China to take away overseas funding restrict passenger automotive manufacturing

New cars for export await shipment at a seaport in Yantai, China, on September 7, 2021.

Feature China | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

BEIJING – Chinese authorities will allow full foreign ownership of car production in the country from January 1, 2022.

This is after a release Monday from the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s leading economic planning agency. The document was one of the government’s regular publications on industries prohibited from foreign investment.

The version 2021 published on Monday did not contain any car production. The 2020 edition of the list had promised the change would take place in 2022.

China has gradually lifted foreign ownership restrictions in its domestic auto industry.

However, Monday’s release still covered 31 areas where foreign investment is prohibited or restricted, including rare earths, film production and distribution, and tobacco products. In industries such as medical facilities, foreign companies have to set up joint ventures with local partners, who usually hold a majority stake.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

U.S. to ease journey restrictions for overseas guests who’re vaccinated towards Covid

People arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on March 13, 2020. in New York City.

Pablo Monsalve | Corbis News | Getty Images

The US will ease travel restrictions for international visitors vaccinated against Covid-19 in November, including those from the UK and the EU, the White House said on Monday.

Non-citizens visiting the United States must provide proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test within three days of departure, said Jeff Zients, who leads the nation’s Covid response efforts for the White House.

The changes go into effect in early November, which the aviation industry expects to boost vacation bookings.

“You have to provide proof of vaccination before boarding a plane to the US,” Zients said during a press conference.

Airlines and other tour groups have urged the US to lift restrictions for months. The Trump administration first enacted the rules, which now apply to more than 30 countries, in March 2020. President Joe Biden kept these rules January, shortly after taking office.

The Biden administration is also tightening the rules for unvaccinated US citizens returning to their homes. You must test one day before you leave and test again when you return.

European and UK officials have eased entry requirements to make it easier for US travelers to visit since vaccines became widespread this spring, but the US hadn’t reciprocated.

Allowing more international travelers to visit the United States would have far-reaching implications. A travel ban for non-U.S. Residents has far-reaching implications for industries like airlines, retail and restaurants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also require airlines to collect and provide passenger information to aid in contract tracking.

“In the coming weeks, CDC will issue a contact tracing mandate that will require airlines to collect updated information for every traveler to the US, including their phone number and email address,” said Zients.

American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines Stocks rose after the White House announced an end to travel bans to avoid a wider market sell-off. These airlines offer the most international service of any US carrier and will benefit the most from the policy change.

“We applaud the Biden administration for establishing a pathway to reopen international travel to the US,” Delta said in a statement.

The Atlanta-based airline said it was “optimistic that this important decision will enable continued economic recovery in both the US and abroad and the reunification of families who have been separated for more than 18 months.”

In June, the US, UK, EU, Mexico and Canada announced that they would form a group to investigate how to safely reopen international travel.

China Eases Restrictions On Overseas Funding In Leisure Venues

Foreign investors are now allowed to build entertainment venues in China without investment restrictions or local partners, according to new legislative changes.

This opens the doors for future wholly-owned foreign companies Cinemas in the largest film market in the world. It could also be big news for U.S. entertainment companies looking to run theme parks in the country. Previous rules required them to band together to form joint ventures with local companies, as did Disney did to open its lucrative Shanghai Disneyland theme park, and as Universal had to do for its near-completed theme park near Beijing.

The changes come from the Chinese State Council, the highest government body in the country, via a “change and repeal of certain administrative regulations” and were announced on Monday through the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Previously, the regulations stipulated that foreign investors could only participate in business with event venues in which a Chinese party acted as the majority shareholder through joint ventures or cooperation with local partners. Now it simply says that “foreign investors can establish entertainment venues in China in accordance with the law.”

This change in wording seems to further formalize an earlier change in the law from 2019 that basically allowed foreign investors to own cinemas in full. The new wording also extends the directive to all entertainment venues, not just cinemas.

The latest development marks the final step in the slow opening of the exhibition sector to non-Chinese investors.

Before 2000, foreign investors were prohibited from investing in cinemas. The policy was relaxed from 2000 to 2003 when they were allowed to invest up to 49% equity in exhibition companies. This was followed by a trial period from 2004 to 2005, during which foreigners were allowed to invest up to 75% equity in seven pilot cities. However, this policy was abandoned and foreigners could not invest more than 49% again by 2019.

Despite the booming film market in China, investments in the country’s exhibition sector have so far proved unattractive to foreign actors, few of whom have dipped a toe in the water. The end of the 2004-05 experiment preceded the withdrawal of the Warner Brothers International Theaters from China, which had opened a handful of complexes.

Theaters that are wholly foreign-owned would still have to adhere to China’s strict censorship rules and would not be able to show content without prior approval from government agencies.

