Regulations on Protection of Rights and Interests of Foreign Investors in Guangdong Province
（2022 年 1 月 16 日广东省第十三届人民代表大会常务委员会第三十九次会议通过）
(Adopted by the Standing Committee of the 13th People’s Congress of Guangdong Province at its 39th Session on January 16, 2022)
Article 1 To protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, optimize the environment of foreign investment, and promote foreign investment, the Regulations are formulated in light of actual conditions of Guangdong Province (“the Province”) as per the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Regulations for the Implementation of the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China, and pertinent laws and administrative regulations.
Article 2 The Regulations apply to the protection of investments, gains, and other legitimate rights and interests made or owned by foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises within the administrative areas of the Province.
Article 3 The Province shall promote foreign investment according to the law, protect the rights and interests of foreign investors, optimize foreign investment services, regulate foreign investment management, as well as adhere to the integrated advancement of foreign investment promotion, protection, service, and management, forming a new pattern of opening up on all fronts.
Article 4 People’s governments at or above the county level shall strengthen leadership over the activities related to the protection of the rights and interests of foreign investors, put in place sound mechanisms for such activities, and coordinate efforts to address major problems arising from such activities in a timely manner.
The departments of commerce at or above the county level shall take charge of the activities related to the protection of the rights and interests of foreign investors, and lead or coordinate the resolution of the problems that involve different fields and sectors in such work. Other related departments shall conduct the work related to the protection of the rights and interests of foreign investors within their respective scope of duties.
Article 5 The Province shall implement the management systems of pre-establishment national treatment and negative list for foreign investment as per the national provisions. People’s governments at all levels and their related departments may not set conditions that prohibit the entry of foreign investment into the areas that are not on the negative list.
People’s governments at or above the county level and their related departments shall properly cooperate with the national security review of foreign investment.
Article 6 People’s governments at all levels and their related departments shall equally treat foreign-invested enterprises and domestic-invested enterprises in accordance with the law in terms of activities such as government funding arrangements, government investment projects, land supply, tax relief, qualifications and permits, standards formulation, project application, professional title appraisal, and human resources policies. No discriminatory policies or measures shall be formulated or implemented.
Foreign-invested enterprises and domestic-invested enterprises shall equally participate in government procurement, tendering and bidding, land transfer, property rights transaction, and other activities in accordance with the law.
Article 7 The government departments of the Province that supervise the intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection shall, within its scope of duties, establish a cross-regional, inter-departmental fast response mechanism to protect IPRs, put in place a complete set of administrative law enforcement systems related to IPR protection, and handle infringements of IPRs owned by foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises in accordance with the law.
Administrations for market regulation at or above the county level shall work with the departments supervising commerce, industry and information technology, and other relevant activities to strengthen the protection of IPRs during exhibitions, organize and provide guidance for the pre-exhibition screening, during-exhibition rapid disposal, and post-exhibition tracking and processing to the exhibition organizers or contractors to handle any infringement on the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises.
Foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises shall be encouraged to carry out such activities as patent application, trademark registration, copyright registration, and IPR transaction in accordance with the law.
Article 8 People’s governments at or above the county level shall make sure that foreign-invested enterprises can make fair use of public service resources related to IPRs in accordance with the law, and have access to services concerning fast review, ownership confirmation, and protection of IPRs. While selecting various award winners, the rights of foreign-invested enterprises to participate in such selections along with their inventions and other scientific and technological advances on a level playing field shall be safeguarded.
Article 9 People’s courts at all levels shall take up, investigate, and rule on the applications for the IPR-related evidence preservation, behavior preservation, and property preservation filed by foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises in time and according to the law. Punitive damages shall be applied to the intentional infringements of IPRs, if the circumstances are severe, in accordance with the law.
