The foreign investment law: A new chapter opens for foreign direct investment in China

As had been widely anticipated, the Foreign Investment Law (the "FIL", full text in Chinese here, in-house English translation available upon request) was voted into law by China's highest legislative body, the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on March 15, 2019.

The FIL will form the backbone of legislation regulating and governing foreign direct investment in China going forwards. Against the backdrop of trade tensions with the United States and the EU, the official purposes of the FIL are (leaving out the more political ones) to expand the opening up policy, promote FDI into China and protect lawful the rights and interests of foreign investors, and to regulate the administration of foreign investment. How it opens up a new chapter in FDI regulation in China is by replacing the main existing rules governing foreign invested enterprises, namely the Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Venture Law the Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Law, and the Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise Law.

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