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on Thursday, 28 June 2018
in Business in China

New Policy Changes: Simplifying Company Set Up, Construction Projects & Obtaining Access to Government Services

The Chinese authorities have recently announced new policies for easing business in China. Some measures will be taken to simplify and drastically reduce approval time for starting a foreign-invested enterprise (FIE), construction projects, and accessing government services. The measures will be implemented in specific areas of the country first, and then will apply nationwide by the first half of 2019.

Business Establishment Regulations: One-Stop, One-Form

By June 30, the previous long and complex process to set up a new foreign-invested business will be turned into a “one-stop, one-form” procedure, slashing through the bureaucratic processes. Filling and registration process will be executed together, in one single office or online, allowing for the possibility to submit an electronic application. Previously, one needed a paper-registration and had to apply in person. This will no longer be necessary. Additionally, they have removed the need for company names to be approved in advance, and are planning to reduce the processing time for invoice applications and insurance registration. 

Altogether, these measures aim at reducing the process to a mere eight and a half days, while the current process currently can take well over 20 days. Municipalities directly under the central government’s authority will be the first to benefit from these changes, including Beijing, Chongqing, Tianjin, and Shanghai, in addition to some planned cities, sub-provincial cities, and provincial capitals such as Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. 

Construction Projects

A similar plan of action to simplify and greatly reduce the waiting period for approval of construction projects in underway. The goal is to reduce the waiting period from the current average of more than 200 working days to 120. To do so, Chinese government plans to simplify the process of examination and endorsement, mainly by reducing numbers of items subject for approval. This includes implementing a “category-management” that will include a slightly easier procedure for small and medium companies. Finally, the government will simplify all requirements into one check list and it will be evaluated by one function department instead of being checked by different departments in the government system. 

The plan will first be implemented in 16 pilot regions, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou, and will be implemented nationally by the first half of 2019.

Internet-Based Governance

In line with the will to build a better business environment, the creation of a uniformed e-platform to access government services has been announced. To further the ease of doing business, the platform will regroup all government departments and services - except if laws forbid it – to make them universally and easily accessible at a unique source. As a result, at least 90 percent of provincial-level authorities’ services and 70 percent of services offered at city and county-levels will be accessible online by the end of 2019. Items requiring an office visit will be centralized in a unique place to avoid multiple visits.

These three main measures are considered fundamental advancements for the Chinese government, which has been working relentlessly in recent months to improve business conditions for foreign companies with the objective of enhancing competitiveness, productivity, and innovation in Chinese Market.

The pace of the reform to cut red tape in China was fast in the past five years. World Bank data has seen China's ranking improve by 18 places for "ease of doing business" in the past five years, and increase by 65 places for "ease of setting up a business."

sources:

http://english.scio.gov.cn/topnews/2018-05/03/content_51093011.htm

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-05/19/content_29414234.htm

http://www.ecns.cn/business/2018/05-17/302886.shtml

http://www.ecns.cn/business/2018/05-16/302873.shtml

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201805/17/WS5afd947ca3103f6866ee912d.html

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