The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), National Development and Reform Commission, and Ministry of Finance have issued the Draft Notice Regarding the Launch of the National Indigenous Innovation Product Accreditation Work for 2010. The USCBC (US China Business Council) is providing an unofficial English translation of this draft in their website.
The USCBC also highlights, in a document that seeks its members’ comments, the main improvements that this new notice represent for foreign investment and the unsolved concerns.
Two clear wins in the requirements to qualify as indigenous innovation:
- Intellectual Property: moving from being based solely on IP developed and owned in China to allow products based on IP that has been licensed for use in China from overseas.
- Trademark registration: Trademarks and brands are no longer required to be first registered in China. Applicants must have exclusive rights to the product’s trademark, or have the right to use the trademark, in China.
Technology requirements are also more relaxed but the text is so vague that it feels less “scary” but not more clear.
And the main concern remains the possibility that foreign investment will still be discriminated, given that there is no amendment to the application form that inquires about the ability of the applicant’s product to substitute imports.