On June 29, 2012, the Supplementary Provisions IX to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (“CEPA”) was signed in Hong Kong. Under the supplementary provisions, the Mainland commits, from January 1, 2013, to further relax the market access conditions in 21 service trade sectors involving legal, accounting, construction, medical service, computer and related services, technical testing and analysis services, placement and supply services of personnel, printing, convention and exhibition, other business services, telecommunications, audiovisual, distribution, environment, banking, securities, social services, tourism, cultural, rail transport and individually owned stores. Liberalization measures will also be introduced in a new sector, namely, education services. In the legal service area, a Hong Kong law firm that has established a representative office in the Mainland will be allowed to operate in association with one to three Mainland law firms. In the telecommunications sector, the Mainland will permit Hong Kong service providers (i) to provide cross-boundary database services in Qianhai and Hengqin on a pilot basis, (ii) to establish joint venture enterprises (the proportion of Hong Kong service suppliers' shareholding shall not exceed 50%) in the Mainland to provide database services (only limited to the internet data center service business, store and forwarding business and information service business), and (iii) to establish wholly foreign owned enterprise or joint ventures in Dongguan and Zhuhai of Guangdong Province on a pilot basis to engage in offshore call center services. In addition, Hong Kong service providers may establish business-based training institutions in the Mainland on a wholly-owned, joint venture or cooperation basis. The supplementary provisions permit qualified Hong Kong securities companies (with maximum shareholding of 49%) to set up equity joint venture securities investment advisory companies, and also support qualified Hong Kong financial institutions to establish joint venture securities companies, fund management companies and futures companies in the Mainland.
The full Chinese text of the supplementary provisions is available here.