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FCC Adopts New International Sponsorship Identification Guidelines – Media, Telecoms, IT, Leisure

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At the end of April 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enact new regulations that require broadcast programs sponsored or provided by a foreign government to include a disclosure statement stating the foreign government funding and the foreign country concerned. While US law prohibits foreign governments from directly owning broadcast licenses, there are no restrictions on their ability to enter into agreements with licensees to broadcast programs. Similar to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FREE) The aim of the new FCC rules is to ensure that the public is informed when a foreign government tries to influence the US public. At the same time, the new regulations go beyond similar disclosure requirements in FARA and burden US broadcasters with considerable duties of care.

The new rules published on April 22nd, 2021 Report and order, comes into force 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

I. Disclosure Requirements for Foreign Governments and Their Agents

The FCC’s pre-disclosure requirements only required broadcasters to disclose the name (s) of the natural or legal person (s) who pay for or provide paid programming, including paid political programming. As discussed in detail below, the new regulations require disclosure when a foreign government agency directly or indirectly provides material for a broadcast, whether or not that material is paid for programming.

The FCC borrows key definitions from FARA and the Communications Act of 1934. When defining “foreign government agency,” the report and ordinance refer to FARA definitions of “foreign country government,” “foreign political party,” and “agent of a foreign “principal” if that agent is acting as the registered agent of the foreign government or foreign political party (defined in 22 USC §§ 611 (c) – (f)). The FCC also borrowed from FARA and determined that disclosure is required if the foreign principal is directly or indirectly operated, supervised, directed, owned, controlled, financed or subsidized by a foreign government.

The scope of the FCC disclosure rules is broader than that of FARA, and the report and regulation also extends the definition of foreign governmental entities beyond the boundaries of FARA to entities that would otherwise be exempt under FARA. In particular, it includes any entity or individual subject to Section 722 of the Communications Act and who has filed a report with the FCC. Section 722 applies to any US-based overseas media company that: (a) produces or distributes video programs broadcast or intended for broadcast to consumers in the United States by a multichannel video program distributor; and (b) an “agent of a foreign client ”, but for an exception in FARA.

II. Foreign programming requires disclosure if it is paid or political

The new rules apply to all agreements in which a broadcasting licensee makes a discrete block of airtime from his broadcaster available for programming to a foreign government agency in return for compensation. The rules also apply to political programs or programs in which controversial issues are discussed if the broadcast material was made available free of charge by a foreign government agency as an incentive to broadcast the program.

The FCC borrowed the definition of “political program” from the Communications Act, which defines it as any program “that seeks to convince or dissuade the American public about a particular political candidate or issue.” After deliberation, the FCC decided to keep this limited definition of policy programming rather than extending it to all programs of a foreign government agency. The FCC will determine on a case-by-case basis whether an issue is “controversial”.

The disclosure requirements of the new Report and Order focus on leasing contracts between a broadcaster and a third party and therefore do not apply to paid advertisements. However, paid advertisements are still subject to the existing sponsorship identification rules in 47 CFR
Section 73.1212 (f).

III. The broadcaster’s duty of care for new and existing agreements

As this is likely to be a significant burden for broadcasters, the responsibility for disclosure rests with the licensee. In particular, a broadcaster licensee must exercise “reasonable care” to determine whether a foreign sponsorship card is required.

Appropriate care is required of the licensee:

  1. Inform the tenant at the time of the conclusion of the contract and each time the disclosure obligation for foreign sponsorship is extended;
  2. At the time of contract signing and renewal, ask the tenant whether they fall into one of the categories that qualify them as a “Foreign Government Establishment”;
  3. At the time of the agreement and upon renewal, ask the renter if they know if anyone further up the production or distribution chain of the program is (a) qualified as a foreign government agency, and (b) has provided some type of incentive to broadcast the program Has;
  4. If the renter does not indicate that they fall into any of the covered categories, the broadcaster licensee must independently confirm the status of the renter at the time of contract signing and renewal by consulting the FARA website of the Department of Justice and the FCC’s semi-annual US -based foreign media reports and searches for the tenant’s name; and
  5. Document the inquiries and investigations listed above to track compliance.

Appropriate care is required not only with the initial agreement, but also with each renewal. In addition, because the status of a lessee may change during the course of an agreement, the report and order encourages licensees to include in all leases a provision requiring a lessee to discourage any change in status that would trigger the foreign sponsorship identification rules, Report to .

The new requirements for appropriate due diligence will place an additional burden on broadcasters, both on a prospective basis and on existing rental agreements. Current rental agreements must comply with the new regulations, including performing reasonable care within six months of the regulations coming into force.