Article 10 Pursuant to the principles of voluntariness and fair business, foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises shall be encouraged to conduct technical cooperation with various market players and scientific research entities. Such conditions of cooperation as identification of the responsibility for technical infringements and the attribution of improved technologies shall be decided through equal consultation of different parties to cooperate in accordance with the law.
Article 11 The administrative organs, as well as the organizations authorized by laws and regulations with the function to manage public affairs and their staff members, shall protect trade secrets of foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises they become aware of in performing their duties according to the law.
Judicial organs shall strengthen the judicial protection of trade secrets in accordance with the law, to fully safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of rights holders.
Article 12 Banking financial institutions shall be encouraged to increase the application of financial technology, and provide foreign-investedenterprises with the services related to foreign payment and receipt facilitation and electronic processing of trade settlement according to the law.
Financial institutions of the Province shall facilitate the cross-border financing denominated in domestic and foreign currencies that foreign-invested enterprises initiate in accordance with the national policies for cross-border financing management.
Article 13 People’s governments at or above the county level shall ensure foreign-invested enterprises can equally participate in the formulation and revision of national standards, industry standards, local standards, and group standards, as well as in various activities of technical committees for standardization, according to the law.
Standardization departments at people’s governments of the Province and people’s governments at or above the prefecture level shall develop and revise the local standards in close relation to production and operation activities of foreign-invested enterprises. In the process, they shall take into full consideration the opinions of foreign-invested enterprises, disclose the information on the whole process of formulating and revising local standards, and provide facilitation and 7guidance for foreign-invested enterprises to participate in the drafting of, translation of, and international cooperation on local standards.
Hindering foreign-invested enterprises from participating in fair competition by taking advantage of standards is prohibited.
Article 14 Foreign-invested enterprises shall be encouraged to develop corporate standards higher than the recommended technical requirements and aligned with international levels, and convert scientific and technological innovations into corporate standards.
Article 15 People’s governments at all levels and their related departments shall ensure foreign-invested enterprises can equally participate in government procurement in accordance with the law. Purchasers and purchasing agencies shall equally treat foreign-invested enterprises according to the law in terms of releasing government procurement information, determining supplier conditions and review qualifications, and devising bid evaluation criteria. Eligible Chinese employees in foreign-invested enterprises can apply to join the pool of government procurement review experts.
Article 16 Science and technology and other relevant departments at or above the county level shall support foreign-invested enterprises in intensifying independent research and development (R&D), and establishing high-level R&D institutions. Foreign-invested enterprises shall be encouraged to establish joint R&D institutions and carry out R&D cooperation along with other enterprises, scientific research institutions, and colleges and universities.
Foreign-invested enterprises shall equally participate in the R&D of public service platforms and the application for scientific & technological programs of governments, in addition to enjoying supporting policies.
Large research instruments and major scientific and technological infrastructure shall be open to foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises in accordance with national provisions.
Article 17 Commerce and other relevant departments of the provincial people’s government shall leverage the piloting role of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone by following the Development Strategy for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to explore experimental policy measures for protecting the rights and 910 interests of foreign investors and accumulating replicable and scalable experience.
High-end, much-needed foreign talents identified in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area shall be entitled to entry and exit, visit and residency, and other preferential measures as stipulated.
Article 18 High-end foreign talents introduced by foreign-invested enterprises, while applying for work permits, may be free of restrictions on age, education, and work experience in accordance with national provisions.
Foreign professionals introduced by foreign-invested enterprises, while applying for work permits, shall be subject to moderately relaxed restrictions on age, education, and work experience in accordance with national provisions.
Article 19 The administrative organs and the organizations with the functions to manage public affairs which are authorized by laws and regulations, shall take into full account the views of foreign industryassociations and chambers of commerce, foreign-invested enterprises, and other stakeholders, or solicit opinions from the public, while drafting laws, regulations, rules, normative documents and policy measures related to foreign investment, as well as carrying out fair competition review.
Article 20 Commerce, market regulation administration and other government departments at or above the county level shall formulate and publish the catalog of government services related to foreign investment, as well as related guidelines, to provide convenient services to foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises.
