China to further loosen foreign ownership restrictions on service sectors

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/6 17:08:40

Aerial photo taken on May 23, 2018 shows the Luohu District of Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province. Known as a paragon of opening-up and development, Shenzhen in Guangdong Province is one of China's earliest special economic zones. Starting from a small town, it has developed into a key economic hub in the past 40 years. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)

Amid China's unswerving promotion of opening-up to the global market, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Friday announced it will further loosen foreign ownership restrictions on service industries, including value-added telecommunications services, commercial services and other sectors, to facilitate the development of new forms of service trade.

During the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is one of the world's largest trade fairs, MOFCOM released the China Service Import Report 2020. In addition to the loosing of restrictions on telecommunications and commercial services, China's opening-up will also speed up in service sectors such as information technology, digital service, and education and entertainment, according to Chinese economic news site

What's more, foreign companies are encouraged to join the construction of China's featured service export bases including industries of Chinese culture, digital service and traditional Chinese medicine, said the report.

With China's manufacturing industries upgrading, the country's well-developed manufacturing sectors have derived growing demand for production-related services, such as royalties for intellectual property and after-sales service, Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Friday.

Bai noted that Chinese residents' increasing income-levels are another major force accelerating the country's opening-up of service industries.

China has over 400 million middle-income residents, with the service sector contributing over 50 percent to its GDP in recent years.

"Not only the tangible products from overseas, the growing income-levels also boost diversified demand for services, such as outbound tourism and foreign movies," Bai said, adding that China's accelerated opening-up offers a great opportunity for the international service industries.

China's service imports reached $500.7 billion in 2019 from $281.3 billion in 2012, growing 8.6 percent annually, Chen Chunjiang, an official from MOFCOM, said in a press conference during the CIIE.

Since 2013, China has been the world's second largest service importer for seven consecutive years, Chen said. Per the MOFCOM report, the scale of China's service imports is expected to reach $2.5 trillion in the next five years, accounting for over 10 percent of the global share.


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