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China further opens value-added telecommunicationservice industry in
Shanghai FTZ

15 January 2014
On 6 January 2014, the PRC Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Shanghai Municipal Government jointly released the “Opinions on Further Opening up Value-added Telecom Services in PRC (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone” whereby China further opened the value-added telecommunication service industry to foreign investors in Shanghai FTZ.
Highlights of the said Opinions include:
1. foreign investors are allowed to own more than 50% shares in companies in Shanghai FTZ engaged in information service business (limited to application store) and information storage business (previously the foreign shares in such companies were not allowed to exceed 50%);
2. four new value-added telecommunication services are opened to foreign investors in Shanghai FTZ including (i) calling centre service, (ii) domestic multi-side telecommunication service; (iii) internet access service (internet access service for internet users); and (iv) domestic virtual private network service; and the foreign shares in companies engaged in above services may exceed 50% except that the foreign shares in the companies engaged in business (iv) shall not exceed 50%;
3. foreign investors may own shares in companies in Shanghai FTZ engaged in online data and transaction processing business (e-commerce business operation), provided that such foreign shares shall not exceed 55%; and
4. a foreign invested company registered in Shanghai FTZ may provide above value-added telecommunication services nationwide (except that it may only provide internet access service, i.e. internet access service for internet users, within Shanghai FTZ) provided that its service facilities must be placed within Shanghai FTZ.


Any legal information contained in this newsletter is general in nature and laws and regulations are changing from time to time and compliance will always depend upon the particular circumstances. We have not attempted to give exhaustive descriptions of law or to give a legal opinion on specific legal issues. You should not rely on this newsletter as a legal advice for any particular purpose.



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