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【中国】Proposed Amendments to the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law Provide Greater Clarity on Commercial Bribery and Impose Tougher Sanctions
On 25 February 2016, the State Council released for public consultation draft amendments (“Draft Amendments”) to the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law (“AUCL”), the first time after more than 20 years since the AUCL's enactment. Notably, the Draft Amendments introduce new definitions, enhanced enforcement measures and tougher sanctions to regulate commercial bribery, which echoes the ongoing corruption sweep in China. The Draft Amendments signal the Chinese government’s intention to further tighten their stance on tackling commercial bribery.
【中国】Significant Changes to China’s Family Planning Law will Impact Employee Leave Entitlements
On December 27, 2015, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee adopted changes to China’s Family Planning Law, which used to encourage couples to marry and give birth later in life (the so called “late marriage and late birth” policy) and to have only one child.
【中国・香港】Intended and Unintended Use of Option Clauses in Arbitration: Common Pitfalls and Drafting Tips
Parties who choose arbitration as an exclusive dispute resolution mechanism for their contracts usually agree that their disputes “shall” be referred to arbitration. In certain circumstances, however, parties intentionally agree on arbitration as a default dispute resolution mechanism with an option to litigate a dispute, or vice versa. The option can either be held by both parties (bilateral option clauses) or, more commonly, by one party only (unilateral option clauses). In either case, it is critical that the parties’ intention is clearly and precisely expressed in the clause. Ambiguity in drafting can result in delay and wasted costs, unintended loss of flexibility and confidentiality, or an unenforceable arbitral award.
【中国】Regulatory Update: China’s Emerging Cybersecurity Regime
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (the “NPC”) passed the 9th Amendment to the Criminal Code in August 2015, and the new Anti-terrorism Law about four months later. Both have come into effect by now, with provisions concerning cybersecurity. We would like to offer our observations and comments on these and other recent developments, as an update to our previous alert on China’s “Internet Sovereignty” and Emerging Cybersecurity Regime.
【中国・香港】China Tax Monthly
In this issue of the China Tax Monthly, we will discuss the following tax developments in China:
1. The SAT Issues Supplementary Rules to the Administrative Measures on VAT Zero-rate Regime
2. The SAT Releases 2014 APA Annual Report
3. China Signs the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
4. Tax Treatment Clarified for Mutual Recognition of Funds between the Mainland and Hong Kong
5. Certain Employer-paid Commercial Health Insurance Premiums Are Exempt from Individual Income Tax
【中国・香港】HKIAC and ICC Take Steps to Tackle Costs and Delay in International Arbitration
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) and the ICC International Court of Arbitration (“ICC”), two of the world’s leading arbitral centres, have recently taken steps to address the problem of costs and delay in international arbitration. As outlined in the 2015 International Arbitration Survey on Improvements and Innovations in International Arbitration by Queen Mary University of London (“2015 Survey”), costs and delay were “ranked by respondents as amongst the worst characteristics of international arbitration.” This alert will discuss the highlights of the HKIAC and ICC developments.
【香港】Five lessons from recent cyber attacks to protect your organisation from risk of data breach in 2016
Data privacy and cybersecurity are two of the biggest concerns that companies holding personal data face in 2016. This is no surprise as 2015 saw an alarming increase in data breaches worldwide and a number of incidents in Hong Kong.
【中国】Beijing Issues Implementation Measures on Labor Union Law
On November 27, 2015, the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress adopted the Measures for Implementing the Labor Union Law of the People’s Republic of China (“Measures”), which will take effect on January 1, 2016. The Measures are likely to impose additional costs and further administrative burdens on companies in Beijing.
【中国】FIREE Recordals Tracker: October 2014 Update
Since May 2007, any injection of foreign capital in foreign-invested real estate enterprises (FIREEs) must be recorded with the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). These “FIREE recordals” provide a useful perspective on the trend and pace of new foreign capital inflow into the China real estate sector. However, the FIREE recordal statistics do not disclose the actual amount of foreign capital involved in each transaction.
【シンガポール】Public Prosecutor v Teo Chu Ha: Ex-Seagate director's acquittal in question following Singapore Court of Appeal's decision
In a recent Singapore Court of Appeal decision, it was held that a charge of corruption can be made out even where consideration was paid for the gratification. It is not necessary for the Prosecution to prove that the consideration was inadequate or that the transaction was a sham. Instead, one has to look at the substance of the entire scheme and its context before deciding whether there was gratification within the meaning of the Prevention of Corruption Act (“PCA”).
【シンガポール】Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Health Products Act
The Health Sciences Authority (the "HSA") has launched a series of public consultations on 27 October 2014 for its proposal to streamline regulations of pharmaceutical products.
【中国】China Allows Wholly Foreign Owned Hospitals in Seven Cities and Provinces
The Ministry of Commerce and the National Health and Family Planning
Commission have jointly issued a notice to launch a pilot scheme (the
“Pilot Scheme”) allowing foreign investors to set up wholly foreign-owned
hospitals in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and the provinces
of Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan starting from 25 July 2014.
Foreign investors can establish new hospitals or acquire existing ones.
Only investors from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are permitted to
operate hospitals practicing traditional Chinese medicine.
【シンガポール】Singapore High Court considers whether minority oppression claims are arbitrable
Silica Investors Limited v Tomolugen Holdings Limited  SGHC 101
involved an application to stay court proceedings in favour of arbitration. In
this case, the Singapore High Court elaborated on the test for determining
whether a claim fell within the scope of an arbitration clause. The Court
explained that the focus is on identifying the essential dispute between
parties, and also clarified that a non-contractual claim can fall within the scope
of an arbitration agreement if it has a sufficiently close connection to the
contract incorporating the arbitration clause. The Court was also asked to
determine, for the first time, if claims brought under Section 216 of the
Companies Act (Cap. 50) (also referred to as minority oppression claims)
were arbitrable. After a thorough analysis, the Court declined to lay down a
general rule on the arbitrability of such claims.
【中国】New Compliance and Disclosure Requirements for Your China Subsidiaries
In previous years, foreign-invested enterprises (“FIEs”) and their branches
in China had the certainty that they would need to undergo the annual
inspection filing with the business registration authority between March to
June each year, and if they passed, they would be deemed to be in “good
standing”. This year, in most cities, joint ventures, wholly foreign-owned
enterprises (“WFOEs”), and their branches faced a new uncertainty as
the annual inspection exercise of the Administration for Industry and
Commerce (“AIC”) has been replaced by a new “annual reporting” system.
【香港】SFC Adopts Proposals to Enhance Regulation of Hong Kong’s Professional Investor Regime
On 25 September 2014, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission
(“SFC”) issued its Consultation Conclusions on the Proposed Amendments
to the Professional Investor Regime and Further Consultation on the Client
Agreement Requirements (“Conclusions”), following a public consultation
launched in May 2013 on proposals to revise the existing professional
investor regime in Hong Kong, and to introduce additional requirements
for client agreements.
【シンガポール】Public Consultation on Proposed Regulations to Help Financial Institutions Comply with US FATCA
On 22 September 2014, the Ministry of Finance, the Monetary Authority of
Singapore and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore released the
following proposed regulations and guidance to help financial institutions in
Singapore comply with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act