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13 Questions on the Implementation of the Foreign NGO Law


The website NGOs in China recently published a summary of a Q&A session between the European Chamber of Commerce and the Foreign NGO Management Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. Seeking clarification on how the law will be implemented, the delegation from the European Chamber of Commerce posed 13 questions. The entire post is a must-read, so to whet your appetite here is a list of the questions that were asked (some are paraphrased):

  1. When will the implementing rules and guidance for the NGO Law be available?
  2. Does the Chinese counterpart need to be the same-type institution as the foreign party?
  3. Will Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises (WFOEs) set up by foreign NGOs be allowed to operate under a grandfather clause? Is a WFOE still a viable option for entering China?
  4. Will foreign universities recruiting in China be required to comply with the law?
  5. What types of for-profit activities carried out or sponsored by a foreign NGO will be forbidden under the NGO Law?
  6. For those representative offices/affiliates already established by foreign NGOs and registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (the “MOCA”) or the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (the “AIC”), will they still be acknowledged as legally existing under PRC law and permitted to continue their operation under a grandfather and/or transition rule?
  7. Which MPS department at which level will be mainly in charge of the foreign NGO registration process?
  8. Is it correct that after the NGO Law becomes effective, there will be only two paths for foreign NGOs to conduct activities in China?
  9. Are there any further guidance/requirements on temporary activities conducted by foreign NGOs and their Chinese Partners?
  10. What is the intent of the requirement for foreign NGOs to make filings on their proposed temporary activities?
  11. For foreign corporations doing corporate social responsibility activities in China, is it still possible for them to provide funding to Chinese entities in mainland China as a donation or grant?
  12. Can foreign NGOs do fundraising in China?
  13. Can foreign industry associations develop membership in China?

The answers to the questions are enlightening. The author of the post, Shawn Sheih, follows the summary with what he considers to be the five key takeaways.

If you or your organization is likely to be impacted by this new law, the information in the post at NGOs in China is very illuminating. 

Image credit: By Shizhao (Own work) [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University... View Full Bio