China Market Intelligence

December 17th, 2014
John Lenhart

China’s lead food and health safety regulator, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), will focus on continued restructuring and increased enforcement efforts in 2015, according to statements made to the US-China Business Council (USCBC). USCBC led a group of eight companies in a roundtable discussion with Director General Yuan Lin of the CFDA in Beijing on December 5. Company representatives shared concerns regarding uneven regulatory enforcement and cumbersome administrative...

December 17th, 2014
Ryan Ong

The elimination of joint venture restrictions and removal of “prohibited” and “restricted” labels for foreign investment in key sectors in the new draft Catalogue Guiding Foreign Investment (CGFI) mark progress for US companies in some sectors in China. However, as the US-China Business Council (USCBC) flagged in its recommendations on the catalogue submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in early December, the draft remains problematic; troublesome ownership caps...

December 17th, 2014
Jake Laband

Chinese leaders pledged to continue structural reforms and regional economic development in light of slowing GDP growth at last week’s Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC), held in Beijing. The conference, considered to be the last major meeting of the year for the Chinese government, reviewed China’s economic performance in 2014 and set the country’s economic agenda for the year to come. Although this year’s conference did not formally announce a specific GDP growth target, most...

December 17th, 2014
Zoe Sophos

In the face of slowing growth and what policymakers are calling a “new normal” for China’s economy, central planners have stepped up the pace of long-discussed financial liberalizations, from the opening of free trade zones and the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to—most recently—the proposed establishment of a deposit insurance system. While the immediate effects may mean little for foreign businesses in China, long-term impacts could include full liberalization of interest rates and the...

December 17th, 2014
Ellen Huber

The State Council has released China’s official 2015 holiday schedule, which includes weeklong holidays for both Spring Festival and National Day. The schedule also gives workers seven other holidays, but does require four make-up days. The make-up days result in just one six-day work week this year in early January. The schedule, seen below, creates several three-day weekends, modeled after Western holiday planning.

Chinese New Year: Closed January 1-3, with January 4 as a make-up day...
December 3rd, 2014
Owen Haacke

In November, Chinese and US negotiators surprised the global business community by announcing an end to a standoff over high-technology tariffs. In agreeing to move forward with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), China paved the way for the slashing of tariffs on items from semiconductors to video game consoles. The breakthrough on ITA was a welcome development, but there are a number of other WTO initiatives that both the United States and China are...

December 3rd, 2014
Dan Markus

The US-China climate change joint agreement received significant media coverage in the United States, with many outlets citing it as the main outcome of last month’s Obama-Xi summit. Under the agreement, China agreed to cap its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and increase non-fossil fuel energy from 10 to 20 percent of its energy mix by the same year. But despite its high visibility, many questions remain. How much of a change does the new agreement represent? How feasible is implementation...

December 3rd, 2014
Stephanie Henry

As Chinese and American business travelers know well, securing visas for short- or long-term stays can be a time-consuming process. But when Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping met in mid-November, they hammered out a deal that could ease burdens on Chinese and American travelers alike. The latest development introduced changes to both countries’ systems that would extend visa validity up to 10 years for US and Chinese tourists and business travelers. This new visa policy will facilitate...

November 14th, 2014
Ryan Ong

China has taken big steps forward in recent weeks with its plans to establish specialized intellectual property (IP) courts in three cities. The Beijing IP Court announced its formal launch and new leadership, while Shanghai and Guangzhou are actively working towards formal launches by the end of the year. These courts, which are designed to improve the quality of IP-related court judgments, will run for a three-year period before the Supreme People’s Court evaluates and determines next...

November 12th, 2014
Dan Markus

After years of debate, China is set to implement a new resource tax on coal  starting December 1. The new tax will be based on the sales price, not the quantity sold, as is currently the case. Coal-related fees, such as the environmental compensation levy, are also expected  to be cancelled. The reforms aim to standardize the coal tax system and promote resource conservation. Each province’s fiscal and taxation department will propose a tax rate of between 2 and 10 percent to the...

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