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China Announces National Adoption of Market Access Negative List

Following a 15-region trial, an updated Negative List has been issued for national use.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce have issued the Negative List for Market Access (2018 Version) for full implementation across the country, following its trial implementation in 15 provinces and municipalities in 2016 and 2017. The list, which relates to the opportunities open to non-mainland investors, is divided into two categoriesProhibited and Permitted and extends across a total of 151 items and 581 specific measures. Under the terms of the updated list, only four sectors are designated as prohibited, while 147 are now deemed permitted.

In specific terms, “prohibited” means that any sector so designated is off-limits to investors and no government body has the right to grant any exceptions. “Permitted”, by contrast, means that companies / individuals may apply to the relevant government body for permission to invest in such a sector. That permission may or may not be granted or may be granted only with certain legal stipulations in place.

In all instances, the Negative List for Market Access should be used in tandem with the Catalogue for Guiding Industrial Restructuring and the Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Approval. In instances where China has signed up to international conventions, under which other provisions, such as bilateral or multilateral treaties or arrangements made with Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, may apply, and these prior external commitments will be deemed to prevail.

For further details (in Chinese), please access the following links:

Negative List for Market Access (2018 Version)

Catalogue for Guiding Industrial Restructuring (2011 Version) (Decree No. 9 [2011] of NDRC)

Circular of the State Council on the Issuance of the Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Approval (2016 Version) (Guo Fa No. 72 [2016])

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