This episode covers the updated inbound travel policy, based on the National Heath Commission’s recently released 20 measures to optimise China’s COVID-19 response as well as notices from Chinese embassies in several European countries; the on-the-ground situation for businesses in Beijing and Guangzhou due to COVID recent flare-ups, with comments from European Chamber Vice President and South China Chapter Chair Klaus Zenkel; and the first industry-specific carbon peaking plan, aimed at the building materials sector.
The European Chamber is currently collecting members’ comments on the draft National Social Credit System Law (details on how to participate here).
Latest rules for inbound travellers to Mainland China:
Plan for reaching peak carbon emissions in the building material sector (in Chinese):
Call for comments on the draft National Social Credit System Law:
We’d love to hear your feedback. Contact us at email@example.com.
RUI: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup about the Chinese business landscape.
RUI: On 11th November, China’s National Health Commission released a circular on further optimising China’s COVID-19 response, announcing 20 new measures including several relating to international travel.
MARIANN: One major change is the abolition of the circuit breaker mechanism that led to flight suspensions on routes where a certain number of COVID-19 cases were detected among inbound passengers.
Several other regulations for people travelling to China have also been refined. Inbound international travellers are now required to undertake 5 days of centralised quarantine upon arrival, down from 7 days, followed by an additional 3 days of home quarantine. Furthermore, important business travellers and members of sports delegations are now exempted from quarantine altogether, and instead to be directly transferred to closed-loop management systems upon arrival.
RUI: According to the updated rules, inbound travellers now only need to have one negative test result to obtain a green code for their Health Declaration Certificate and board a flight to Mainland China. Notably, several European countries’ Chinese embassies have also issued notices stating that outbound travellers may now choose to take their pre-departure COVID-19 test and subsequently apply for their HDC code in either their country of departure or in their country of transfer, as long as they obtain their test result within 48 hours of their departure.
RUI: While the recent refinement of pandemic measures was welcomed by businesses, COVID flare-ups in several of China’s largest cities are putting the updated measures to the test.
MARIANN: In Beijing, there was widespread disruption this week as daily testing rules changed at short notice. Most business premises shifted to require a negative COVID test result obtained within 24-hours for entry, while in tandem the number of available testing sites and their operating hours decreased. In Guangzhou, the number of daily cases is already in the thousands, and snap lockdowns have been causing headaches for business operations as well as the daily life of the city’s residents since late October.
RUI: We reached out to Klaus Zenkel, Vice President of the European Chamber and Chair of the Chamber’s South China Chapter to give us an update about the situation on the ground:
Klaus Zenkel: Some of our members in Guangzhou were still operating as usual, but several of their staff are in lockdown in their home and can only work from their home. Meanwhile, we also see that companies are facing quite some difficulties, because they have been stopped from producing and operating for five days. We certainly hope and they also hope that the lockdown days will not be prolonged.
RUI: On the 8th November, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology along with the National Development and Reform Commission and two other ministries jointly released a plan, outlining how to accelerate the building materials sector’s transition to a lower carbon operating model.
MARIANN: This is the first time for China to set out an industry-specific roadmap to achieve its national carbon reduction goals. The roadmap outlines how the heavily polluting sector should peak its emissions by 2030. Notably, however, this date is later than the targets already put forward by some of the industry’s sub-sectors. For example, the cement industry had previously pledged to peak its carbon emissions by 2025.
RUI: The National Development and Reform Commission together with the People’s Bank of China and other government bodies have drafted a law on the establishment of the national social credit system, and called for comment on the draft legislation. Notably this marks the first time that there has been public consultation on national level legislation on the initiative.
MARIANN: The European Chamber’s Legal and Competition Working Group is leading the consultation among our members. Find details in the show notes on how you can participate.
RUI: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.
MARIANN: In the meantime, find useful links in the episode notes.