China further shortens negative list, encourages bigger market access for all
Global Times

Photo: CFP

(Photo: CFP)

Chinese top economic planner the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce on Friday jointly issued the 2022 edition of negative list for market access, in a latest move to further create a modern market mechanism that features opening-up and orderly competition.

The latest negative list outlined 117 items, six items less than the previous edition issued in December 2020. It's a growing trend of a slimmer list and bigger market access. The 2020 version includes 123 items, eight items less than the one in 2019.

The ease of the approval will be granted to sectors such as stock issuance, mergers and acquisitions of listed companies, and internet financial information services.

The new, shortened national market access negative list demonstrates China's commitment to further opening up its markets and efforts to provide equal treatment to domestic and foreign market players, Bai Ming, deputy director of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Friday.

The negative list is also aimed at forming a modern and fair market system with more refined regulations for all businesses to follow, experts said.

For industries that are not on the list, all types of market players can enter the market on an equal footing according to the law, and no separate administrative approval for market access shall be established in violation of regulations, according to the NDRC.

While the sectors such as mergers and acquisitions of listed companies have been removed from the negative list, they will still need to abide by the anti-monopoly law as the market is embracing a level-playing field for all participants, Bai said.

China introduced market access negative lists in December 2018, which has been revised several times.

The negative list specifies industries where investors, domestic or foreign, are either restricted or prohibited.

Unlike the negative list for foreign investment market access, the unified list applies to all market players including both domestic and foreign investors.