The Policy Snapshot is a bi-weekly briefing that covers the latest Chinese policies relevant to German companies operating in China. The briefing provides a concise evaluation of each policy and includes a link to the original source for further reference.
Policy Snapshot – Recent National and Regional Policies in China (February 22, 2024)
Support for New Energy Vehicles Trade
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has recently released opinions to support the healthy development of trade and cooperation for New Energy Vehicles (NEVs). The document proposes to enhance the ability of NEV companies and their supply chain partners to improve their international operation capabilities through measures such as promoting the establishment of overseas R&D centers, improving the compliance capability of overseas operations, and strengthening cooperation with overseas companies. Meanwhile, export procedures for NEVs and batteries will be optimized. The government will also provide support in terms of financial loans, trade promotion and optimization of the business environment.
Our take: Given the weakening of global trade, the sluggishness of China's trade and the overcapacity issues, strengthen NEV companies and their activities abroad is a logical step. This step will surely be closely watched by EU regulators.
Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone Enterprise Data Categorization and Classification Standard Specification
Tianjin issued the Standard Specification for Enterprise Data Categorization and Classification in China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The specification applies to the data generated, collected, stored, transmitted and processed by companies in production and operation in the Tianjin FTZ. The data is divided into 13 major categories and 40 subcategories. The document describes a definition for 3 levels of data (core, important, and general data), and the data classification method.
Our take: Companies have been waiting for a long time for more clarification on important data. As this is the first standard specification for data classification among the pilot FTZs, it will be an important pilot and a signal for more policies to come for other FTZs.
Shanghai's New Measures on Optimizing the Business Environment
Shanghai released new measures on optimizing the business environment, which emphasizes a market-oriented, rule of law-based and internationalized business environment. The measures aimed at establishing a business environment with trade and investment facilitation, administration efficiency, standardization of government services, and a sound rule of law system. Shanghai will improve its International Services Portal and release foreign-related policies in multiple languages. A standardization collaboration platform for foreign-invested enterprises in Shanghai will be established to improve public participation and transparency in the formulation of standards.
Our take: Shanghai has been regularly updating its measures to optimize the business environment. This time, establishing a standardization cooperation platform for foreign-invested enterprises is worth observing to see if it indeed helps foreign companies to participate in standard setting on an equal basis.
Zhejiang Measures on Expanding Effective Investment
Zhejiang Provincial Development and Reform Commission released measures to increase effective investment in 2024. The document mentioned the aim of keeping investment fundamentals stable and optimizing structures of investment of higher quality with a targeted 6% growth rate in 2024. The document also called for Zhejiang to seize the foreign investment access restriction lifting policy opportunity in manufacturing, as well as to expand the opening up of the services sector to strengthen the attraction of major foreign investment projects.
Our Take: Here, the Zhejiang document echoes an earlier speech by the central leadership, which mentions the lifting of investment restrictions in manufacturing. Since applying for licenses in the sector often include hidden obstacles, we are curious what that will mean in practice.