China releases new rules to regulate outbound investment

Updated: Dec 26, 2017 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING — China’s top economic planner released new rules to streamline administrative procedures and strengthen regulation over outbound investment by domestic firms on Dec 26.

The new rules, effective from March 2018, waived a provision from a 2014 rule that requires companies that acquire or bid for overseas projects worth over $300 million to report project information beforehand, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

For most industries, enterprises seeking outbound investment will only need to complete record filings with central or local economic planners on the projects, according to the new rules.

The new rules will also simplify approval procedures and relax requirements on the deadlines for companies to obtain approvals or file records.

Meanwhile, investment activities of firms established overseas by domestic companies will be put under the government management framework, said the NDRC.

The government will also keep credit records on irregularities concerning outbound investment and punish misconduct such as unfair competition and irregular financing activity.

Outbound investment activities of domestic firms should neither threaten China’s national interests and security nor violate the country’s macroeconomic and industrial policies, according to the rules.

The NDRC will set up a nationwide online platform to make management and services for outbound investment more convenient and transparent.

China’s outbound direct investment has seen rapid growth in recent years. However, noting an “irrational tendency” in the field, Chinese authorities have set stricter rules and advised companies to make investment decisions more carefully since last year.

In a document released in August, the State Council said overseas investment in areas including real estate, hotels, cinemas, and entertainment would be limited, while investment in sectors such as gambling would be banned.

Chinese investors spent a total of $107.55 billion on 5,796 enterprises from 174 countries and regions during the first 11 months of this year, which mainly went to leasing and commercial services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and information technology sectors.

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