China Laws and Regulations Update in March 2020

1.Information Security Technology and Personal Information Safety Rules

Published by the State Standardization Administration

Document No. GB/T 35273-2020

Publication date: 6 March 2020

Implementation date: 1 October 2020

Rules deals with personal information collection, storage and use matters and states that personal information owners have the rights to access, correct, remove, revoke the license, cancel the account and obtain copies of personal information. There are three major changes this time from the 2017 version.

  1. new additions such as “function options”, “use restrictions on user images”, “use of individualized presentations”, “combination of personal information collected for different purposes”, “third party access”, “personal information safety projects” and “records of personal information processing activities”;
  2. amendments to “exclusion of authorized people”, “personal information owner account cancellation”, “responsible departments and persons”, “approaches torealizing true intention of the personal information owner”, etc.
  3. Personal bio-information requirements are further clarified and improved. Rules states that the personal information owner should be solely informed of the purpose, means and scope of collecting and using their personal bio-information and rules such as storage time and the personal information owner’s explicit agreement should be obtained before collection of personal bio-information. (Source: Website of the National Standard Commission)    

2.State Council’s Decision to Grant and Commission the Powerto Give Approval for Land Use

Published by the State Council

Published document number: G.F.[2020] No.4

Publication date: 12 March 2020

Implementation date: 12 March 2020

“Decision” clearly states that people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities are authorized by the State Council, as appropriate, to grant approval for transforming agricultural land except permanent basic farmland to construction land. According to Article 44.3 of the Land Law, the State Council authorizes people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to transform agricultural land (except permanent basic farmland) to construction land phase by phase in cities included in the State Council approved general plan for land use according to annual land use plan and the size of construction land. According to Article 44.4 of the Land Law, the State Council authorizes people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to transform agricultural land (except permanent basic farmland) to construction land beyond the size of construction land in cities, villages or towns that are not included in the general plan for land use. (Source: Website of the State Council)  

3.Notice of the National Development Commission on Deepening the Reform and Dealing with Foreign Invested Project Related Matters Appropriately in the Background of the Epidemic

Published by the National Development Commission

Published document number: F.G.W.Z.[2020] No.343

Publication date: 9 March 2020

Notice instructs local governments take eleven measures to stabilize foreign investment. First, to give active support to foreign invested projects and help foreign invested companies resume work, provide different guides to projects in different phases, give support that they need, cause foreign invested companies and industrial chains to resume work together and apply support policies for companies to foreign invested companies; second, to make greater efforts to track and maintain significant foreign invested projects, boost investment and include qualified significant foreign invested manufacturing or high technology projects in the coordination scope of the special panel; third, to continue working on coordination of significant foreign invested projects, give support both nationally and locally and establish and improve the mechanism of the special panel for significant foreign invested projects in key provinces and cities; four, to fully implement the negative list for foreign investors and further clarify relevant provisions of the Implementation Rules on the Foreign Investment Law; five, to facilitate the foreign investment recordation process and fully implement the recordation by notice system and the internet-based process; six, to simplify the formalities for obtaining approval for foreign invested projects, cancel five documents attached as appendices, encourage people to go through the process in a way that does not need to meet each other face to face and allow people to go through the process in their absence during the quarantine; seven, to improve the confirmation process for the exemption of tax on import of equipment used in preferential foreign invested projects, cancel the re-reporting process for departments below provincial ones, accelerate the process in different ways during the quarantine; eight, to protect legal rights in foreign invested projects by strictly carrying out the provisions relating to equal treatment of Chinese and foreign investors, non-compulsory technology transfer, protection of trade secrets, etc. of the Foreign Investment Law; nine, to make greater efforts to provide visit services for foreign invested companies, advertise and explain policies, receive opinions of a wide range of people and help to resolve issues; ten, to improve in-process and after-fact supervision and regulation of foreign invested projects, work harder on inter-department collaboration and cooperation, improve the project supervision and regulation system “on a double-random and open basis”, etc. and avoid unnecessary examinations that would add pressure to companies; eleven, to further expand the scope of foreign investment and modify the Catalogue of Industries in Which Foreign Investments Are Encouraged. (Source: Website of the State Council)

4.Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Taking Measures to Stabilize Jobs in the Backgroundof COVID-19 Epidemic

Published by the General Office of the State Council

Published document number: G.B.F.[2020] No.6

Publication date: 20 March 2020

Opinions puts forward five policies.

