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).

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

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.

Continue reading “Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2018”

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.

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

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 [superseded by UPDATE 4]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.

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

NPCSC Session Watch: Foreign Investment, Patent, Resource Tax, Local Government Debt & More

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its last session in 2018 from December 23 to 29, the Council of Chairmen decided on Friday. This session is another of those end-of-year, week-long NPCSC sessions that we have come to love (and definitely not hate). We counted 14 legislative bills plus several more decisions and reports on the agenda. And there is absolutely no festivity-related reason why we would rather not work around that period. Because we expect six of those bills to pass on December 29, we will publish summaries of them after the session concludes rather than in this session preview. Here is our rundown on the agenda.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Foreign Investment, Patent, Resource Tax, Local Government Debt & More”

NPC Calendar: December 2018 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2018): The State Council’s executive meeting, its top decision-making body, approved a draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法] on Wednesday (December 5). The draft amendment may have replaced a draft revision to the Law that was released for public comments in 2015 for it seems to make similar changes as the draft revision (based on the brief press release of the State Council’s meeting). The NPCSC will likely review the draft amendment at its upcoming session.


The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for its seventh session late this month. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet in mid-December to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.

According to the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative plan, the following bills have been tentatively scheduled for the upcoming session:

The draft Farmland Occupancy Tax Law [耕地占用税法] and Vehicle Acquisition Tax Law [车辆购置税法] will likely return for their second (and likely final) round of deliberations.

The State Council may also submit for review a draft Vaccine Administration Law [疫苗管理法] (on which it solicited public comments for two weeks in November).

The pilot reform to combine the maternity insurance fund and the basic medical insurance fund will expire on December 31. We expect the State Council to either request an extension of the pilot or submit an amendment to the Social Insurance Law [社会保险法].

The pilot reform that allows the rights to use cultivated land and house sites [宅基地] to be mortgaged will also expire on December 31. The State Council may submit amendments to the Property Law [物权法] and the Guaranty Law [担保法] to codify the reform. Alternatively, it may request yet another extension—the pilot was already extended once for one year in late 2017—until the Civil Code (which will replace those two laws) is enacted.

Another land reform pilot—which allows the transfer of the right to use collectively owned land for construction [集体建设用地使用权]; adjusts the approval authority over house sites; and revises the standards for compensating the expropriation of collectively owned land—will expire, again, on December 31. The State Council will likely submit an amendment to the Land Management Law [土地管理法] and possibly also an amendment to the Urban Real Estate Administration Law [城市房地产管理法] (certain provisions of these two laws are being suspended during the pilot).

Lastly, a pilot reform of the civil service system will expire on January 1, 2019. As the NPCSC is already reviewing a draft revision to the Civil Servants Law [公务员法] that codifies the reform, we expect it to extend the pilot until the revision is adopted.

The NPCSC is also expected to adopt a decision to convene the 2019 NPC session (the 2nd Session of the 13th NPC) at its upcoming meeting.


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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Revision to Civil Servants Law and Three Other Bills

The NPC Standing Committee is now soliciting public comments on the following draft laws until December 1, 2018:

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).

Most notably, the draft revision to the Civil Servants Law seeks to strengthen the Communist Party’s control (or rather codify the Party’s already strengthened control) over China’s civil servants—a broad category that encompasses both those working in governmental bodies and also those working for political parties and other quasi-governmental entities (e.g., the CPPCC). Continue reading “NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Revision to Civil Servants Law and Three Other Bills”

NPCSC Amends Criminal Procedure Law, Overhauls Judicial System Organic Laws, Loosens Stock Buyback Restrictions & Designates SPC as National IP Appeals Court (FURTHER UPDATED)

UPDATE (Oct. 31, 2018): An English translation of the Criminal Procedure Law with the latest amendment incorporated is available here.

UPDATE (Oct. 30, 2018): An English translation of the International Criminal Justice Assistance Law is available here.


The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its sixth session on Friday. Below we will take a look at the series of laws and decisions it adopted, with a focus on five of them: an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law, revisions to the organic laws of courts and procuratorates, an amendment to the Company Law, and a decision altering appeals procedures in technical intellectual property cases.

Continue reading “NPCSC Amends Criminal Procedure Law, Overhauls Judicial System Organic Laws, Loosens Stock Buyback Restrictions & Designates SPC as National IP Appeals Court (FURTHER UPDATED)”

NPCSC Session Watch: Anti-Corruption, Judicial Reform, Stock Buybacks, Drug Approval & Patent Litigation (UPDATED)

The NPC Observer turns two today! We thank our readers, subscribers, and donors for your support over the past two unforgettable years. We strive to continue delivering high-quality content in the (hopefully) many more years to come.


UPDATE (Oct. 22, 2018): According to the finalized agenda released on Monday, the State Council submitted for consideration a draft amendment to the Drug Administration Law [药品管理法] to codify the marketing authorization holder system (discussed below), among other changes. It appears that there will be an opportunity for public comments before this amendment passes.

In addition, the draft decision relating to patent litigation procedure (see below) is poised to authorize the Intellectual Property Division of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) to hear (second-instance) appeals in all civil or administrative patent cases (other than those involving design patents) and certain other types of intellectual property cases involving technical expertise—thus bypassing provincial high courts. In other words, it looks like that the SPC’s IP Division will essentially act as China’s Federal Circuit. But whether the Division’s decisions are further reviewable is not clear at this point. As we said below, we expect the decision to pass this Friday, at which point we will have more information.


The Council of Chairmen decided on Monday (October 15) that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will hold a five-day session next week, from October 22 to 26. Absent any bill added at the last minute, the session is scheduled to review 12 legislative bills. Below is our usual rundown.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Anti-Corruption, Judicial Reform, Stock Buybacks, Drug Approval & Patent Litigation (UPDATED)”