Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (Edition 2020)

By Todd KuhnsLast Updated on Jun 23, 2020
Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (Edition 2020)

Release Date: 6-23-2020


Chinese Title: 外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单) (2020年版)

National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce Decree No. 32

The Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (Edition 2020), approved by the Central Party Committee and the State Council, is hereby promulgated, effective July 23, 2020. The Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (Edition 2019) promulgated by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce on June 30, 2019 shall be repealed simultaneously.

Director of the National Development and Reform Commission: He Lifeng

Minister of the Ministry of Commerce: Zhong Shan


I. The Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (hereinafter referred to as the “Negative List for Foreign Investment Access”) sets out on a unified basis the special administrative measures for foreign investment access such as equity requirements, senior management personnel requirements, etc. Fields not mentioned in the Negative List for Foreign Investment Access are administered under the principle of equal treatment for domestic and foreign capitals

II. The Negative List for Foreign Investment Access has listed a transitional period for cancellation or relaxation of the access restrictions for some fields and will cancel or relax the access restrictions on time after the transitional period expires.

III. No overseas investor may engage in investment and business activities in the capacity of an individually-owned business, an investor in a sole proprietorship enterprise, or a member of a farmers’ cooperative.

IV. When performing duties pursuant to the law, the relevant authorities shall not process relevant matters including application for permit, enterprise registration etc. for proposed investments by overseas investors in fields mentioned in the Negative List for Foreign Investment Access which do not comply with the provisions of the Negative List for Foreign Investment Access; where approval for a fixed asset investment project is involved, the relevant approval matters shall not be processed. No foreign-invested partnership business may be established in any investment field subject to equity requirement.

V. Upon review by the relevant competent departments of the State Council and approval by the State Council, the provisions of the Negative List for Foreign Investment Access on the relevant fields may not apply to specific foreign investments.

VI. Where domestic companies, enterprises or natural persons merge or acquire their affiliated domestic companies through a company legally established or controlled overseas thereby, the relevant provisions on foreign investment, overseas investment, foreign exchange administration etc. shall apply.

VII. The cultural, financial and other fields not listed in the Negative List for Foreign Investment Access and relevant measures for administrative approval, qualifications and national security shall be subject to the existing provisions.

VIII. Where the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and their follow-up agreements, the Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and their  subsequent agreements, the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and their subsequent agreements, or the international treaties or agreements to which the China accedes or is a signatory contain more preferential provisions on access treatment for overseas investors, the relevant provisions may apply. If more preferential opening-up measures are taken for eligible investors in special economic zones such as pilot free trade zones, relevant provisions shall apply.

IX. The Negative List for Foreign Investment Access shall be interpreted by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce in concert with the relevant authorities.

Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (Edition 2020)

