China adopts new law to protect foreign investment

China-US trade war: New Chinese law seeks to address concerns

"The newly signed Foreign Investment Law in China dramatically increases scope for foreign investors" Chinese M&A and investment strategies.

But some argue it does not fully address the concerns foreign firms have about doing business in China. This is not how China behaves.

Huawei, the biggest global maker of network gear for phone and internet companies, has denied accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.

It will ban forced technology transfer and illegal government "interference" in foreign business practices, according to the latest draft.

In a statement earlier this week, the American Chamber of Commerce in China welcomed the "legislative effort to improve the foreign investment climate".

Linklaters analysis projects US$1.5 trillion of inbound investment into China over next ten years catalysed by new Foreign Investment Law.

Virtual private networks enable internet users in China, especially foreigners, to visit such websites in circumvention of the so-called Great Firewall, which blocks flows of information inconvenient for the country's authorities.

On Friday, China's parliament approved a new foreign investment law that promises to create a transparent environment for foreign firms, though there is scepticism about its enforceability.

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The legislation aims to address long-running grievances from foreign firms, including stronger protections for intellectual property, but the United States and European chambers of commerce voiced concerns that they were not given enough time to provide their input.

China, meanwhile, showed its consideration for the United States at the National People's Congress, with Premier Li Keqiang emphasizing in his speech on the first day that Beijing will proceed with its "reform and opening-up" policy.

In addition, the new law has also met many demands raised previously by foreign businessmen.

"The adoption of the foreign investment law is an innovation in the legal system on foreign investment and is to replace the existing three laws and serve as the basic law on foreign investment as China continues to open up in the new era", Zhang Yesui, the spokesman of the NPC said ahead of the session.

US President Donald Trump said on 14 March the negotiations should wrap up within four weeks, adding: "We are getting what we have to get".

Under the bill, foreign investors would enjoy the same privileges as Chinese companies in most sectors, except those placed on "negative lists", officials said.

China is targeting a GDP growth range of 6 to 6.5 per cent this year, down from 6.6 per cent in 2018 - the slowest pace in 28 years. These include subsidizing of industry, limits on access for foreign companies and alleged theft of intellectual property. Apple (AAPL) and NVIDIA (NVDA) have warned that China's slowdown is hurting their earnings, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Micron (MU), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and Alphabet (GOOG) have also been impacted by the world's two largest economies' trade issues.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang leaves next to NPC spokesperson Zhang Yesui at the end of a news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 15, 2019.

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