A number of opening-up measures have been implemented in Beijing to cover a full range of matters in the fields of leasing and commercial services. These measures will make it easier and simpler to invest and do business in Beijing.
However, there are some investment requirements and restrictions that you should be aware of in advance.
I. Permit foreign investment in credit investigation companies (starting with Hong Kong and Macao service providers).
II. Allow eligible professionals from Hong Kong and Macao to serve as partners in accounting partnerships, provided they obtain the China certified public accountant qualification.
III. Support qualified Sino-foreign joint venture travel agencies established in Beijing to engage in outbound tourism business (to destinations other than Taiwan) in expanding the Sino-foreign joint venture travel agencies' pilot outbound travel services program.
IV. Establish Sino-foreign joint venture recruitment agencies in Zhongguancun, under the condition that foreign investors holds not more than 70 percent of the shares while the required amount of minimum registered capital reduced from USD 300,000 to USD 125,000.
V. Conditions will be eased for foreigners to establish investment companies. The minimum total asset requirement for a foreign investor in the year prior to application will be reduced to USD 200 million, and the minimum number of foreign-invested enterprises that the investor have established in China will be reduced to five.
VI. Restrictions will be further loosened on the proportion of foreign investment in talent intermediary service agencies jointly established by Chinese and overseas investors in Zhongguancun Science Park.
VII. Requirement will be removed that Chinese and foreign investors should both be talent intermediary service agencies already established for more than 3 years.
VIII. Foreign investors will be allowed to directly take a stake in established Chinese talent intermediary service agencies.
IX. Further efforts will be made to explore ways and mechanisms for closer business cooperation between Chinese law firms and foreign law firms as well as law firms of Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, and Taiwan. During the pilot of Chinese law firms in hiring foreign lawyers as foreign legal consultants, previous qualification requirement on minimum three-year overseas legal practice of the foreign lawyers may be properly relaxed where necessary.
X. Allow wholly foreign-owned travel agencies established in Beijing to operate outbound travel services for Chinese citizens on a pilot basis (to destinations other than Taiwan).
XI. Requirements will be relaxed for application of foreigners to establish investment companies. The minimum total asset requirement for a foreign investor in the year prior to application will be reduced to USD 200 million, and the previous requirement regarding a set number of foreign-invested enterprises already established in China by the investor will be removed.
XII. Well-known foreign arbitration institutions and dispute resolution institutions will be allowed to set up service institutions in specific areas of Beijing, and to provide arbitration services for civil and commercial disputes occurring in international commercial matters, investment, and other fields, after registration with the Beijing judicial authorities and filing with the Ministry of Justice. These will be allowed to support and protect the application and execution of such provisional measures as preservation of Chinese and foreign parties' property, evidence, and behavior, before and during arbitration, in accordance with law.
XIII. Remove foreign shareholding proportion restrictions on information service businesses (application stores only).
XIV. Support overseas rating agencies to establish subsidiaries and conduct credit rating business in the inter-bank bond and exchange bond markets.
XV. Foreign nationals will be allowed to use their permanent resident ID cards to start and participate in Chinese-funded companies.
I. Investment in Chinese legal affairs (except the provision of information on the implications of China's legal environment) shall be prohibited, and a foreign investor may not be a partner in a domestic law firm.
Investment within the FTZ: Investment shall be prohibited in legal services in China (with the exception of providing information regarding the impact of China's legal environment). Any foreign investor shall not be appointed as a partner to a Chinese law firm. (Foreign law firms may only enter China in the form of representative offices, and are not allowed to employ practicing lawyers who are Chinese citizens. The supporting staff employed by the representative office shall not provide legal services for its clients. The establishment of a representative office in China or the station of representatives shall be subject to the permission of Chinese judicial authorities.)
II. Market survey shall be restricted to equity joint ventures or contractual joint ventures, and for broadcast media rating services, the Chinese party shall have a controlling stake.
III. Investment in social survey shall be prohibited.