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China’s Ministry of Commerce plans to scrutinize foreign investment more closely

  • The commerce ministry's priorities for the next five years — released publicly this week — include reference to the "Measures for Security Review of Foreign Investment" that took effect in January.
  • While the brief mention of the review system doesn't necessarily represent new action by Chinese authorities, the reference does indicate foreign investment into China can face greater scrutiny.
  • The ministry forecast average annual growth of 5% in retail sales through 2025, with the portion sold online growing at a slightly faster 7.6% pace.

China's Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng addressed reporters at a regular press conference on April 29, 2021 in Beijing, China.VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING — China's Ministry of Commerce plans to scrutinize foreign investment more closely on the basis of national security.

The ministry's priorities for the next five years — released publicly this week — include reference to the "Measures for Security Review of Foreign Investment" that took effect in January. These measures generally require pre-review of foreign investment plans related to the Chinese military, and important agriculture, energy and technology products.

While the brief mention of the review system — on page 43 of the 46-page document — doesn't necessarily represent new action by Chinese authorities, the reference does indicate foreign investment into China can face greater scrutiny.

In the last few years the U.S. has increased its scrutiny of Chinese investment in the country, although American businesses have faced far more restrictions on where they can invest in China.

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