Furthering opening of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Shanghai Municipal People’s Government issued the Opinions on Further Opening Value-Added Telecommunications Business to Foreign Investment in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone, with effect from January, 2014. The opinions open several value-added telecoms services (VATS) to foreign investment in the SFTZ, including call centers, domestic multiparty telecom services, internet access services, domestic Internet virtual private network services, online data processing, and transaction processing services (business e-commerce). Some of these areas are opened for the first time – the 50% VATS cap has been increased or removed for others. Continue reading
Following the opening of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) in September (Aug.-Sept. China Bulletin), at least 12 foreign bank branches and 1,400 companies have registered in the SFTZ, and more than 6,000 are applying to register. A series of new announcements and regulations have been issued opening value-added telecoms services (see SFTZ VATS Opening), relaxing foreign investment approval requirements, permitting resident and non-resident free-trade bank accounts, liberalizing foreign exchange for trade and investment, reducing restrictions on cross-border securities investment, clarifying import tax policies, opening performance agency and entertainment venue operations to foreign investment, and producing and selling video game equipment (see below). Industries where foreign investment is restricted in China proper, like securities and gold trading, are targeting the SFTZ. Continue reading
The process to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary (called a wholly foreign-owned enterprise or WFOE) in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) is summarized below for companies that are not on the negative list. The process closely follows other areas of China, but no foreign-investment approval is required.
1. WFOE Establishment
- prepare application form and documents and Articles of Association and coordinate with government authorities during the application process
- locate premises, sign lease agreement and register lease as pre-condition to applying for Business License
- select name and apply for enterprise name reservation
Following the split between the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) in Beijing and the Shanghai and Shenzhen sub-commissions [see July 2012 China Bulletin], the two sub-commissions went through several name changes, among which are the Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC) and Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA). In the meantime, Beijing CIETAC has attempted to direct all designation to use CIETAC arbitration in existing agreements to itself. Continue reading