Investor FAQs

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1. Q: What are the major development zones in Beijing?

A: Beijing has three state-level development zones, namely Zhongguancun Science Park (ZSP), Beijing Economic and Technology Development Area (BDA) and Beijing Tianzhou Export Processing Zone.

In addition, there are sixteen municipal-level development zones distributed in the city's 16 districts and counties, namely, Beijing Badaling Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Caiyu Technology Park, Beijing Changping Xiaotangshan Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Daxing Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Fangshan Technology Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Liangxiang Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Linhe Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Mafang Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Miyun Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Shilong Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Tianzhu Airport Industrial Zone, Beijing Tongzhou Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Xinggu Economic Development Zone, Beijing Yanqi Industrial Development Zone, Beijing Yanqing Economic Development Zone and Beijing Yongle Economic Development Zone.

Click here to view a detailed introduction to Beijing's development zones.

2. Q: What industries in China can foreign investors invest in?

A: Foreign investment industries in China are usually laid out for approval and incentive purposes as "encouraged", "restricted" or "prohibited" in the Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment, while those not specified in the three categories are deemed "permitted". The latest catalogue, the fifth edition of its kind since 1995, was promulgated by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Dec. 24, 2011 to replace the 2007 edition. It came into effect on Jan. 30, 2012.

Click here to view the English version of the 2011 Catalog.

3. Q: What adjustments have been made to the 2011 Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment?

A: The major adjustments and changes are as follows:

1) Further opening up investment. To promote reform and development and create a favorable investment environment, the 2011 Catalogue added more items into the encouraged category and reduced the number of those in the restricted and prohibited categories. In addition, restrictions on the foreign equity ratio have been lifted in some sectors; items with restrictions on the foreign equity ratio have been reduced by 11 compared to the 2007 Catalogue.

2) Promoting transformation and upgrade of the manufacturing sector. High-end manufacturing is taken as a key area where foreign investment is encouraged, and foreign investors are encouraged to transform and upgrade traditional industries through the use of new technologies, new techniques, new materials and new equipment. The 2011 Catalogue brought more times on products and technologies in the fields of textile, chemicals and machinery manufacturing under the encouraged category. The Catalogue also encourages foreign investors to invest in the circular economy, adding into the encouraged category the recycling of waste electrical and electronic appliances, electromechanical equipment and used batteries. To ensure the healthy development of the auto industry, the manufacturing of whole vehicles is removed from the encouraged category. To contain the excess production and blind redundant construction in some industries, polysilicon and coal chemical products are also taken out of the encouraged category.

3) Fostering emerging industries of strategic importance. Foreign investment is encouraged in such emerging industries as energy conservation, environmental protection, new-generation information technology, biotech, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, and new energy vehicles. The 2011 Catalogue also encourages investment in key parts for new energy vehicles and next-generation Internet system based on IPv6. At the same time, the restrictions on equity ratio regarding projects on new energy power-generating equipment are cancelled.

4) Promoting the development of service industries. Foreign investment is encouraged in modern services, including those related to people's welfare. To expand the utilization of foreign investment in this respect, the Catalogue adds nine items into the encouraged category, including charging stations for motor vehicles, venture capital corporations, IPR services, technical services on offshore oil pollution cleaning, and vocational training. Meanwhile, items, including foreign investment in medical institutions and financial leasing companies, are moved from the restricted category to the permitted category.

5) Promoting the coordinated regional development. The government will continue to implement a policy of differentiated industrial guidance. Some items under the encouraged category removed from the current Catalogue will be reconsidered during the amendment of the Catalogue of Priority Industries for Foreign Investment in Central and Western China.

4. Q: What requirements should multinational companies meet to set up their regional headquarters in Beijing?

A: According to the Measures on Implementation of the Rules for Encouraging Multinational Organizations to Set Up Their Regional Headquarters in Beijing (2009), a foreign-invested company set up in Beijing with the official approval from relevant Chinese authorities may be recognized as regional headquarters.

In addition, a foreign-invested management company can also apply to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce to be identified as the regional headquarters, under the conditions that i) the total assets of its parent company is no less than US$400 million; ii) its parent company's cumulative paid-up registered capital in China is no less than US$10 million, and the number of the enterprises it invests in or is authorized to manage inside and outside of the Chinese territory is no less than three; or the number of the enterprises it invests in or is authorized to manage inside and outside of the Chinese territory is no less than six; iii) its total registered capital is no less than US$2 million; or iv) it's the only and top operational management organization of its parent company in the Chinese territory. The above eligibility criteria may be loosened to some extent on well-known multinational companies.

5. Q: What are the incentive measures on setting up regional headquarters in Beijing?

A: In accordance with the Measures on Implementation of the Rules for Encouraging Multinational Organizations to Set Up Their Regional Headquarters in Beijing (2009), multinationals that establish their regional headquarters in or moving their headquarters to Beijing after Jan.1, 2009 are entitled to either one-off subsidies or three-year subsidies under the conditions that i) they have a registered capital of 100 million yuan or more (subsidies can be up to 10 million yuan), or ii) they rent offices in Beijing.

Newly-established or relocated headquarters which purchase or build offices in Beijing shall enjoy one-off subsidies. Regional headquarters with an annual revenue of more than 100 million yuan in the first year may be awarded an incentive starting from 1 million yuan and up to 10 million yuan. One of the chief officials from the regional headquarters will also be awarded an incentive of up to 500,000 yuan, exempted from personal taxation, for three consecutive years.

The government also relaxed the restrictions on the entry-exit visas for expatriate professionals brought in by the multinationals for their regional quarters in Beijing. The senior management and technical staff can apply for multi-entry visas and residence permit for a valid duration of up to five years.

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