China unveiled new, shortened negative lists for foreign investment, as part of efforts to further open up the economy and improve its business environment amid the novel coronavirus epidemic. The new negative lists have gone into effect on July 23.
Items on the national negative list are cut from 40 to 33, and the negative list for pilot free trade zones (FTZs) shrinks from 37 to 30.
The shortened nationwide list further improves the level of openness in the service, manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
In the service sector, foreign ownership caps on securities, fund management, futures and life insurance companies are removed.
Foreign investors are allowed to take majority shares in joint ventures that engage in the building and operation of water supply and drainage networks in cities with a population of more than 500,000.
Regulations prohibiting foreign investment in air traffic control also are canceled.
In the manufacturing sector, foreign ownership caps on commercial vehicle manufacturing are lifted, and regulations prohibiting foreign investment in the smelting and processing of radioactive minerals and nuclear fuel production also are eliminated.
In the agricultural sector, ownership limit on foreign investors in wheat breeding and seed production is raised up to 66 percent.
The role of FTZs as a pioneer in the country's reform and opening-up are further strengthened. In the field of medicine, regulations prohibiting foreign investment in ready-to-use traditional Chinese medicine are canceled. Foreign investors are allowed to run wholly owned vocational education institutions.
From 2017 to 2019, China was the second-largest foreign direct investment (FDI) recipient despite continuing declines in global transnational investment, with FDI inflow of over $141 billion in 2019.