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Highlights from Hainan's first FTP negative list

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-07-27

China unveiled its first negative list on cross-border trade in services for its Hainan Free Trade Port, a major measure in the country's administrative model for trade in services, the Ministry of Commerce announced on July 26.

The negative list, which specified 70 special administrative measures in 11 sectors for overseas service providers, is scheduled to become effective on Aug 26.

For areas not included in the list, domestic and overseas services providers will enjoy equal market access in Hainan free trade port, according to the ministry.

Let's see some of the most important points on the list.

1 Agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries

Individuals and fishing vessels from outside China must obtain approval from the Chinese government before they enter waters under Chinese jurisdiction to conduct fishery resource investigation.

2 Construction

Overseas service providers shall not provide construction and related engineering services.

3 Wholesale and retail

Overseas service providers shall not directly sell veterinary drugs, feeds, feed additives and pesticides, and shall set up sales agencies in China or entrust qualified agents in China to sell them.

Overseas service providers shall not engage in the wholesale, retail, import and export of tobacco leaves or tobacco products in China.

4 Transportation, storage and postal services

Overseas service providers are only allowed to engage in international transport at ports open to overseas ships. In addition, overseas service providers are not allowed to operate domestic water transport businesses, and they are not allowed to operate domestic water transport businesses in disguised form by renting Chinese vessels or shipping space.

5 Information transmission, software and IT services

China has a licensing system for telecommunications business operations. Only a company lawfully established within the territory of China may engage in telecommunications business activities after obtaining a telecommunications business license.

6 Finance services

Insurance companies established within the territory of China and in accordance with Chinese law and other insurance organizations prescribed by laws and administrative regulations may operate insurance businesses.

7 Leasing and business services

Foreign law firms, other organizations or individuals abroad shall not engage in legal services in China under any other name than the representative office of an overseas law firm in China, excepting foreign lawyers or lawyers from Hong Kong and Macao employed by a Hainan firm as foreign legal advisers.

8 Scientific research and technical services

Overseas service providers may provide urban planning services other than master planning services, but they must cooperate with Chinese professional institutions. Urban design beyond statutory planning and preliminary study of statutory planning are exempt from this restriction.

9 Education

Overseas institutions providing education services shall not hold educational examinations independently, except for educational examinations for non-academic qualifications held in cooperation with Chinese educational examination institutions.

10 Health and social work

For foreign doctors who have obtained the legal right to practice medicine in foreign countries, if they are invited, recruited or applied to China for clinical diagnosis, treatment or other activities, the registration period should not be more than one year. If the registration period needs to be extended, they can re-register according to the regulations.

11 Culture, sports and entertainment

Overseas service providers shall not engage in the business of editing, publishing or producing books, newspapers, periodicals, audio-visual products or electronic publications, and shall not engage in online publishing services, including online games, with the exception of the contents of China's WTO accession commitments.