policies. To spend more money on researches and studies, the amended law states that our country encourages local governments with sufficient money to reasonably decide government funding and strengthen support for basic studies, guides businesses to spend more money on basic studies, encourage social communities to contribute to basic studies in various ways, and allows local governments with sufficient money to support basic studies by setting aside funds for natural sciences.

Considering excessive affairs researchers need to deal with, the amended law include provisions intended to improve scientific and technological personnel management policies, increase the awareness of services and the ability of assistance, simplify regulatory procedures, avoid repeated examinations and evaluations, reduce the burden of filings, etc. on scientists and technologists and ensure they have enough time to do researches and studies.

In addition, the amended law includes provisions relating to rewards for scientists and technologists, fund raising problems technology businesses have, innovation in science and technology, legal responsibilities, etc.

(Source: Xinhua News)

5. Rules on Implementation of Work on Law Application by Supreme People’s Court

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court

Promulgation date: 30 November 2021

Implementation date: 1 December 2021

The Implementation Rules consists of twenty articles with its content divided into five main parts. First, it gives details of the work on uniform law application, restates basic requirements for dealing with cases, formulating legal interpretations and publishing cases and ensures legal interpretations and published cases are fully used as guidance. Second, it further clarifies the circumstances and scope of similar case searches, preparation of similar case search descriptions or reports, similar case search requirements and “the system of deciding similar cases in the same way”. Third, it further clarifies types of cases discussed on meetings of judges from different departments, adding that policies for meetings of judges from different departments should be formulated and improved, disputes arising from the application of laws between different departments and major law application issues involving different areas should be studied and resolved and judges should be given advice on dealing with difficult and complicated cases as a job. Fourth, it creates a mechanism for dealing with specific law application issues and makes guidance for decision making rules faster and easier by adjudication committee resolutions on law application issues, etc. Fifth, it requires establishment of a uniform law application platform and case database to advance technology used in law application and regulation of the power to make decisions and solve real problems facing judges such as excessive helpless similar case searches and difficulty in learning from similar cases.

(Source: SPC Website)

6. General Trademark Offense Identification Criteria

Promulgated by the National Intellectual Property Administration

Promulgation date: 13 December 2021

Implementation date: 1 January 2022

Document number: G.Z.F.B.Z.[2021] 34

The Criteria gives a full, clear and concise description of useful experience and practices in trademark management, focuses on common major problems in law administration, is a good guideline for trademark law administration departments and creates transparent and foreseeable trademark management rules.

The Criteria consists of thirty five articles and detailed provisions about no use of registered trademarks that must be used by trademark law, regulation or rule, use of marks that cannot be used as trademarks, use of “well-known trademark” in business and nine types of illegal activities of trademark licensees, i.e. not legally identifying name and origin of products, changing registered trademark, registrant’s name or address or other registered items, use of counterfeited registered trademarks, not fulfilling the obligation to manage collective or certification trademark or trademark production, and filing registered trademark applications in bad faith.

(Source: CNIPA Website)

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