  1. to work harder to implement the employment incentive policy, help companies to resume work, cancel unreasonable approval systems that would restrict work resumption, work harder to reduce pressure and keep jobs, accelerate the implementation of temporary and effective tax and cost reduction policies and increase unemployment insurance repayment criteria for medium and small size companies to stabilize jobs.
  2. to direct safe and appropriate job transfer for workers from rural areas, work harder to support job deployment in key companies, provide “one-stop point-to-point” services for workers from rural areas resuming work and widely implement the mechanism of mutual recognition of health information.
  3. to give more employment approaches to people graduating from universities and colleges, encourage medium and small size companies to employ them, pay eligible ones of them a lump-sum allowance for giving job opportunities and increase the number of candidates of state-owned companies, public services, basic service projects, conscripts, master programs and diploma-bachelor programs.
  4. to make greater efforts to protect basic rights of people in trouble, ensure unemployed people have life essentials, make it possible to apply for unemployment insurance benefits on the internet before the end of April, pay unemployment allowances equal to six times monthly allowance to people who are still unemployed when the period of payment of unemployment insurance benefits expires and unemployed people who are insured and not eligible for receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
  5. to improve professional training and employment services, vigorously provide professional skill training, give special training to workers from rural areas and other special groups, give access to the online unemployment registration system before the end of March, provide online employment services and allowance application and collection services, increase human resources services, improve employment coaching services and administer downsizing related laws. (Source: Website of the State Council)

5.Opinions on Making Greater Efforts to TakeHealth Safety and Quarantine Measures on the Frontier and Legally Punishing Illegal Activities and Crimes of Not Cooperating in Taking Health Safety and Quarantine Measures on the Frontier

Published by the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and the General Administration of Customs

Published document number: S.F.F.[2020] No.50

Publication date: 16 March 2020                                

Opinions clearly states that according to Article 332 of the Criminal Law doing any of the following activities by violating the Frontier Sanitation and Quarantine Rules is an act of not cooperating in taking health safety and quarantine measures on the frontier, including a person who is found or suspected to suffer an infectious disease and should be put in quarantine refusing to take quarantine measures such as reporting health conditions, taking temperature, cooperating in medical inspection, epidemiological survey, medical examination, sampling, etc. or health safety measures such as being put in quarantine, cooperating in onsite inspection or diagnosis, other medical measures, etc. proposed by the customs in accordance with the Frontier Sanitation and Quarantine Law and other laws; or concealing health conditions by giving false information in the health condition report form, or falsifying or altering the quarantine form or certificate; any person going abroad with or sending abroad without approval for exemption from quarantine microbes, human tissue, biological products, blood or products made from blood or other special items that they know or should know are subject to official approval; the person in charge of a vehicle on which someone has or is suspected to have an infectious disease and should be put in quarantine refusing to take health safety and quarantine measures or medical treatment; the person in charge of a vehicle from a country afflicted with the epidemic on which someone has been found to die not accidentally and for no known reason concealing the facts deliberately; or refusing to take quarantine measures required by the customs in accordance with the Frontier Sanitation and Quarantine Law and other relevant laws and regulations. (Source: Website of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate)

6.A Letter from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to Clarify Issues Connected with Electronic Employment Contracts

Published by the General Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Public Security

Document number: R.S.T.F. (2020) No.33

Publication date: 11 March 2020                                

MOHRSS states that the employer and the employee can enter into a written employment contract in an electronic form by reaching a mutual agreement through consultation. Electronic employment contracts should be in an electronic form that can be deemed as an equivalence to a written form with reliable electronic signature in accordance with electronic signature law and other relevant laws and regulations. The employer should undertake that the electronic employment contract is established, delivered, retained, etc. as required by electronic signature law and other relevant laws and regulations and complete, accurate and true. The employer and the employee should fully perform their obligations under an electronic employment contract entered into between them which should be deemed to be in legal force if it is in accordance with the labor contract law and above requirements. (Source: Website of the Ministry of Human Resources and Public Security)


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