The geopolitical landscape is shifting. As the US focuses inwards, China is emerging as the champion of globalisation and trade.
It has introduced financial reforms, is promoting the remnimbi as a global currency and has ambitious plans to create 'one belt, one road,' a vast economic corridor covering 74 countries. We have been in mainland China for over 30 years and are helping clients to identify the issues and trends that will have a significant impact on their businesses.
China Introduces Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law
The PRC Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (AFSL) was promulgated on 10 June 2021 and took effect on the same date. Comprised of 16 articles, the AFSL sets out an overarching framework for further developing a legal toolkit for China to resist foreign sanctions. This is an effort to systematise the ad hoc sanctions imposed by the PRC government on foreign individuals and organisations, and in furtherance of the Blocking Statute and the Provisions on the Unreliable Entity List promulgated by the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in January 2021 and September 2020 respectively. In this briefing, we highlight the key issues arising under the AFSL. Read more about China Introduces Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law.
Update in the PRC Data Regulatory Regime – A Closer Look at the Second Draft of PRC Data Protection Laws
On 29 April 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress released the second draft of the Data Security Law (Draft DSL) and the Personal Information Protection Law (Draft PIPL) for public comment until 28 May 2021. The Draft DSL and the Draft PIPL mark another step by PRC regulators and legislators towards protecting data sovereignty and regulating data-related activities in line with internationally recognised practice. These draft laws build on the PRC Cyber-security Law which came into force in 2017 (CSL). Read more about the Update in the PRC Data Regulatory Regime – A Closer Look at the Second Draft of PRC Data Protection Laws.
EU and China comprehensive agreement on investment
The European Union (EU) and China (the Parties) concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) on December 30, 2020. Although this is only the first step in the process, it sets the framework for the final Agreement text to be submitted to the European Parliament (EP) for adoption setting out commitments in terms of transparency, level playing field, market access and sustainable development affecting both European and Chinese investors in a number of sectors. Read more about the EU and China comprehensive agreement on investment.
China International Commercial Court: A Supportive Forum for International Commercial Arbitration
As the China International Commercial Court (CICC) approaches its third anniversary, this briefing gives some insight into its operation based on our recent experience acting as international counsel for the prevailing parties. Such insight is valuable, as the CICC is still relatively unfamiliar to many, having published under 15 judgments. In this case, the CICC was asked to set aside two China-seated CIETAC arbitral awards made in our client's favour. The CICC declined to set aside the awards and demonstrated an approach consistent with other well-developed, arbitration-friendly jurisdictions. Read more about the China International Commercial Court: A Supportive Forum for International Commercial Arbitration.
China's new national security regime
In recent years, governments in a number of countries have tightened up their foreign direct investment control regimes.
China is now doing the same with its national security review ("NSR") regime through the introduction of the Measures for the Security Review of Foreign Investment (the "New NSR Measures"). The New NSR Measures were jointly released by China's National Development and Reform Commission ("NDRC") and Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") on 19 December 2020 and became effective on 18 January 2021. Read more about China's new national security regime.
China Issues "Blocking Statute"
On 9 January 2021, the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) issued its new "blocking statute", known as the Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extra-territorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures (Rules), which came into effect on the same date.
The Rules, together with the Provisions on the Unreliable Entity List (UEL Provisions) promulgated by MofCom on 19 September 2020, expand the Chinese government's arsenal to counteract foreign laws and measures with long-arm jurisdiction. Read more about China Issues "Blocking Statute".