It is generally accepted that when a claim or a debt is assigned, the arbitration agreement attached thereto is also assigned. However, the Supreme People's Court has opined that an arbitration clause contained in a contract for carriage of goods by sea was not binding on an insurer that stepped into the shoes of the insured consignee by way of subrogation.
The Supreme People's Court recently issued a direction that an arbitral award should be refused recognition and enforcement as the arbitration concerned an inheritance dispute and was therefore not arbitrable. However, a request for a declaration of title to a 50% equity share in a company by way of succession could be characterized as a commercial matter.
The Supreme People's Court has upheld the Chinese courts' first decision on an arbitral award issued by a truncated tribunal. Recognition and enforcement were refused in accordance with Article V(1)(d) of the New York Convention. However, Chinese arbitration law and practice do not absolutely reject an arbitral award issued by a truncated tribunal.
For the first time since China acceded to the New York Convention in 1987, a foreign arbitration award has been refused recognition and enforcement in China on public policy grounds. Although the court apparently intended to set a precedent on these grounds, the case leaves open a number of significant questions.
The much-debated Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law allows labour arbitration commissions to issue decisions which are immediately legally binding and which cannot be appealed in some cases. The fact that local labour arbitration commissions will allow workers to submit cases to arbitration for free is likely to result in more labour disputes being brought before the commissions.
The Standard Ground Handling Agreement (SGHA) has been adopted for a substantial number of ground handling agreements between airlines and ground handling companies. Article 8.1 of the SGHA is typically used to exempt ground handling companies from liability for damages caused by them. A Shanghai High Court judgment has clarified significant issues relating to the interpretation of this article.
Border entry and exit permissions are an important aspect of international air transport. A case before the Jingan District People's Court has confirmed that since the regulation of immigration is a government function, the passenger will bear the consequences if air travel is interrupted due to visa issues.
When Austrian Airlines found the luggage of one of its passengers several months after it had gone missing, the passenger was notified to reclaim it. The passenger checked the luggage and found that all of the previously declared contents were intact. However, he then unexpectedly claimed that valuables worth Rmb200,000 were missing. The court considered the extent of the airline's liability in the subsequent compensation claim.
The courts recently found in favour of Air China in a dispute arising from the re-issuing of the return portion of a ticket. They held that it was legal for both parties to agree to re-issue the ticket and extend its validity period, and therefore both parties should have acted according to the amended contract. As the passenger did not take the re-issued flight as agreed, he was responsible for the consequences.
A recent decision by a Chinese low-cost carrier to blacklist passengers who demanded and obtained compensation for an extended flight delay has been the subject of much public debate. The airline has confirmed that it has blacklisted the passengers for their unruly behaviour. But questions have arisen as to whether airlines have the right to create blacklists or otherwise refuse to admit passengers.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) recently issued its Interim Measures for the Equity Management of Commercial Banks. The measures have tightened the CBRC's regulation of the information disclosure and reporting requirements imposed on material shareholders that have a significant impact on the operation and management of commercial banks established in China.
The State Council recently announced a pilot programme that has lifted the requirements on foreign-invested banks entering the renminbi yuan (Rmb) business market in Beijing until May 5 2018. As a result, foreign-invested banks are no long required to have operated for more than one year before applying to conduct Rmb business in Beijing. The programme is another step towards encouraging foreign investment in the financial sector.
The People's Bank of China recently released revised measures for the registration of a pledge of accounts receivable. The revised measures have broadened the definition of 'accounts receivable' and introduced a procedure for registering to transfer accounts receivable. For flexibility and convenience, the revised measures also adjust the registration term of a pledge of accounts receivable and extend the time limit for notifying a pledgee of any objection to its registration.
The Internet Financial Risk Special Rectification Work Leading Group Office recently issued a notice on rectification work regarding tokens issuance financing. In addition, a number of national authorities issued a joint announcement on the prevention of financial risks associated with token issuance. Following issuance of the notice and the joint announcement, initial coin offerings are now an illegal and unregulated method of raising money.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) recently issued Announcement 209/2017 regarding the establishment of a non-bank payment entities network payment and clearing platform. The announcement is a major step towards the PBOC's establishment of a centralised and transparent online payment system with unified regulatory requirements for all non-bank payment entities, which should enable the PBOC to control any financial risks that may arise in the market.
After a two-year moratorium on the establishment of, and investment in, Chinese securities companies, the new Rules on the Establishment of Securities Companies with Foreign Equity Participation and their subsidiary provisions demonstrate the government's encouraging, if cautious, approach to creating a clearer regulatory framework and enabling a gradual opening of the industry to foreign investors.
Since the Anti-monopoly Law came into force in August 2008, civil anti-monopoly cases have become increasingly prominent. The first Supreme People's Court interpretation on the issue - revised following public consultation - covers a number of significant aspects, including the filing of lawsuits, jurisdictional issues, plaintiffs' standing and the relationship between public enforcement and private litigation.
The Guangdong Superior People's Court has heard a claim that Tencent, which operates instant messenging service Tencent QQ, allegedly used its dominant position in the messaging software and services market to force users to uninstall software supplied by anti-virus software company Qihoo 360. However, the two sides disagree on the relevant market, the relevant market share data and the existence of a dominant position.
A number of sources in China's mainstream media reported earlier in 2012 that the National Development and Reform Commission had imposed a Rmb10.2 million fine on Hubei Yihua Chemical Industry. However, the company has announced that the reports are untrue. Competition law practitioners await an announcement from the commission with interest - whatever the inside story of the case proves to be.
Three months after imposing conditions on Seagate's acquisition of Samsung's hard drive business, the Ministry of Commerce has published another conditional clearance of a concentration in the hard disk industry, this time involving Western Digital and Viviti Technologies. At 11 months from initial filing to final decision, the process was even longer than the seven-month wait in the Seagate/Samsung transaction.
The National Development and Reform Commission recently issued the biggest fine - Rmb10.2 million - since the implementation of the Anti-monopoly Law in 2008. The decision makes a significant statement about China's economic priorities and the importance of reform within its monopolised industries.