China updates

Environment & Climate Change

New measures further reform pollutants discharge permit system
  • China
  • 09 April 2018

The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently issued new administrative measures concerning pollutants discharge permits. In addition to providing the issuance procedure for such permits, the measures stipulate penalties for various violations. The promulgation of the measures will likely be viewed as a signal of more stringent legislative control over enterprises' environmentally sensitive activities.


Insurance

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
Product innovation: litigation property preservation liability insurance
  • China
  • 21 January 2020

In terms of premium revenue, China is the second largest insurance market in the world. However, regulators and insurers are often frustrated due to a lack of insurance innovation. In response to such frustration, litigation property preservation liability insurance has emerged and become a typical insurance solution to satisfy market demand and address unique Chinese insurance requirements in order to align them with the country's judicial system.

Applicability of right of subrogation in Chinese reinsurance context
  • China
  • 07 January 2020

Insurance subrogation is an important legal mechanism which enables insurers to reduce their losses after insurance indemnities are paid. However, opinions differ as to the application of reinsurers' right of subrogation. This article answers questions which frequently arise in this regard from a Chinese perspective.

Have foreign-invested insurer licences been made available to foreign investors?
  • China
  • 16 July 2019

For foreign investors with an eye on the Chinese insurance market, obtaining an insurance intermediary licence is a good idea. However, compared with insurance brokerage licences, insurance agency licences are difficult for foreign investors to obtain. Therefore, foreign investors that wish to acquire control over a Chinese insurer should consider either setting up a new foreign-invested insurer or acquiring an existing foreign-invested insurer.

Essential provisions in Chinese reinsurance contracts
  • China
  • 09 July 2019

During the past five years, the Chinese courts and arbitration institutions have handled major disputes relating to reinsurance contracts. These cases prompted legislation in the reinsurance sector and drew attention to the need for more careful wording in reinsurance contracts. This article provides an overview of several essential provisions in reinsurance contracts under Chinese law.

Who is China's new insurance regulator?
  • China
  • 18 June 2019

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission was recently formally unveiled in Beijing, marking the official launch of the new regulatory authority. This merger of the former China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Insurance Regulatory Commission is the biggest reform of China's financial regulatory system in more than 15 years and marks the start of the 'one committee, one bank, two commissions' regulation framework.


Intellectual Property

Contributed by Wanhuida Intellectual Property
SPC clarifies requirements for citing prior use defence in trademark infringement cases
  • China
  • 17 February 2020

A recent Supreme People's Court (SPC) decision clarified the requirements to cite the prior use defence under Article 59.3 of the Trademark Law. In this regard, the court stated that the only person eligible to cite this defence is the prior user themselves and that such use must have occurred prior to the registration application and the trademark owner's use of the registered trademark. Further, for the first time, the SPC made it clear that geographical scope is a key element in defining the original scope of use.

Disputes over geographical indications
  • China
  • 10 February 2020

Geographical indications identify goods as originating from a certain region or locality, where a given quality, the reputation or another characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to the natural or humanistic features of the indicated place. However, if an indication is accredited as a geographical indication in its country of origin, is this sufficient for it to be granted protection in China without being registered as a trademark?

Scope of reasonable protection in medical use claims
  • China
  • 03 February 2020

Claims are technical solutions seeking protection and should be a generalisation of the content sufficiently disclosed in a patent description. However, poorly drafted claims that include inappropriate generalisations risk being unsupported by their description. When ascertaining whether a claim of medical use invention is supported, it is crucial to reasonably interpret the scope of the claim.

SAMR publishes regulations discouraging bad-faith trademark applications
  • China
  • 13 January 2020

The State Administration for Market Regulation recently published Certain Provisions for Regulating Applications for Trademark Registration. The new regulations set parameters for determining bad-faith practices and bad-faith applications for trademarks that are not intended for use. They also introduce procedures and countermeasures for identifying not only bad-faith applications, but also perpetrators (ie, bad-faith applicants), facilitators and enablers (ie, unethical trademark intermediaries).

Is filing a trademark without intention to use an act of bad faith?
  • China
  • 23 December 2019

In China, the practice of defensive trademarks appears to be a guiding factor when determining the legitimacy of a trademark application, but said trademarks remain subject to cancellation in case of non-use. The main challenge is the bad-faith strategy of applying to register many different trademarks without the aim of using them. In this respect, the recent revision of the Trademark Law gives hope that such a highly prejudicial phenomenon will be progressively eradicated.


Litigation

Blockchain evidence accepted in judicial proceedings for first time
  • China
  • 27 November 2018

The Hangzhou Internet Court recently confirmed, for the first time, the effectiveness of evidence recorded via blockchain. Shortly after, the Supreme People's Court cemented the lower court's view by implementing the Provisions on the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts. This is the first time that blockchain technology has been officially accepted in a judicial interpretation as a valid technical means for preserving and presenting evidence.

Court examines refusal to deal in private antitrust litigation against Tencent
  • China
  • 23 October 2018

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court recently issued its judgment in the private antitrust litigation brought by domestic software company Shenzhen Micro Source Code Software Development Co Ltd (SMSCSD) against tech giant Tencent. SMSCSD had alleged that Tencent possessed a dominant position in the China mainland market for mobile instant messaging and social platform services and had abused this dominance by blocking its WeChat Official Accounts and engaging in discriminatory practices.


Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
Beijing Communications Administration examines app network and data security
  • China
  • 31 January 2020

The Beijing Communications Administration recently organised a two-month examination of the network and data security of apps to target the illegal, compulsory and excessive collection of user information. The examination selected 50 apps with a certain influence and number of users, covering social media, online rental and automotive services, online education, finance, online medical care, basic telecoms enterprises and six other areas.

Publication of cybersecurity threat information subject to government approval
  • China
  • 24 January 2020

The Cyberspace Administration of China recently published the Administration Measures for Releasing Cybersecurity Threat Information (Draft for Comments) to solicit public opinions. According to the draft measures, the publication of cybersecurity threat information must be reported to regulators in a number of specific circumstances.

Educational apps must be filed with education administrative departments
  • China
  • 10 January 2020

The Ministry of Education recently published the Administrative Measures for the Filing of Educational Apps. The administrative measures require providers of educational apps and institutional users of educational apps to go through filing procedures and indicate that the ministry is tightening controls on educational apps in China.

China strengthens regulation of online audiovisual services
  • China
  • 03 January 2020

The Administrative Provisions on Online Audiovisual Information Services, which were jointly issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China and two other departments in November 2019, recently came into effect. The provisions set out requirements for the creation, distribution and transmission of audio videos based on new technologies and applications such as deep learning and virtual reality.

Shanghai Cyberspace Administration releases 2019 Network Security Incident Contingency Plan
  • China
  • 20 December 2019

The Shanghai Cyberspace Administration recently released the 2019 Network Security Incident Contingency Plan. According to the contingency plan, network security incidents in Shanghai are classified as Grade I, Grade II, Grade III and Grade IV. If a network security incident occurs, the relevant entity must report it to the competent authority verbally within half an hour and in writing within one hour.