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China announces negative list for reform of foreign investment in business

As part of its long-term strategy to open up the economy to investors, the Chinese government has announced a negative list of sectors and businesses that are off-limits to foreign investors, currently in a pilot phase.

According to Xinhua news agency, China will open all sectors except for a few proscribed ones to investors in a roll-out scheme across regions between 2015 and 2017. This was announced in an official statement following the 16th Meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, held on 15 September. The negative list, which will be fully applicable across the country from 2018, identifies sectors and businesses that are off-limits for foreign investment. This list will be tested in regional pilot schemes up until 2018.

The system has been piloted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone since 2013.

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