China Market Intelligence

January 22nd, 2014
Owen Haacke and Ryan Ong

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued new guidelines in December that trim its role in foreign investment approvals, but not in sectors that currently have foreign investment ownership restrictions. The changes will apply to both centrally and locally approved foreign investment projects, and largely eliminate the government approval of feasibility studies for investments not subject to conditions outlined in policies such as the Catalogue Guiding Foreign Investment (...

January 22nd, 2014
Tim Donovan

Describing corruption as a “disease that calls for powerful drugs,” Chinese President Xi Jinping promised members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) an even stronger crackdown on graft when he addressed the group on January 14. The talk accompanied the release of new party rules regulating promotion and corruption and a CCDI report that found China’s discipline inspection agencies to have punished about 182,000 officials in 2013, fully 13.3 percent more than in 2012...

January 22nd, 2014
Owen Haacke

In a sign that China’s leaders are increasingly serious about economic reform, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) released work plans for the next year that prioritize easing restrictions on foreign and private investment and accelerating fiscal reforms to restructure the country’s economy. Many of the priorities reflect reforms introduced during November’s third plenum. Others are more specific, dealing with issues from counterfeiting to e-commerce to tax...

January 16th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

Companies investing in any market must deal with administrative licensing—or getting official government approval—for everything from selling products to building new manufacturing facilities. But in China, the extensive, complex, and at times onerous licensing system at all levels of government can result in significant delays, added costs, and lost revenue for companies.

Administrative licensing has been a top concern of US companies operating in China for some time. According to...

January 8th, 2014
USCBC Staff

The new year is bringing several personnel changes to the US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) Beijing and Shanghai offices, which will continue the tradition of strong leadership in the organization’s China operations.

John Lenhart has been promoted to director and chief representative of USCBC’s Beijing office, putting him in charge of operations and staff there. Lenhart had previously been deputy director of the office since September 2012 and then acting director since November....

January 8th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The Obama administration yesterday formally nominated Senator Max Baucus, D-MT, to be the next US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Once confirmed, Baucus will succeed Ambassador Gary Locke, who has served in the position since 2011.

Baucus has been actively engaged on trade issues during his three decades in the Senate, particularly in his role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He has traveled to China eight times to discuss trade and commercial issues and has...

January 8th, 2014
Owen Haacke

Over the past four decades, China has seen the largest migration in human history. Since 1979, more than 300 million rural residents have moved into China’s cities, bringing the country’s urban population to 710 million. This has increased the proportion of China’s urban population from just 17.9 percent in 1978 to 52.6 percent today. Recognizing the need to address the challenges this shift has created, top Chinese leaders are pushing for a “people-focused” urbanization plan, some details...

January 8th, 2014
Ryan Ong

As reported by USCBC just prior to the holidays, US and Chinese senior government officials concluded the 2013 plenary session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on December 20 in Beijing with agreements on a range of intellectual property rights (IPR) concerns and modest progress on other commercial issues such as government procurement, standards and conformity assessment, and agriculture.

The US government released several fact sheets on JCCT deliverables...

January 8th, 2014
John Lenhart

Government officials from the United States and China had an active month of bilateral meetings and negotiations in December, culminating in the plenary session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) held in Beijing on December 19 and 20. The US-China Business Council (USCBC) was extremely active in December in Beijing, facilitating membership meetings with two Chinese government officials and visiting American officials preparing for the JCCT. USCBC also continued to conduct...

January 8th, 2014
Jake Parker

In another signal of how the Chinese government will implement reform measures to reign in local government debt, cool industrial overcapacity, and restructure the Chinese economic growth model, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee amended its traditional, GDP-centered method of evaluating local government officials in December. The new method limits the weight of GDP in assessment metrics and increases the importance of existing assessment factors such as local government...

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