The Central Business district in Shenzhen. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

China has issued a plan on implementing pilot reforms in Shenzhen to build the city into a demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the next five years.

Supporting Shenzhen to pilot the comprehensive authorized reform measures is another significant step to advancing the city’s opening-up in the new era and a key move in building a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics, said the document jointly issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.

The city, granted with greater autonomy in the reform of important areas and key links, will advance higher-level reform and opening-up towards higher goals, according to the plan set for the 2020-2025 period.

Under three-step objectives, in 2020, major reform measures are expected to be taken in the spheres of market-based allocation of production factors, business environment optimization, and the utilization of urban space, while a list specifying the first batch of authorized matters shall be formulated and implemented.

In 2022, significant institutional achievements that can be replicated and promoted shall be made in all relevant aspects. In 2025, landmark achievements shall be scored, with the pilot reform tasks basically completed and providing an essential paradigm for institutional building throughout the country.

To further optimize the business environment, the plan said the special economic zone will draw up a list of special measures to relax restrictions on sectors including energy, telecommunication, public service, transport and education based on the nationwide negative list.

Greater efforts will be made to further loosen limits on foreign investment in cutting-edge technologies and improve the system of fair competition, the document said.
The city will pilot the legal protection of new intellectual property rights, establish a compensation system for IPR infringements and explore legislation in emerging areas.

Forward foreign exchange

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, has decided to lower the foreign exchange risk reserve ratio for forward foreign exchange sales from 20% to zero, effective from Monday.

Financial institutions will no longer need to set aside cash when purchasing foreign exchange for clients through currency forwards, effective from Monday, it said. The move was aimed at restraining a rally in the yuan by removing rules that made betting against the currency expensive.

The renminbi exchange rate has moved in both directions based on market supply and demand with more flexibility since the beginning of this year amid stable market expectations, orderly cross-border capital flows, smooth foreign exchange market performance and balanced market supply and demand, said PBoC.

The PBoC said it will continue to maintain the flexibility of the renminbi exchange rate and stabilize market expectations, so as to keep the renminbi exchange rate basically stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level.

Company news

China Merchants Group (CMG) signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba and Ant Group in Hangzhou.

According to the agreement, the three parties will share their resources in the financial and technology sectors to jointly explore the fintech applications, promote industrial digital upgrading and serve the real economy.

Hu Xiaoming, the chief executive of Ant Group, said the cooperation will promote the use of digital technology in the real economy and help upgrade China’s transportation, logistics and financial sectors.

Hu Jianhua, the President of China Merchants Group, said the cooperation among the three parties will help boost China’s trade in the new global situation and benefit the countries along the Belt and Road.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and first published at They were translated by Nadeem Xu.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.