IV. Disclosure Obligations

The report and order contains the standard language broadcasters must use when disclosure is required. For television programs, disclosure must be in letters of at least four percent of the vertical picture height and be visible for at least four seconds. In the case of broadcasts, the disclosure must be audible. Broadcasters must disclose at the beginning and at the end of a broadcast, unless the broadcast lasts less than five minutes, in which case disclosure at the beginning of the broadcast is sufficient. If a broadcast lasts longer than an hour, broadcasters must provide information at regular intervals and at least once an hour throughout the broadcast.

The required language broadcasters must use is:

The [following/preceding] Programming was [sponsored, paid
for, or furnished,] in whole or in part, by [name of foreign
governmental entity] in the name of [name of foreign
country].

The new disclosure requirements appear to be more demanding than FARA, but if the licensee is also subject to FARA, FARA’s labeling requirements will meet the new requirements, provided the FARA label includes the name of the country of the foreign government agency and complies with the frequency requirements described above.

In addition to the broadcast disclosures, the report and order requires broadcasters subject to these disclosure requirements to make copies of the disclosures in their online public inspection file (OPIF). The disclosures must remain in a folder labeled “Foreign-Government Provided Programming Disclosures”. The information stored in the OPIF must contain the actual disclosure as well as the date and time the program was broadcast. If the program was broadcast more than once, the broadcasters must add each additional date and time to the OPIF. Broadcasters are required to update their OPIFs at least quarterly and there is a two year retention period for disclosures related to the report and the order.

The FCC’s new rules are likely the result of congressional pressure on the FCC to act in this area, and they reflect the increasing scrutiny of the US government’s efforts by foreign governments to influence the American public. Similarly, the Department of Justice has sought to more aggressively enforce FARA’s registration and disclosure requirements for foreign media outlets and US companies that broadcast or disseminate information in the United States on behalf of foreign governments. This is evidenced by the issuance of several letters of assessment by the DOJ-FARA entity in the past three years, which require FARA registration of certain foreign media companies, including CGTN America, RIA Global, RM broadcasting, and Xinhua News. In this way, the report and regulation add to the complexity of an already overcrowded regulatory field related to foreign influence and add detailed disclosure requirements that overlap but are not identical to analogous requirements in FARA. It is also crucial that broadcasters have a substantial and sustained duty of care.

Due to the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be implemented in certain situations without specific legal advice.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP. All rights reserved

Philippines targets international funding with Singapore-style tax legislation

A new Singapore-inspired tax bill will lower corporate taxes and boost foreign investment in the Philippines, Treasury Secretary Carlos Dominguez told CNBC as the country seeks to accelerate its economic recovery.

The Philippines’s so-called Business Recovery and Business Tax Incentives Act (CREATE), which came into force last month, aims to provide financial relief to businesses in need while increasing the country’s competitiveness in the region, he told CNBC on Tuesday.

The law lowers the corporate tax rate – formerly the at 30% the highest among the Southeast Asian countries – up to 25% for large companies and 20% for small companies.

It also unifies the government’s inbound investment program, bringing it closer to financial centers like Singapore, and giving the president more powers to give non-tax incentives to businesses, Dominguez said.

“We have modeled our program on the Singaporean system,” he said, referring to his coordinated strategy of attracting foreign investment and creating incentives.

“In the past we had 13 independent investment promotion agencies in the country that were poorly coordinated,” he continued.

People wearing protective masks are seen walking on a busy street in Manila, Philippines on March 20, 2021.

Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

“Now we’re coordinating them and making sure these agencies offer incentives that are transparent, time-bound, performance-driven and that attract the investments we actually want in this country.”

The reduced corporate tax is the latest in a series of tax reforms introduced by President Rodrigo Dutertes PDP Laban Party since taking office in 2016.

The finance secretary said the plans would return cash to distressed small and medium-sized businesses, which can then invest in jobs and economic growth again. However, critics have questioned the merits of reducing already stressed public finances as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

“We estimate the portion we are giving up will be around 1 trillion pesos ($ 20.65 billion) over a 10-year period. However, we believe this is a time to do so,” Dominguez said.

Businesses need fiscal incentives, number one. Second, that it will attract more investment into our country over a long period of time

Carlos Dominguez

Minister of Finance of the Philippine Government

“Companies need fiscal incentives, number one. And second, that they will attract more investment into our country over a long period of time,” he said.

The Philippines have so far retained its BBB credit rating from Fitch Ratings, BAA2 from Moody’sand BBB + from Japan Agency for rating and investment information (R&I). This is despite the global downturn and its disproportionate impact on emerging markets.

“Not just the rating agencies, but the people who actually put their money where their mouth is, have invested in the long-term profitability and prospects of the Philippines,” he said, citing the strong bond trading activity.

