Foreign Investment Negative List Loosens Restrictions for Finance and Banking


Beijing has unveiled a new negative list for foreign investment that significantly loosens restrictions for 22 key sectors, including banking, securities, automobile manufacturing and railway lines.

On 28 June China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce jointly issued the 2018 edition of the “Foreign Investment Entry Special Administrative Measures (Negative list) (外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单)).

The new list is significantly shorter than the 2017 edition, with a reduction in the number of items from 63 to 48.

The list cancels equity restrictions on foreign investment in the Chinese banking sector, as well as lifts the foreign investment ceiling for securities companies, fund management companies, futures companies and life insurance companies to 51%.

The Measures further indicate that these restrictions on foreign investment in the Chinese financial sector will be rescinded altogether in 2021.

In addition to banking and finance, the Measures loose or cancel restrictions in the transportation, culture, internet, automobile, shipping, aviation, energy, resource and agricultural sectors.

An NDRC official said that the release of the shortened 2018 version of negative list arrives during the 40th anniversary year of China’s reform and liberalisation era, and is a key measure for “driving high-level opening and further improving the system for equal treatment with citizens prior to market entry.”

According to the official the next round of opening will “expand the attraction of foreign capital, expedite market competition, strengthen the injection of new drivers by innovation, and support in-depth development of economic globalisation.”