China Market Intelligence

April 25th, 2007
Measures on administration of life insurance products

In a welcome act of regulatory transparency, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) on April 13 posted draft Measures on the Administration of Life Insurance Products for comment by May 15.

In a fundamental change from past measures, the draft measures require that CIRC examine and approve new life insurance products prior to their launch. (Regulators have stressed the need to improve the overall quality...

April 25th, 2007

The US-China Business Council (USCBC) today released a breakdown of US individual state exports to China during the 2000-06 period that shows the remarkable growth of China as an export market for US goods. The report, US Exports to China by State 2000-06, is the second in a series of US state and congressional district export analyses that USCBC is undertaking to help inform the debate about trade with China.

Among the highlights of the...

April 25th, 2007

US Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Mary E. Peters recently visited Shanghai and Beijing to advocate for the liberalization of China's transportation sector, particularly the aviation market. Peters met with PRC counterparts in the ministries of Communications, Construction, Rail, the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), and the National Development and Reform Commission.

USCBC and the American Chambers of Commerce-Shanghai and -China cohosted...

April 18th, 2007

After completing the first reading of China's draft Employment Promotion Law during the full session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in March, the NPC released the draft law and is soliciting comments until April 25. The draft law contains several provisions that companies should note.

The draft law explicitly bars employment discrimination based on a person's "ethnicity, race, sex, religion, age, physical disability, etc." Though observers have praised the attempt to prevent...

April 18th, 2007

The PRC National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released its 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP, 2006-10) on Energy Development last week. The plan focuses on energy production and consumption efficiency, energy supply diversification, energy security, and environmental protection. The plan aims to reduce China's share of coal and oil consumption and to increase its share of natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power, and renewable energy consumption (see Table). To reach these goals, the plan...

April 18th, 2007

As reported in the April 4 CMI, the PRC State Council recently issued an opinion on developing China's services sector, which proposed forming a task force--or "leading group" in PRC government terminology--to manage services sector development. Recent press reports and US-China Business Council (USCBC) sources have confirmed more details on the leading group.

The National Leading Group for the Development of the Services Industry will be an interagency standing body under the State...

April 18th, 2007
US, PRC regulators hold JEC meeting in Washington

US and PRC financial regulators met in Washington, DC, on April 16 to discuss financial sector issues under the auspices of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Clay Lowery led the US delegation, which included participants from the US Federal Reserve, Department of State, and other federal agencies. Vice Minister of Finance Li Yong headed the PRC delegation, which...

April 11th, 2007
2007 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection Action Plan

The PRC National IPR Working Group, an interagency body under the State Council, released China's 2007 IPR Protection Action Plan last week. According to the plan, the PRC government will continue to revise existing IPR laws, regulations, and judicial interpretations; undertake IPR campaigns; and improve judicial enforcement of IPR.

The 2007 plan states that China will build on many measures from the 2006...

April 11th, 2007

The PRC Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate jointly issued a new judicial interpretation of China's IPR laws, which took effect on April 5. The new interpretation replaces parts of the December 2004 IPR judicial interpretation. Although it reduces the numerical threshold for determining when copyright violations can be considered criminal, it does not alter the monetary value thresholds. This limits the significance of the interpretation.

The new...

April 11th, 2007

The United States on Tuesday launched two WTO challenges of PRC laws that USTR officials say allow for widespread infringement of IPR.

This marks the third major enforcement action initiated by US trade officials in as many months. In February, USTR launched a WTO case challenging alleged subsidies to Chinese exporters. In March, the US Department of Commerce announced it would apply countervailing duty laws to China.

In a press release Tuesday, a MOFCOM spokesperson...