The Finance Secretary’s comments come as the Philippines faces a surge in cases in its capital, Manila. Dominguez said the country’s resources are currently “sufficient” to handle the surge, adding that by the end of this year it had ordered enough vaccines to vaccinate its 70 million adult population.

“This Covid contagion is just a slip-up in our history. We still have our solid fundamentals, which represent our very strong fiscal and monetary system in the Philippines,” said Dominguez.

“We have a very young and talented workforce and so far we have improved the infrastructure. So this CREATE (law) will only add to our ability to attract more investment into this country.”

Payments geared toward international cash in Maine elections one more entrance in CMP hall battle

Good morning from Augusta. After days of almost spring this past week, temperatures this morning of Maine’s 201st birthday are in the single digits. Here is your soundtrack.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It basically cut our business in half,” said the Northern Lanes bowling alley manager Dale Nickerson said of the experience of his Presque Isle Business – and many others – had during the first year the coronavirus pandemic in Maine. “A lot of people were upset that they had to wear masks when they walked in, but everyone has to do their part.”

What we see today

Bills preventing foreign companies from spending money on elections and referendums in Maine are another front in the battle for the corridor. A trio of bills pending for a public hearing in Augusta on Monday will go directly to Hydro-Quebec, Central Maine Power’s partner in its controversial powerline project that will run through Maine. The company is owned by the Province of Quebec.

It was a major financier of the opposition to referendums aimed at defeating the corridor project and spending $ 6.7 million alone on the first question. However, these are only the direct campaign spend that must be reported to the Maine Ethics Commission by the end of last year. In addition, after a lull in the fall, Hydro-Quebec resumed running ads in favor of the project this year. The postings have so far been six-digit amounts.

It comes as someone else Referendum campaign The attempt to block the corridor is scheduled for the November elections. These recent efforts would require lawmakers to retrospectively pass laws preventing CMP-sized projects from being built in certain areas of the state. It is likely that this push will also go through multiple court battles and high profile editions before going to the voters. There is ongoing litigation over the permits required for the project. This is under construction.

Each bill has a similar language that excludes foreigners from participating in elections to varying degrees. One is for government agencies only, while another is for all foreigners. Rep. Kyle BaileyD-Gorham is taking another step by specifically preventing media companies from broadcasting the advertisements they want to prevent. Social media platforms would need to remove these ads when they appear on platforms.

This problem has been untested in Maine legislation, where CMP relied on the government. Janet Mills and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to kill anti-corridor bills in 2019. But lawmakers had to adjourn in 2020 due to the coronavirus and kiboshing a bill against this foreign money.

You can follow joint Testimony of all three bills to the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Committee at 10 a.m. today.

The Maine Politics Top 3

– “Maine weathered the virus better than virtually anywhere in America, ” Jessica Piper and Caitlin Andrews, Bangor Daily News: “The state’s rural geography – it was one of the last states to report an initial case – and the low population density helped limit transmission early on, experts said. A relatively high rate of mask-wearing, as well as travel restrictions and testing, have likely kept cases low. But even those measures weren’t enough to prevent the virus from entering long-term care facilities or warding off the widespread spread of winter in Maine still to fully recover with flat cases. “

All Mainers are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Maine after a state vaccination schedule update. Gov. Janet Mills said Friday that the authorization will be extends to all Mainers under 50 years of age on May 1st and not just in their forties according to an order from the President Joe Biden that all states will question all people for the vaccine by May. Currently, Mainers are eligible for the vaccine while aged 60 and over more than 500,000 total cans were administered.

– “A Guide to the $ 6 Billion Coming to Maine in the massive business cycle, ” Lori Valigra, BDN: “Some of the more immediate benefits for Mainers are the extension of the $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit, which expires on March 14th. Direct Payments to Americans starting at $ 1,400 and major tax changes in favor of low-income people. Maine will see money for industries hit hard. The winners include restaurants that can apply for direct grants. Maine will also receive large sums of money for broadband expansion and infrastructure. “

– “Top Democratic lawmakers blow up Maine Medical Center for opposing the Nurses Union, ” Christopher Burns, BDN: “Senate President Troy Jackson, Majority Leader of the Senate Eloise Vitelli, House spokesman Ryan Fecteau and house majority leader Michelle Dunphy wrote in a Friday letter that they are concerned that Maine Medical Center is “mistreating nurses” in support of union efforts. “

Today’s Daily Brief was written by Jessica Piper and Caitlin Andrews. If you read this on the BDN website or have been redirected, you can sign up to have it delivered to your inbox every morning of the week by sending an email to clumm@bangordailynews.com.

To reach us, do not reply directly to this newsletter but contact the political team at mshepherd@bangordailynews.com, candrews@bangordailynews.com or jpiper@bangordailynews.com.