Commercial crime targeted in eighth amendment to the PRC Criminal Law

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Commercial crime targeted in eighth amendment to the PRC Criminal Law, 中国刑法第八次修正商业犯罪成关注焦点
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The eighth amendment to the PRC Criminal Law was adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on 25 February and came into force on 1 May. The Certain Issues Concerning the Specific Application of the Law in Handling Criminal Cases of Illegal Fund-raising Interpretation was issued by the Supreme People’s Court on 13 December 2010 and came into effect on 4 January this year. Below is a summary of the new provisions relating to economic crimes in the Interpretation and the Amendment.

The judicial interpretation

Illegally collecting deposits from the public

The Interpretation clarifies the four constituent elements in clause 176 of the Criminal Law, “the crime of illegally collecting deposits from the public”:

  1. collecting funds without the legal approval of relevant departments or under the guise of a legitimate business;
  2. conducting publicity through the media, presentations, flyers, SMS messages and other channels;
  3. promising within a certain period of time, in money, in kind or in equity, to pay back principal with interest or to pay a return; and
  4. collecting funds from the general public without targeting a specific group.

Collecting funds from a specific target group without conducting publicity, and among friends and relatives or within a work unit, does not amount to collecting deposits from the public illegally or in disguised form as stipulated by the PRC Criminal Law.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Haiwen & Partners. The authors can be emailed at baochen@haiwen-law.com. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice.

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