China Weighs Law to Curb Forced Tech Transfers: People's Daily

(Bloomberg) -- A draft law aiming at protecting foreign investment and preventing the forced transfer of technology has been submitted for review at a Chinese legislators’ meeting starting Sunday, People’s Daily reported.

The country will protect the intellectual property rights of overseas investors, encourage voluntary technology transfers but forbid forced transfers using administrative measures, Minister of Justice Fu Zhenghua told lawmakers, according to the newspaper.

China’s legislature started their first reading amid steps to ease tension in a trade war with the U.S. The proposed stipulations on intellectual property rights and technology transfer, if implemented, could address a topic that’s been at the heart of U.S. concerns. In earlier moves, Beijing has lowered car tariffs and resumed soybean imports from the U.S., and officials from both sides have made plans to meet in January.

The draft bill also proposed to adopt a nationwide “negative list” mechanism for foreign investment, meaning that investment from overseas in any areas not included in the list will be treated the same way as domestic investment. Any supportive policies for domestic companies will be applied to foreign ones too.

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