Category Archives: Policy

Shenzhen adopts blockchain-based IDs

Shenzhen has become the first local government in the GBA to adopt a digital identity verification system based on blockchain technology.

Via the app, “iShenzhen”, local residents can apply for as many as 24 kinds of commonly used electronic IDs, including resident ID cards and household registration cards. The digital ID will be applicable to more than 100 frequently used services, such as applications for proof of no criminal record and birth registration. From next month, it will be extended business identification areas as well. 

Local officials were quoted as saying that the technology held out great advantages for user data security, ensuring that the digital ID can be trusted and traceable. This would meet the public’s “right to know and supervise,” and improve efficiency. 

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Qianhai beckons HK, Macau residents

Shenzhen’s special zone of Qianhai has rolled out a series of inventives and special measures aimed at attracting residents from Hong Kong and Macau. They cover a wide range of activities, such as home-buying, education, professional qualifications, and science and technology development.

Most attractive is that residents of Hong Kong and Macau will be treated the same as locals in buying apartments in Qianhai. A married couple will be able to buy up to two apartments with no restrictions, while a single person will be able to buy one.

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Jiangmen seeks HQ firms

Jiangmen is offering subsidies of up to five million yuan to companies setting up their headquarters in the city. 

According to the policy, companies in Jiangmen will be able to enjoy various rewards and subsidies after being identified as “headquarters enterprises”. These range from cash payments upon establishment of between 100,000 yuan to 2 million, to rewards for bringing in talent, to rental and office purchase subsidies worth as much as 5 million yuan.

Jiangmen is keen to attract companies to establish their headquarters in the city because, according to local media, it “improves the operational efficiency of foreign-invested companies”, while at the same time “optimizing resource distribution among different industrial chains.”

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GBA opens wider, with social insurance

From January 1, all residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan who live, work or study in the mainland will be able to participate in the national social insurance scheme. Although applicable across the country, the latest measure is seen as a positive step to draw more residents from the three regions into the Guangdong part of the Greater Bay Area and facilitate the easier movement of people within the region.

The “Interim Measures” cover policies related to retirement, medical treatment, workplace injury, unemployment, and childbirth. The social insurance scheme is funded by contribitions from both workers and employers. Detailed regulations now exist for how non-mainland residents can take part in, and make use of, the various aspects of social insurance.

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New faces in Macau cabinet


Macau’s new Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, has turned a few heads with the announcement of his cabinet. The position of Finance and Economy Secretary, which oversees the gaming industry, has been given to a relatively unknown lower-ranking official from the municipality, Lei Wai Nong. Moreover, the second-most prominent position, that of Cultural and Social Affairs Secretary, which oversees tourism, also went to a lower-ranking official, Ao Ieong U, the current director of the Identification Services Bureau.

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Guangzhou’s Huangpu gets serious about IP

Guangzhou’s Huangpu District has introduced a new policy seeking to stamp out intellectual property rights violations by enlisting the professional services of Hong Kong and Macau companies. And it has serious money to spend in achieving this. 

Companies engaged in IP-related services, such as institutional settlement, talent recruitment, arbitration and mediation, rights protection, and financial support for such services, could get significant subsidies. Up to 200,000 yuan will be available as start-up funds for agencies set up by residents of Hong Kong and Macau who have been actively engaged in intellectual property services for a year.

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Shenzhen Considers its Talents

Shenzhen’s never-ending quest for modernity produces regular bouts of soul-searching, which are often reflected in commentaries published in official media. One of these, by an experienced writer, Fu Jingyi, which appeared recently in the Southern Metropolis Daily, focused on the city’s talent policy. It determined that the challenge of “optimizing” Shenzhen’s human resources was perhaps greater than many realized, and that creative solutions were called for. 

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Foshan builds a brain box

Every city in the Greater Bay Area, if not the country, is positioning itself as an attractive destination for people with PhDs and post-doctoral qualifications. Foshan, however, has gone the extra mile by setting up a “matchmaking” fair for them.

On November 18, the “Guangdong (Foshan) Doctor and Postdoctoral Talent Exchange and Technology Project Matchmaking Meeting” was hosted at the city’s convention center, attracting nearly 1,200 doctoral and postdoctoral fellows from around the world. Schmoozing them were around 60 employers.

Most attendees had PhDs, including 180 from overseas universities. Also unsurprisingly, most were working in strategic emerging industries such as biomedicine, engineering and materials, energy resources and environment, advanced manufacturing, and modern information technology.

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Hong Kong gets its Act; what now?

Hong Kong’s position in the world spotlight is moving fast. Now that the US Congress has approved the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which President Trump seems ready to sign into law, the world’s focus on the rule of law in Hong Kong will likely take on a broader dimension. Every time the central government does or says something related to the power of Hong Kong courts to issue rulings, foreign investors will need to hold their breath and remain that much more alert to what the reaction could possibly be from the United States. 

Never mind all the high-falutin language about freedom, the new law’s real threat is if it forces a review of Hong Kong’s special trading status, separate from the rest of China. If Hong Kong has its status revoked by the US, the blow to not only the flow of goods, but of finance, between the two countries could be devastating. 

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Qianhai Justice Center opens for business

On a corner of the Qianhai special economic zone in Shenzhen, a new building was recently opened. But this building is unlike any other of the gleaming high-rise office towers going up in the district. It is filled with judges, lawyers, and legal assistants from all over the world, and its mission is nothing less than to boldly push forward reform of China’s justice system – with Hong Kong as a partner.

The Qianhai Justice Center, the first permanent public building in Qianhai, is a part of a “national pilot demonstration area of law-based governance”. Begun in 2014, it was completed in August and opened for business on November 6. Its mission is to provide “one-stop legal services” to members of the public from anywhere within the Greater Bay Area: notarization, mediation, intellectual property rights registration and enforcement, accounting services, and in-house legal advisory services.

This is what being a Pioneering Zone for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is all about.

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