China citizens in Hong Kong and Macao will be able to start businesses in the mainland without being licensed by the government beginning January 1, announced the General Administration for Industry and Commerce (GAIC) Monday.
Small, private Hong Kong and Macao businesses will no longer need to be registered as overseas-funded companies, according to a circular issued by the GAIC. This is part of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between the mainland and Hong Kong between the mainland and Macao.
Chinese citizens in Hong Kong and Macao will be able to run small private businesses, including shops, restaurants, service centers, hairdressers and repair shops. But the businesses will not be able to employ more than eight people and the area of the business must be no more than 300 square meters, the circular said. Also, these businesses will not be able to sell cigarettes or own a franchise.
Currently, Hong Kong and Macao-funded companies, both large and small, have to be licensed as overseas-funded businesses.
(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2004)