This episode contains segments on China’s recent pledges to promote the development of private businesses and private investment; a briefing session for the foreign business community on recent laws and policies, including cross-border data transfer, the Anti-Espionage Law and export controls organised by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the announcements by Chinese mobile payment platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay that they would expand their services to international travellers. From the Chamber’s side, the third edition of the EU-China Green Development Series will be held on 4th Aug, during which prominent experts will share their insights on mapping the common ground for EU-China ESG investment standards.
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Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Promoting the Development and Growth of the Private Economy (in Chinese):
NDRC Notice on Further Efforts to Promote Private Investment (in Chinese):
MOFCOM briefing on recent laws and policies (in Chinese):
International visitors to be able to use mobile payment services in China:
EU-China Green Development Series Episode III: Mapping the Common Ground¾EU-China ESG Investment Standards:
XINHE: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
XINHE: In a document, jointly formulated by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, China pledged to promote the development of private businesses.
MARIANN: The document describes the private economy as the driving force of China’s modernisation and an important foundation for high-quality growth. It outlines 31 points that are to be used as key principles in the formulation of new regulations, as well as in the implementation of existing ones. Some of the key requirements include the removal of market access barriers for private enterprises, including consulting businesses, in the process of relevant policymaking. By putting forward these principles, the Chinese leadership signalled that it attaches importance to shoring up confidence in the private sector. While the listed principles resonate with the business community, meaningful change comes through implementation, therefore, it remains to be seen how impactful this document will be in levelling the playing field for the private sector.
XINHE: On 24th July, the National Development and Reform Commission also made public a list of measures that are intended to promote private investment, and draw private investors towards major national projects and key industrial supply chain projects.
MARIANN: The measures call for the establishment of a database for projects that are expected to have good returns on investment, and for support policies for the private sector to be made available. While no specific goal was set, the measures also require that the proportion of private investment in fixed-asset investment be maintained at a reasonable level. In the first half of 2023, while overall fixed asset investments expanded 3.8 per cent, private investment shrank 0.2 per cent year-on-year, accounting for about 53 per cent of total investments.
XINHE: On 21st July, China’s Ministry of Commerce held a briefing session for the foreign business community on recent laws and policies that have raised concerns among foreign-invested enterprises, including cross-border data transfer, the Anti-Espionage Law and export controls.
MARIANN: At the briefing, attended by representatives of the European Chamber and other foreign chambers of commerce, the ministry emphasised that the recently updated Anti-Espionage Law is not specifically directed at foreign businesses, but applies to all market players. As such, it will not impact the legal operations of foreign companies, according to the ministry. The ministry also reiterated its pledge to create a high-level business environment for foreign companies operating in China. However, while attendees sought additional clarity on the three topics discussed, officials did not share any information that is not already publicly available. Clarifying rules and regulations will be an important step towards rebuilding business confidence, as the Chamber’s recent Business Confidence Survey found that ambiguous rules and regulations ranks as the top business challenge faced by European companies operating in China.
XINHE: Chinese mobile payment platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay both announced that they would expand their services to international travellers.
MARIANN: As China is increasingly moving towards becoming a cashless society, foreign nationals travelling to China for short visits have frequently encountered difficulties with simple purchases, including booking tickets, or accessing everyday services such as ride-hailing or food delivery. Therefore, the announcement that WeChat and Alipay will support the linking of a host of overseas bank cards for payments is seen as a sign that after its reopening, China is hoping to welcome more international visitors.
XINHE: While the European Union is making significant policy achievements as the world’s pioneer in environmental protection and sustainable development, China is also advancing its own decarbonisation initiatives.
MARIANN: It is therefore vital for companies and global investors to identify common ground, as well as the differences, between the EU and China taxonomies to ensure that green initiatives in China are consistent with global requirements.
XINHE: Join us on online or in person in Beijing on 4th August for the third edition of the EU-China Green Development Series, during which prominent experts from Deutsche Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will share their insights on mapping the common ground for EU-China Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, investment standards.
MARIANN: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.
XINHE: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.