China mulls revised restrictions on tech imports
Published: Jul 24, 2021 01:37 AM
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Photo: VCG

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Photo: VCG

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) issued a notice on Friday to solicit opinions on the revision of prohibited and restricted technology imports, in a further effort to create a favorable environment for the free cross-border flow of technology.

Ten banned and 14 restricted technologies were included in Friday’s notice on soliciting opinions for the Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Import, covering a wide range of topics, from chemical feedstock to agriculture and car manufacturing, a significant reduction from the current banned technologies on the import list.

The catalogue was first published and implemented in 2001 and then revised in 2007. The 2007 edition of the catalogue, published more than a decade ago, includes 39 technical items that are prohibited from being imported and 87 that are restricted.

While minimizing the number of prohibited imports, some key technologies are included in the list, experts said.

For example, paraquat, a toxic chemical that is widely used as a herbicide, is on the list.

China officially decided to stop the production of paraquat in 2014, and banned the sale and use of paraquat in China in 2020. Since then, more and more countries have begun to restrict use of the chemical.

For personal safety reasons, China banned paraquat because it had been used to commit suicide and there is hardly any cure for it, Mei Xinyu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of China's Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times on Friday.

Forgery technology is also banned. Such technology allows the similarity between the real thing and the forgery to be up to 70 percent, media reports said.

"Precision machining technology is used to print money, which is definitely prohibited, for the maintenance of basic social order," said Mei.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to improving the business environment for technology trade and actively promotes technology trade facilitation, MOFCOM said last August, pledging to continue to introduce more technology trade facilitation measures and to strengthen technology trade exchanges with other countries.
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