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1 Jul 2019
On 30 June 2019, two new editions of the so-called “Negative Lists” were issued: the Special Administrative Measures on Foreign Investment Access (“National Negative List”) and the Special Administrative Measures on Foreign Investment Access in Pilot Free Trade Zones (“FTZ Negative List”). These Negative Lists will take effect on 30 July 2019, replacing the corresponding ones of 2018.
These issuances tie in with the newly promulgated Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China (“FIL”), which as of 1 January 2020 will regulate foreign investment in China according to a principle of “pre-establishment national treatment” plus Negative Lists: in short, a foreign party may invest in China just like a domestic party unless the investment falls within one of the sectors enumerated in the Negative Lists.
The National Negative List contains 40 prohibited or restricted sectors, down from 48, while the FTZ Negative List contains 37, down from 45. The restrictions that have been eliminated or relaxed are as follows:
For the sectors eliminated from these latest editions of the Negative Lists, just as for any other sectors not on them, market access requirements and procedures for foreign investors should be the same as or similar to those for domestic parties. In some sectors, however, foreign parties are still subject to some additional requirements and procedures, e.g., obtaining approvals from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for engaging in VATS. For the sectors not eliminated from the latest Negative Lists, foreign investment is still restricted or, e.g., in publishing, news and broadcast television, completely prohibited.
 Special Administrative Measures on Foreign Investment Access (Negative List) (2019 Edition) (《外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单)(2019年版)》), jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”).
 Special Administrative Measures on Foreign Investment Access (Negative List) in Pilot Free Trade Zones (2019 Edition) (《自由贸易试验区外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单)(2019年版)》), jointly issued by the NDRC and MOFCOM.
 There are only eliminations, no additions, in the restrictions.