China Market Intelligence

December 31st, 2014
Zoe Sophos

Zhang Kunsheng, China’s assistant foreign affairs minister and former secretary at the PRC’s embassy in the US, was recently removed from his post under suspicion of corruption, according to a January 2 statement on the foreign ministry’s website. The post indicated that Zhang is currently under investigation for “violating discipline,” a phrase commonly used by Chinese authorities to refer to corruption. The senior diplomat is the highest ranking official from the Ministry of Foreign...

December 19th, 2014
USCBC Staff

The United States and China wrapped up three days of commercial negotiations in Chicago yesterday, making  progress on competition policy, intellectual property rights (IPR), and product approvals in agriculture and medical devices. The 25th Meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT)—an annual bilateral dialogue about commercial cooperation and concerns—built on the success of the November bilateral meeting between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping by...

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 and Nick Marro

China’s State Council has further decentralized the approval process for foreign, domestic, and outbound investment projects with its release of the 2014 Catalogue of Investment Projects Under Government Approval. The approval catalogue—published on November 18—means that more foreign investment projects can now go through a simplified government filing process in lieu of the traditional approval process. The catalogue decentralized approvals in ten industries, including raw materials and...

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...

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