CBBC Call for Comments

China’s government has recently published a series of draft laws and regulations which could have a considerable impact on foreign businesses. In early July, it published six drafts for public consultation. Among them, the Second Amendment to the Patent Law, the Export Control Law, and the Data Security Law are the most important for companies operating in China.

The deadline for submitting comments is 16 August 2020. Submissions can be uploaded directly to the website of the National People’s Congress or submitted via the China-Britain Business Council.

We will, in cooperation with the Department for International Trade and other UK trade organisations, submit a consolidated and anonymised comment on behalf of our members.

Please note that the English translations of the drafts provided below are unofficial and for your convenience only.
 

How to submit comments


If you would like us to submit comments and suggestions regarding any or all of the above mentioned drafts, please use our CBBC comment template and send it to torsten.weller@cbbc.org or Charlie.zheng@cbbc.org.cn. Please put the name of the regulation(s) on which you wish to comment as the email subject line.
 
Comments can be submitted in both English and Chinese. However, please be aware that the final submission to Chinese authorities will be in Chinese only and that we will translate English-only submissions internally.
 

Regulations currently open to public comments

 

Amendment to the Patent Law

(Deadline: 16 August 2020)

The second draft of the Amendment to the Patent Law (Chinese / English). The draft includes 29 revisions with the most important concerning patents of pharmaceutical products. Thus, the revised law would include a framework for early resolution of disputes regarding follow-up pharmaceutical products. It also allows for patent term adjustments (PTAs) and patent term restoration (PTRs).

Other changes include a stricter control of abuse by monopolies as well as the better protection of patents based on information published in an emergency situation (e.g. vaccine research during a pandemic) .
 
Export Control Law

(Deadline: 16 August 2020)

China’s first Export Control Law (Chinese / English) reflects the increasing technological prowess of China’s own domestic manufacturers and the Chinese government’s intention to safeguard these technologies vis-à-vis foreign competitors. It is also aimed at aligning Chinese regulations with the export control of the Nuclear Supplier Regime (NSR), which China joined in 2004.

Apart from banning the export of dual use items, military equipment, and nuclear material, it allows the Chinese government to restrict exports based on technological and industrial competitiveness, international market supply, and technological progress.  
 
Furthermore, it creates a legal basis for the Chinese government to blacklist individuals and organisations, raising the risk for further trade sanctions in an already tense global environment.
 
Data Security Law

(Deadline: 16 August 2020)

Data and privacy protection has become a major issue in global trade and the impact of local data rules on international business has only increased in importance. Following the sweeping 2017 Cybersecurity Law, China has issued a series of data rules, including for e-commerce and personal data protection.

The new Data Protection Law (Chinese / English) intends to tie together these regulations in a unified legal framework. But the new law would also go beyond existing statutes. For example, Article 2 of the proposed law extends Chinese jurisdiction to entities outside China, if their actions are considered a violation of Chinese domestic data regulations.

The law would also allow provincial governments and sectorial regulators to define their own data protection standards which might allow for a more nuanced approach in certain sectors, such as research and life sciences, where data exchange is crucial for global cooperation.
 
Guiding opinion regarding further specifications of the inclusion of public credit information, punishment for dishonesty, credit restoration, and the establishment of a long-term mechanism for integrity building

(Deadline: 20 August 2020)

China's comprehensive social credit system (SCS) has received worldwide attention. Yet the SCS largely remains a work in progress with many details, including credit restoration, privacy rules, and the scope of data inclusion remain to be fully determined. 

In order to improve the system and to bring it in line with the realities of business operations, the National People's Congress (NPC) is seeking comments on general standards for the SCS.

In particular, the NPC is looking at rules on data protection, the establishment and management of black and red lists, procedures for credit restoration as well as penalties and rewards.

Official Notice and Explanation (in Chinese)
 
Catalogue of Industries Encouraging Foreign Investment (2020 Edition)

(Deadline: 30 August 2020)

The catalogue includes two lists which apply to the entire territory of China and the less developed regions in central, western, and north-east China respectively.  Compared to last year, 125 new industries have been added to the 2020 catalogue and 76 pre-existing industries have been amended. New sectors include EV-related technologies in the automotive sector as well as robotics and autonomous systems development. 

The catalogue maintains its strong focus on the manufacturing sector, favouring investment in high-end manufacturing, production-oriented service industries and industrial capacity building in China's poorer provinces. 

Investment in catalogued industries will receive preferential treatment including tariff exemptions for imported equipment, easier access to industrial land, and tax benefits. 

Official Notice and Full List (in Chinese) 

Measures for the Appointment and Management of Foreign Teachers

(Deadline: 30 August 2020)
On 21 August 2020, the Ministry of Education, together with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published new draft rules for foreign language teachers.

According to the draft, foreign teachers will have to attend at least 20 hours of training covering Chinese laws, moral standards, and current domestic affairs.
The regulations also include a list of prohibited activities which could 'harm China’s national sovereignty, honour, and public interests.”. Other punishable actions include obstruction of educational policy, consumption of drugs, sexual assault and harassment, as well as religious proselytising.

Foreign teachers violating these regulations could face fines and the revocation of the work permit and visa. More importantly, their employers, too, would face sanctions, including a ban on hiring foreign staff for up to three years.

Official Notice and Draft (in Chinese)

Comments on the upcoming "14th Five-Year Plan" 

(Deadline: n/a)

As the drafting period of the 14th Five-Year Plan enters its final stage, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is seeking comments on the general business environment, trade, and the so-called 'dual circulation development model', which aims at strengthening China's domestic market as the main driver of economic growth.

The official notice does not include any specific provisions or draft, but encourages businesses to submit general ideas and suggestions regarding China's current economic policy.

Official Notice (in Chinese)