No.Special Management Measures
I. Agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery
1The Chinese Party for the selection of new wheat varieties and seed production shall hold no less than 34% of the shares, and the selection of new corn varieties and seed production must be controlled by the Chinese Party.
2Investment in research and development, cultivation and plantation of Chinese rare and unique precious fine varieties, as well as manufacturing of the relevant propagative materials, (including excellent genes of planting, husbandry and aquaculture) shall be prohibited.
3Investment in breeding genetically modified varieties of crop seeds, livestock and poultry breeds and aquatic breeds, as well as manufacturing of genetically modified seeds (seedlings) thereof, shall be prohibited.
4Investment in fishing of aquatic products in sea areaa under Chinese jurisdiction and within Chinese territorial waters shall be prohibited.
II. Mining
5Investment in exploration, mining and beneficiation of rare earth, radioactive minerals and tungsten shall be prohibited.
III. Manufacturing
6Printing of publications must be controlled by the Chinese Party.
7It is prohibited to invest in the application of steaming, stir-frying, moxibustion, calcination of Chinese herbal medicines and other processing techniques as well as the production of confidential prescription products of proprietary Chinese medicines.
8Except for special purpose vehicles, new energy vehicles and commercial vehicles, the Chinese party in complete automobile manufacturing shall hold not less than 50% of the shares; a foreign investor may establish two or less equity joint ventures in China to manufacture the same type of complete automobile products. (The restriction on the shareholding percentage of foreign investors in the manufacturing of passenger cars and the restriction that one foreign investor may establish two or less joint ventures in China to manufacture the same type of vehicles will be removed in 2022)
9Satellite television broadcasting ground receiving facilities and key components production.
IV. Production and supply of electricity, heat, gas and water
10For construction and operation of nuclear power plants, controlling stake shall be held by the Chinese Party.
V. Wholesale and retail trade
11Investment in wholesale, retail of tobacco, cigarettes, redried leaf tobacco and other tobacco products shall be prohibited.
VI. Transportation, warehousing and postal industries
12Domestic water transport companies must be controlled by the Chinese Party.
13The controlling stake of public air transport companies shall be held by the Chinese Party, the investment ratio of a foreign investor and its affiliates shall not exceed 25%, and the legal representative shall be a Chinese citizen. The legal representative of a general airlines must be a Chinese citizen. General airlines for agriculture, forestry and fishery are subject to the form of equity joint venture, and other general airlines are subject to the controlling stake held by the Chinese Party.
14For construction and operation of civil airports, comparative controlling stake shall be held by the Chinese Party. And foreign parties may not participate in the construction and operation of the airport tower.
15Investment in postal companies and domestic express mail business shall be prohibited.
VII. Information transmission, software and information technology services
16Telecommunications companies are subject to the provision of telecommunications services opened up pursuant to China’s WTO commitments; the foreign share ratio for value-add telecommunications services (except for ecommerce, domestic multi-party communications, storage-forwarding and call centres) shall not exceed 50%; and the controlling stake shall be held by the Chinese party for basic telecommunications services.
17Investment in Internet news service, Internet publishing service, Internet audio-visual program service, cyber culture operation (except for music) and Internet information dissemination service (except for contents opened up in China’s WTO commitments) shall be prohibited.
VIII. Leasing and business service
18Investment in Chinese legal matters (except for provision of information on impact on Chinese legal environment) shall be prohibited and a foreign investor shall not be appointed as a partner of a domestic law firm.
19Market surveys shall only be limited to the form of equity joint venture; for radio and television ratings survey therein, controlling stake shall be held by the Chinese Party.
20Investment in social surveys shall be prohibited.
IX. Scientific research and technical services
21It is prohibited to invest in the development and application of human stem cells and gene diagnosis and treatment technologies.
22It is prohibited to invest in humanities and social science research institutions.
23It is prohibited to invest in geodetic surveying, marine surveying and mapping, aerial photography for surveying and mapping, ground motion surveying, and surveying and mapping of administrative boundaries. Preparation of topographic maps, world administrative area maps, national administrative area maps, maps of administrative areas at or below the provincial level, national teaching maps, local teaching maps, true three-dimensional maps and electronic navigation maps; and regional geological mapping, mineral geology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrogeology, environmental geology, geological disasters, remote sensing geology and other surveys (the mining right holders are not subject to these special administrative measures when carrying out work within the scope of their mining rights).
X. Education
24Pre-school education, ordinary high school and higher education institutions are subject to Sino-foreign cooperative education, and must be led by the Chinese Party (the president or the chief executive shall have Chinese nationality, and the Chinese Party shall comprise not less than half of the council, board or joint administrative committee).
25It is prohibited to invest in compulsory education institutions or religious education institutions.
XI. Health and social work
26Medical institutions are limited to the form of joint venture.
XII. Culture, sports and entertainment
27It is prohibited to invest in news organizations (including but not limited to news agencies).
28Investment in editing, publishing and production of books, newspapers, periodicals, audio-visual products and electronic publications shall be prohibited.
29Investment in various levels of radio stations, television stations, radio and television channels (frequencies), radio and television transmission network (transmitter stations, relay stations, radio and television satellites, satellite uplink stations, satellite receiving stations, microwave stations, surveillance stations and cable radio and television transmission network, etc) shall be prohibited. It is also prohibited to engage in the business of video broadcasting by order of radio and TV and the installation services of ground receiving facilities for satellite TV broadcasting.
30Investment in companies producing and operating radio and television programmes (including introduction of businesses) shall be prohibited.
31Investment in film production companies, distribution companies, cinema companies and film importation business shall be prohibited.
32Investment in auction companies for heritage auction, heritage stores and State-owned heritage museums shall be prohibited.
33Investment in performing arts groups is prohibited.