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BBC Chinese: Shanghai Free Trade Zone Launched with No Major Surprises

BBC Chinese reported that, on September 27, two days before the official launch of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the Chinese State Council released the General Plan which described the special measures made available in the Zone. The new Free Trade Zone will include four bonded areas where special regulatory freedom is offered in six categories: the Financial System, Shipping and Ports, Commerce and Trade, Professional Services, Culture, and Society. For the Financial System, the Zone expanded permission for independent domestic and international banks and insurance companies to establish operations (although freely exchanging RMB is still restricted for now). For Commerce and Trade, it opened up the market for the telecommunication and video game industries (under the condition that network and information security are still protected). For Professional Services, for now, it mainly covers tourism, which allows joint-ventures to manage Chinese tourists visiting non-Taiwan foreign territories (except that businesses fully owned by foreign investors are still not allowed). For Culture and Society, the Free Trade Zone now opens up the medical care market (including hospitals), the performance agent market, and the entertainment market to businesses fully owned by foreign investors (under the condition that all business activities are conducted inside the Zone).
Source: BBC Chinese, September 27, 2013