New national laws and regulations
Housing transfer fees and other administrative charges suspended
In order to reduce the burden on enterprises and individuals and promote the development of the real economy, the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the “Notice on Upgrading and Adjusting the Relevant Policies for Administrative Fees,” suspending 41 administrative charges, including housing transfer fees, ship registration fees, and marriage registration fees, starting on April 1. The trademark registration fee will be reduced by 50 percent.
Nationwide implementation of new work permit system for foreigners
Starting on April 1, China will issue a “foreigners’ work permit notice” and “foreigners’ work permit” to replace the old foreign experts work permit and the alien employment permit. The new permits will be available online.
Cancellation of adjustment of partial government funds to reduce the burden on enterprises
The Ministry of Finance issued a notice canceling the adjustment of some government funds starting on April 1, to reduce the burden on enterprises and to promote real economic development. The notice includes two parts: First, the abolition of fees that pay into funds for urban utilities and new wall materials [a fee leveled on builders]. Second, the adjustment of employment insurance for the disabled and the setting up of a disabled employment security collection standard limit.
New commercial bus operating regulations encourage growth of electric vehicles
The new regulations state that “lane departure warning” and “forward collision warning” systems must be installed on commercial buses. Analysts said that the electrification of vehicles has become a future trend in China.
New local regulations and laws
Guangdong Province cancels long-distance driving tests
Starting on April 1, a “long-distance driving test” will no longer be part of driving tests for private and commercial drivers.
Shanghai once again raises the minimum wage
Starting on April 1, the minimum wage will be raised for the 24th time citywide. The exact amount of the minimum wage increase will be announced on April 1. [The minimum wage (link in Chinese) in the city was increased by 51 percent between 2012 and 2016, from 1,450 yuan ($210) per month to 2,190 yuan ($318) per month.]
Shanghai to cancel small town social insurance system
According to new regulations that will take effect starting on April 1, individuals participating in small town insurance programs and whose land is acquired by the government will join the national social insurance system, enjoying better benefits. [The “small town insurance system” meant that some residents of the less urban areas of Shanghai received benefits from a different system than residents of urban areas, but now those systems are gradually being unified.]
In particular, individuals of working age can participate in the new employment and social insurance system, which will assist them in finding employment and entering the social insurance system. Elderly individuals can choose to participate in occupational insurance or continue to participate in urban and rural residents pension insurance.