On 23 June 2020, the Chinese government announced the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (2020 Edition) (2020 National Negative List) and the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access in Pilot Free Trade Zones (2020 Edition) (2020 FTZ Negative List). The 2020 National Negative List and the 2020 FTZ Negative List (2020 Negative Lists) will come into force on 23 July 2020. The 2019 National Negative List and the 2019 FTZ Negative List (2019 Negative Lists) will be repealed on that same day.

In comparison with the 2019 National Negative List, the 2020 National Negative List has the following major changes:

 

Compared with the national negative list, the FTZ negative list usually has a higher degree of opening up to foreign investment. For example, in 2019, the 2019 FTZ Negative List already allowed foreign investors to invest in the fishing of aquatic products in sea areas and inland waters governed by China, and that businesses engaging in the printing of publications were no longer required to be controlled by Chinese investors. However, the prohibition and restriction over these areas are still not relaxed under the 2020 National Negative List.

In comparison with the 2019 FTZ Negative List, the 2020 FTZ Negative List basically adopts the same arrangements[2] on “Relaxation of restrictions”, “Lifting of prohibitions or restrictions”, and “Special provision”, as set out in the above table regarding the 2020 National Negative List. In addition, the 2020 FTZ Negative List also has the following major changes:

 

This article is only an overview of China’s latest negative lists for foreign investment access[3]. When investing, foreign investors may also need to consider the additional access requirements equally applicable to Chinese and foreign investment, the further preferential policies in specific regions, and so forth. Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.