China approves new foreign investment law designed to level domestic playing field for overseas investors

“We’ve reviewed the final draft of the [law] and are pleased with the last-minute addition of new language to further protect foreign company commercial information and trade secrets,” said Jake Parker, vice-president of China operations at the US-China Business Council. “The addition of language imposing criminal penalties for sharing sensitive foreign company information adopts a much tougher deterrent against counterfeiting and [intellectual property] theft and will offer new avenues for the enforcement of [intellectual property] protection. Enforcement will be the key metric for evaluating success, but the business community has collectively advocated for years for the Chinese government to impose criminal penalties for [intellectual property] infringement, we need to recognise this positive progress to that end. “We hope that delaying the implementation of the law to January 1, 2020 will offer additional opportunities for foreign companies to work with regulators to resolve our concerns around [joint venture] contracts, national security reviews, and participation in standard setting bodies.”