Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

25 Aug, 2014

China moves to strengthen corporate transparency regulations

BEIJING, Aug. 23, (Xinhua)  — An interim regulation on disclosure of corporate information, to take effect on Oct. 1, 2014, has been approved by the State Council, China’s cabinet, and endorsed by Premier Li Keqiang.

Companies will be obliged to deliver annual reports to industrial and commercial authorities between Jan. 1 and June 30 each year.

Reports will contain information such as contacts, profits, tax payments and other business activities including details of new subsidiaries and stake purchases.

Industrial and commercial government departments will monitor disclosure and are obliged to disclose information regarding their own work with companies.

The regulation follows February’s changes to business registrations to ease market access.

Previously, authorities ran “annual checks” on enterprises that required a lot of paperwork. Irregularities found during the checks often resulted in severe penalties, including cessation of business licenses, making checks prone to bribery and corruption.

With the new rules, the government will only monitor information disclosure. The greater part of the “checks” are left to the public, who now have access to the pertinent information.

Government intervention has been cut and companies can operate on their own responsibility as a business entities and invite public supervision, said Ye Lin, a professor of law at Renmin University of China.

Zhao Xudong, professor with China University of Political Science and Law, pointed out that the new rules require government departments to disclose information regarding their own work with companies, meaning they will also be under public scrutiny.

Such a disclosure system is an important signpost for China’s social credit system, said Zhao.