Summary of China’s New Foreign Investment Law

On Friday, March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress adopted the Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] by a 2929–8 vote, with 8 abstentions and 3 delegates not voting. Upon taking effect on January 1, 2020, the Law will replace China’s currently fragmented foreign investment regime: three separate foreign investment laws enacted in the early years of China’s economic reform. Our English translation of the new Law is available here.

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2019 NPC Session: Agenda and Daily Schedule

On Monday, the 2019 NPC session released its agenda, daily schedule of meetings, and a tentative schedule of press conferences (Excel). The Session will open on the morning of Tuesday, March 5 and close on the morning of Friday, March 15, lasting a total of 10½ days. All times below are in Beijing Time (UTC +8:00).

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Second Draft of Foreign Investment Law: A Summary of Main Changes (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Feb. 18, 2019): The NPCSC apparently did quietly release the full text of the second draft of the Foreign Investment Law on January 29. (So quietly that we could not find the webpage unless we use the website’s search function.) We thank the reader who sent us the link.


We shall start by saying that, no, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) has not released the official second draft of the Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] that it reviewed in late January. We instead found an unofficial version of the second draft on WeChat—specifically this post by a public account focusing on fiscal and tax issues.[*] After checking this document against state media reports on the second draft, we have every reason to believe that it is authentic.

An English translation of the second draft of the Foreign Investment Law (along with the Chinese original) is now available on China Law Translate.

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NPC Calendar: February 2019

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for a regularly scheduled session late this month. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet soon after the Lunar New Year holiday (February 4–10) to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.

The NPCSC will mainly prepare for the 2019 NPC session (including by discussing a draft of its annual work report) at its upcoming meeting, but may still review one or two legislative bills. Possible candidates include:

The NPCSC is soliciting public comments on the draft Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] through February 24, 2019. It is also seeking comments on the following draft laws through February 3, 2019:


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NPCSC Adds Special Session for Second Review of Foreign Investment Law (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Jan. 29, 2019): On the morning of January 29, the NPCSC decided to submit the draft Foreign Investment Law to the 2019 NPC session for deliberation (and most certainly adoption). It is unclear at this point whether it will release the second draft of the Law for public comments, but as we argued below, the chance is slim. We very briefly noted the main new provisions in the newest draft on Twitter:


The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conducted an initial review of the draft Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] last December but took no further action. Readers may recall that we then explained what we saw as the (only) two potential legislative timetables for the Law: It will be adopted by the NPC either this March (after another NPCSC review in late February) or in March 2020 (after a few more readings in 2019). The longer process would not help show China’s willingness to comply with certain demands the United States made during trade negotiations, while the shorter one faces procedural hurdles under Chinese law.

Faced with two imperfect choices, the NPCSC has decided to take an unexpected third approach. It will convene for a special session from January 29 to 30 to conduct a second review of the draft Foreign Investment Law, the Council of Chairmen announced on Wednesday. At the end of the two-day session, the NPCSC will most certainly submit the Law to the NPC, which will then most certainly approve it at its annual session in March.

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NPCSC Seeks Public Comments on Draft Patent Law Amendment, Two Civil Code Parts, Vaccine Administration Law & Four Other Bills (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Jan. 27, 2019): For a summary of and comments on the key provisions of the draft Judges Law revision, please refer to this post on the Supreme People’s Court Monitor.


The NPC Standing Committee is soliciting public comments on the following eight bills through February 3, 2019:

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be linked to if and when available. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).

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Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2018

On the last day of 2018, we take a look at the National People’s Congress’s and this Observer’s work in the past year.

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NPCSC Takes No Further Action on Foreign Investment Law (for Now), Adopts Two Tax Laws & Codifies Civil Service Reform

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its seventh session on Saturday with the adoption of a series of laws and decisions. Below we will take a brief look at each.

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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Foreign Investment Law (FURTHER UPDATED)

UPDATE 4 (Jan. 2, 2019): For our latest thoughts on the next steps for the Foreign Investment Law, please see this post.

UPDATE 3 (Dec. 27, 2018): We have translated the draft in full on China Law Translate.

UPDATE 2 (Dec. 27, 2018): We revised our prediction about the legislative timetable for the Foreign Investment Law in light of recent state media reports. [superseded by UPDATE 4]

UPDATE 1 (Dec. 27, 2018): We have updated this post with a summary of the latest draft Foreign Investment Law.


The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) unexpectedly released the draft Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] on Wednesday for public comments for an unexpectedly long period—61 days—until February 24, 2019.

The original Chinese PDF of the draft can be accessed here. Our English translation is available here. The accompanying explanation of the draft (in Chinese) can be read here.

To submit comments online, please refer to these instructions. Comments can also be mailed to the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission [全国人大常委会法制工作委员会] at the following address:

Chinese: 北京市西城区前门西大街1号 邮编:100805
English: No. 1 West Qianmen Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 100805

Please clearly write “外商投资法草案征求意见” on the envelope.

Continue reading “NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Foreign Investment Law (FURTHER UPDATED)”

Recording & Review Pt. 4: The Last Days of “Custody & Education”

Recording & Review is a series that discusses cases where the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee decides on citizen requests to review the legality and/or constitutionality of various types of normative documents, including local regulations and judicial interpretations. Past installments can be found here.


Five years after the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) abolished the reeducation-through-labor [劳动教养] system, another form of extrajudicial administrative detention is now on the chopping block. On Monday, the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission [法制工作委员会] recommended the abolition of the “custody and education” (C&E) [收容教育] system—a form of administrative punishment for prostitution. Finally.

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