China Laws and Regulations Update in April 2020

1.Opinions (I) on Legally and Appropriately Dealing with Civil Cases Arising from the Covid-19 Pandemic

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court

Document No. F.F.[2020] 12

Promulgation date: 20 April 2020                            

Opinions is comprised of ten items relating to use of support services provided by legal authorities, accurate application of force majeure rules, legally and appropriately dealing with contract, labor and other cases, exemplary damages, suspension of time limit on legal actions and extension of the period of legal proceedings, aid and support from legal authorities and companies. In general, the Opinions are given mainly from four aspects below.

  1. Different approaches to dispute resolution. The pandemic has extensive economic and social impact, especially on civil and commercial activities. To protect legal rights of persons affected by the pandemic, Opinions requires courts extend their main scope of work to sources of disputes, take active part in governing sources of disputes, advocate use of non-action approaches to dispute resolution, ensure the mediation process works well, appropriately resolve disputes arising from the pandemic.
  2. Clarification and specialization of rules on application of force majeure related laws. There is a widespread concern about force majeure related issues. Based on legislative opinions on basic legal issues connected with prevention and control of the pandemic, Opinions further clarifies basic issues connected with use of civil law in prevention and control of the pandemic, includes rules on the application of force majeure rules in civil cases, especially contract cases and states that it is important to administer law and avoid abuses of law at the same time, encourage business activities and minimize its impact on the economic order.
  3. Protection of employee and consumer rights. To protect employees’ legal rights such as equal employment rights, Opinions states that courts should not decide that an employer can give an employment termination to an employee on the ground that the employee is a confirmed or suspected Convid-19 patient, a person with Convid-19 virus and no symptom, a person legally put in quarantine or coming from an area afflicted with the pandemic. To protect consumers’ legal rights, Opinions states that courts should decide that consumers can claim exemplary damages by law.
  4. Legal protection of benefits in time limit and rights in legal actions. The pandemic and measures to prevent and control it have significant impact on claims of parties to a case for benefits in time limit on and the period of a legal action. To protect substantive and procedural rights of parties to a case, Opinions clarifies issues relating to suspension of time limit on and extension of the period of a legal action.

Opinions includes special provisions relating to uniform application of law in civil cases relating to the pandemic and requires professional judge meetings and trial commissions work sufficiently well. (Source: Website of the Supreme People’s Court)     

2.Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Improving Bankruptcy Trial Efficiency by Law

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court

Document No. F.F.[2020] 14

Promulgation date: 25 April 2020

The Supreme People’s Court issued the Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Bankruptcy Trial Efficiency by Law (Opinions) to deal with procedural issues connected with bankruptcy trial efficiency, bankruptcy cost reduction, a simplified quick bankruptcy trial system, etc.

Opinions contributes to further protection of legal rights of creditors, debtors and other persons, full use of the positive effect of bankruptcy trials on improvement of aid and withdrawal policies for persons involved in market activities and constant availability of good services and support from legal authorities to create a stable, transparent and predicable business atmosphere.

Opinions is comprised of 22 items and focuses on measures to improve bankruptcy trial efficiency from five aspects below: a. announcement and acceptance procedures; b.  approaches to receiving and investigating debtor’s property; c. creditor meeting convening and voting efficiency; d. simplified quick trial system; e. involuntary actions and fight against bad debt escapes. (Source: Website of the Supreme People’s Court)

3.Opinions of the Supreme Peoples Court on Giving More Legal Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

Promulgated by the National Development and Reform Commission

Document No. F.F.[2020] 11

Promulgation date: 21 April 2020

Opinions focuses on issues below.


  1. No violation of law. Socialist legal system theories, trials of intellectual property cases, rules on application of intellectual property law, protection of legal rights and benefits of intellectual property owners and participants in legal actions.
  2. Full realization of the value of intellectual property, original intention to motivate innovation, strict administration of laws, well-targeted and effective legal protection of intellectual property rights.
  3. Equal treatment of legal rights in intellectual property between persons in the economy with different types of ownership and persons from different countries, firm protection of equal substantive and procedural rights of parties to intellectual property actions.
  4. Preciseness. Needs and characteristics of different types of intellectual property. Plans for protecting different types and areas of intellectual property in manners, ways and standards that are suitable for its special features and needs.
  5. Efficiency. Seamless connection between civil and administrative processes in patent and trademark laws, significant reduction of the burden of proof on right holders, effective use of temporary legal protection measures and significant improvement of trial efficiency in intellectual property cases.
  6. Long-term effect. Appeal and technical facts inspection mechanisms, use of classic cases as a guide to legal authorities making decision, uniform decision making rules, establishment of a jurisdiction mechanism that adapts to the “three in one” trial mechanism, modernize special courts, etc. in the trial system, the trial team and the ability to perform trials.
  7. Comprehensiveness. Full legal protection of intellectual property rights in the whole chain from creation to use of intellectual property and the whole process from case filing to enforcement. (Source: Website of theSupreme People’s Court)

4.Internet Security Inspection Rules

Promulgated by the Cyber Administration of China

Promulgation date: 27 April 2020

Main parts of Rules are as follows.


