Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Verification and Approval (2014 edition) (the “Catalogue”) (政府核准的投资项目目录(2014 年本)), issued by the State Council

The Catalogue is an updated version of the previous 2013 edition, which is analyzed in our Legal Flash of January 2014. It mainly introduces the following changes:

Foreign direct investment

The  Catalogue  raises  the  threshold  amount  of  various  types  of  investment projects that are subject to governmental verification and approval, as follows:

  • Subject to approval by the state-level National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) or the Ministry of Commerce (the “MOFCOM”):
    • Encouraged projects specified under the Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (the “Guiding Catalogue”) that must be controlled by Chinese investors, with total investment (or an increase in the total investment) equal to or over USD 1 billion, and
    • Restricted projects (excluding real estate projects) with total investment (or an increase in the total investment) equal to or over USD 100 million.
  • Subject to approval by the provincial-level government:
    • Real estate projects as restricted under the Guiding Catalogue, and
    • Projects restricted under the Guiding Catalogue with total investment (or an increase in the total investment) of less than USD 100 million are. In addition, the restricted project with total investment (or an increase in the total investment) equal to or over USD 2 billion shall be subject to record filing with the State Council.
  • Subject to local government approval:
    • Encouraged projects that must be controlled by Chinese investors , with total investment (or capital increase) of less than USD 1 billion.

Outbound investment

The Catalogue removes the threshold of USD 1 billion above which outbound investment projects involving sensitive countries, regions or industries, had to be approved by the state-level NDRC or MOFCOM. Therefore, under the Catalogue, all investment projects, including inbound and outbound, that involve sensitive countries and regions or sensitive industries shall be subject to the verification and approval by the competent investment department (i.e. NDRC or MOFCOM) of the State Council.

Other highlights

Investment projects of enterprises under central management other than those explicitly listed by various industrial sectors, and projects with a total investment of at least USD 300 million invested by local enterprises shall be subject to record filing with the competent investment department of the State Council.

Date of issue: October 31, 2014. Effectiveness date: October 31, 2014.