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China Releases Negative List for Market Access 2022
On March 25, 2022, The National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the Ministry of Commerce released the “Negative List for Market Access (2022)” (“List 2022”), which comprises a total of 117 items, six less than those in the 2020 version. List 2022 includes six categories in which foreign investment is prohibited and 111 categories in which foreign investment is permitted with prior approval. Industries not on the list are open to foreign investment and require no prior approval.
In particular, List 2022 added the prohibition of illegal news media-related business which includes the following:
1. Non-public capital shall not engage in news gathering, editing and broadcasting business.
2. Non-public capital shall not invest in the establishment and operation of news agencies, including but not limited to news agencies, newspaper publishing units, radio and television broadcasters, radio and television stations, as well as Internet news and information gathering and publishing services.
3. Non-public capital shall not operate the pages, frequencies, channels, columns, public accounts, etc. of news organizations.
4. Non-public capital shall not engage in political, economic, military, foreign affairs, major social, cultural, scientific and technological, health, education, sports and other activities related to the political direction, public opinion and value orientation, such as live events, live business News Publishing Agency.
5. Non-public capital may not introduce news released by foreign subjects.
6. Non-public capital may not hold forums, summits, and awards and evaluations in the field of news and public opinion.
Also, List 2022 prohibits illegal Internet-related business activities and stipulates that network lending information intermediaries shall not provide credit enhancement services, directly or indirectly collect funds, illegally raise capital, or harm national interests and social public interests.
The List 2022 eliminated the following six permitted categories:
1. renting foreign satellite resources or the establishment of international communications import and export bureau;
2. issuing shares or conduct mergers and acquisitions of specific listed companies;
3. engaging in foreign-related statistical surveys;
4. carrying out the construction of lightning protection devices in the limited area and engaging in the detection of lightning protection devices;
5. carrying out security training business;
6. engaging in medical radioactive products related business.
List 2022 follows the general direction of further deregulation and more opening to foreign investment.