The guidelines shall clearly define the handling conditions and procedures of government services and formalities, required materials, specific steps and time limit, fees and charges, contact information, complaint channels, and other relevant content of government services.
Applications for government services that meet the application conditions can be accepted when the primary application materials are complete but the secondary application materials are missing.
Article 21 People’s governments at all levels and their related departments shall regulate administrative inspections of foreign-invested enterprises, by setting the frequency of law enforcement inspections such as market supervision, labor supervision, environmental protection, production safety, and fire safety in a science-based, reasonable manner, and by carrying out a comprehensive inspection instead of separate ones in accordance with the provisions of the Province.
Article 22 People’s governments at all levels and their related departments shall encourage innovation, supervise foreign investments involving new technologies, industries, business forms, operating modes inclusively and prudently, and develop differentiated regulatory rules and standards for varying situations.
第二十三条 县级以上人民政府应当畅通外商投资企业纠纷解决渠道， 建立和完善调解、仲裁、行政裁决、行政复议、诉讼等有机衔接、相互协调的多元化纠纷解决机制，为外商投资企业提供高效、便捷的纠纷解决途径。
Article 23 People’s governments at or above the county level shall put in place unimpeded channels to settle disputes related to foreign-invested enterprises, and establish a diversity of closely-integrated, mutually-coordinated dispute settlement mechanisms including mediation, arbitration, administrative adjudication, administrative reconsideration, and litigation, all of which provide foreign-invested enterprises with efficient and convenient approaches to dispute resolution.
Article 24 Foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises may file complaints about the administrative behavior in breach of their legitimate rights and interests committed by the administrative organs of the Province, as well as the organizations authorized with the function to manage public affairs and their staff members, according to the pertinent laws and regulations. Meanwhile, they may also point out the problems existing in the investment environment and recommend policy measures for improvement.
The department of commerce at the provincial people’s government, as well as the designated departments or agencies by the people’s governments at or above the prefecture level and the county level (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the omplaint handling agencies”), shall coordinate the handling of complaints on different levels. Other relevant departments shall cooperate with the handling process in line with the division of duties.
Article 25 The complaint handling agencies shall perform the following activities:
(1) Receive and accept complaints;
(2) Coordinate the handling of complaints and convene related departments to handle major complaints;
(3) Report major complaints to the people’s government at the same level and the direct supervising authority at a higher-level, inform the units about which the complaints have been raised of how complaints are handled, and provide feedback and recommendations;
(4) Conduct statistics and analysis of complaints;
(5) Perform other activities related to complaint handling.
If foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises, when filing complaints, request that the information of the enterprises and individuals concerned be kept confidential, the complaint handling agencies shall keep it confidential according to the law.
Article 26 After receiving complaints filed by foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises, the complaint handling agencies shall decide whether to accept the complaint ases for further handling within five working days. If a complaint is accepted for further handling, a written notice shall be sent to the complainant; if not, reasons shall be explained properly.
The complaint handling agencies shall settle complaints within twenty working days from the date when the complaints are accepted. For complex cases, an appropriate extension may be granted in accordance with the pertinent national provisions, and the reasons for extension shall be made known to the complainants.
The administrative organs under complaint, as well as the organizations authorized by laws and regulations with the function to manage public affairs and their staff members, shall cooperate with the complaint handling agencies to coordinate the handling of complaints.
Article 27 People’s governments at all levels and their related departments, if failing to fulfill their lawful duties in the protection of foreign investors’ rights and interests, shall be held accountable in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. The directly responsible persons-in-charge and other directly responsible personnel shall be punished according to law.
第二十八条 本条例自 2022 年 3 月 1 日起施行。
Article 28 The Regulations shall come into force on March 1, 2022.
The English version of the Regulations is provided by the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province for reference only. The Chinese version shall prevail when the meaning of the text is interpreted.