  1. Main scope of the inspection work and priorities in the national security area

As the basis of the internet security inspection system, Rules begins with a statement that the internet security inspection system is part of the national security inspection system that is established according to Article 59 of the National Security Law and Article 35 of the Internet Security Law, giving a clearer description of objectives of the internet security inspection.

  1. A long-term effective mechanism, change of inspected persons and responsibilities of core information and infrastructure operators

Rules significantly changes inspected persons from “internet product and service providers” to “core information and infrastructure operators”, which play a critical role in connecting different sides in the entire inspection process and assume responsibilities for “predicting risks”, “requiring product and service providers help with inspection by procurement documents, etc.”, “reporting”, “providing additional materials”, “urging product and service providers to fulfill their commitments”, etc.

  1. Taking internationally recognized practices and non-technical factors into consideration

Rules prominently adds “the risk of shortage of supplies arising from non-technical factors such as the variety of sources of suppliers and reliability of suppliers” to factors considered in the decision-making process. (Source: Website of the State Council)

5.Administrative Permit Rules of the People’s Bank of China

Promulgated by the People’s Bank of China

Document number: No.1 PBC Order [2020]

Promulgation date: 1 April 2020                          

The amended Rules gives the basis for applying for and obtaining the administrative permit on the internet and helps improve the administrative permit process to make it more efficient. Rules includes a simplified process mainly used to deal with matters connected with approval and issuance of the permit for opening a bank account, recordation of changes of a license and qualification certificate, etc. The time limit on deciding whether to approve the above matters is changed to five days after acceptance of the case filing application. These measures helps improve approval efficiency and reduce costs and the applicant’s pressure. In addition, the Administrative Permit Law of the PRC further clarifies in-process and after-fact regulatory measures such as inspection conducted by law enforcement officers and punishment given by administrative authority and take action to “simplify the political system, transfer the government power to non-government persons, implement power transfer and regulation policies at the same time and improve services”. The amended Rules reflects the objectives of deepening the “government power, regulation and service” reform and the in-process and after-fact regulation system reform and establishes a system based on which the electronic government services and “one-stop online services” for administrative permit applicants are provided. In the next step the people’s bank will work hard to amend the guide to administrative permit related services, take relevant measures, improve the “Internet+government service” platform and continue to improve the performance of administrative and financial regulatory authorities. (Source: Website of the People’s Bank of China)

6.Regulations of the Quality of Clinical Trials of Drugs

Promulgated by the National Medical Products Administration

Promulgation date: 7 April 2020

Implementation date: 1 July 2020                            

Regulations mainly deals with the following issues.

  1. Responsibilities of parties involved. The chapter of the ethical committee explains constituents and running of the committee, ethical inspection, procedures and documents and other requirements. The Regulations focuses the sponsor’s responsibilities, defines the sponsor as the person who is ultimately liable for the quality and reliability of data from clinical trials and work harder to regulate outsourcing activities.
  2. Protection of participants. The ethical committee should especially take care of less advantaged participants, investigate adverse effect on participants and deal with complaints from participants.
  3. Quality management system. The sponsor should establish a clinical trial quality system, implement quality standards based on risks, give more quality assurance and control, establish an independent data inspection committee, and conduct inspection based on risk evaluation results.
  4. Safety information report. Standards, procedures, and requirements for the sponsor’s safety information report on clinical trials. Researchers should report all serious adverse incidents to the sponsor.

New technology application rules. The electronic information management system should ensure trial data are complete, accurate and reliable through reliable system validation.

  1. Experience in international clinical monitoring and control. Clinical trials are subject to the conflict of interests principle. Drugs used in clinical trials during bio-equivalence trials should be randomly selected, stored, etc. Medical records should contain exact time and names of participants giving their agreement. The sponsor can hold related persons liable for and report to the drug administration any serious violation of the protocol or Regulations.
  2. Medical requirements of the health authority. Formation and registration of the ethical committee are subject to requirements of the health authority. The sponsor should report suspicious and unexpected serious adverse reactions to the drug administration and the health authority. (Source: Website of the National Medical Products Administration)


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