The lunar new year this time around was a bitter-sweet time. On the one hand, the signing of the first round of trade deal between China and the US brought rays of hope to the economy that has been battling the long-drawn trade war, but on the other hand the new year had a bleak start with the COVID-19 virus outbreak, bringing the country’s economy to a near halt.
The pandemic has China and the rest of the world paddling in uncharted waters. While businesses in China are pinning a lot of hope on the central government’s bold legislative reforms that are changing the face of the Chinese economy and further opening its doors to the world, they are wary of the challenges that lie ahead of them in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our cover story Flight of the Black Swan, we interviewed senior in-house counsel and lawyers from across China to map out the opportunities and challenges that await us in 2020. The compilation of the proposed Civil Code, which is set to be the basis for regulating businesses and society, has attracted much attention, while the Anti-monopoly Law, which started soliciting public opinions at the beginning of the year, is expected to raise the threshold of corporate compliance. The new Securities Law, which will improve the protection of investors and increase punishment, and the Foreign Investment Law, which signals the shift towards creation of a level playing field for domestic and international businesses, are much anticipated.
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