In 2019 China changed its policy for foreign investments. Before the reform, foreign companies could only invest in permitted sectors. Now foreign companies can invest in all commercial and industrial sectors outside the Negative List.
After the issue of Chinese Foreign Investment Law, entered in force in January 2020, foreign investors enjoy equal treatment as domestic investors and do not need a prior approval by Chinese government in sectors outside the negative list.
To cooperate with the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China issued the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Access of Foreign Investment (2019 Edition) (外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单)(2019年版)) (“the National List”) and the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Access of Foreign Investment in the Pilot Free Trade Zone (2019 Edition) (自由贸易试验区外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单)(2019年版)) (“the FTZ List”) in 2019, further shortening the Negative List. The main changes in these lists are as follows.
Source: China Justice Observer, China's Negative List for Foreign Investors in 2019