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China's New Rules to Further Regulate Market

A set of new regulations took effect in China on Tuesday. Analysts believe the new rules will benefit the standardization of the market for the interests of investors and consumers. Zhou Yun takes a look at three of the new regulations and the significance. 
Actually, 30 new regulations took effect, in an effort to regulate market activities.

One big concern for foreign companies has been Intellectual Property Rights. With this in mind a regulation on famous trademark recognition and protection has been released.

Law Professor Wang Bing from Tsinghua University believes that the new regulation not only makes the concept of "famous trademark" more clarified but also ends the time when once a famous trademark is recognized by administrative departments, it will keep that title life-long.

"The most important improvement of this new regulation is that it adopts international trademark recognition practices. Related administrative bureau for industry and commerce will consider giving the title only when disputes concerning the violation of trademark ownership arise. And the recognition will no longer be valid once the dispute is over. This is good not only for the protection of trademark ownership but also helps to press famous trademark owners to keep on increasing its fame in the fierce market competition."

In the past, trademark recognitions are completed through administrative methods before disputes concerning violation of trademark ownership occur. This practice has seen many problems in reality, since companies owning life-long titles of famous trademarks will lose its vitality in keeping its fame in the market.

Also on Tuesday, the Ministry of Commerce enacted the regulation concerning foreign investments in commercial areas.

This regulation has been promulgated against the backdrop of a debate on whether China has already done too much in opening its retail sector to foreign companies. Yet Professor Ji Ligang from the Shanghai-based Fudan University holds a positive attitude towards further opening.

"The new regulation has stipulated that foreign investors can not only engage in wholesale trade but also in retail trade and franchise as well. These businesses have far exceeded areas formerly permitted by the Chinese government. And this provides more trade opportunities as well as better legal protections for foreign investment."

Professor Ji also thinks the regulation has insisted the policy of opening up the market in a step-by-step manner. Actually it puts restrictions on the scale and operational areas on foreign retail companies. So he believes this can help to prevent a chaotic commercial market and build up a stable and prosperous one.

Of course the market place must be kept fair for all, bearing this in mind, one new inclusion under the amended anti-dumping regulation stipulates that anti-dumping tariffs imposed upon certain imports should be in the interest of the public. In the past, the interests of upstream manufacturers have been protected by anti-dumping investigations, while downstream manufacturers' production costs have been raised due to the decrease of import volumes. This eventually leads to the rise of prices in the market, thereby damages final consumers' interests.

The new anti-dumping regulation aims to balance interests of all parts of the society.

President of the China Institute for WTO Studies Professor Zhang Hanlin explains the reasons behind the change.

"We should not only consider the interests of manufacturers but also take into consideration, the benefits of final consumers. To balance interests of different social sectors is the major reason for this new item."

To achieve the goal, Professor Zhang Hanlin says it's necessary to hold public hearings to solicit opinions, especially from consumers.

Other regulations effective on Tuesday cover security investment, anti-monopoly, as well as fund management.

(CRI June 2, 2004)

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