Understanding China’s Foreign Investment Management System and Negative Lists


  • Dr. Richard van Ostende Monarch Business School Switzerland


China, FDI, Negative Lists, Foreign Investment


In recent years China has evaluated its existing foreign investment policies and developed and implemented a structured rule-based investment management system. The new Foreign Investment Law which came into effect per 1 January 2020, which combined with its detailed implementation regulations forms the basic law for foreign investment into China.

To manage the inflow and structuring of foreign investments, China operates multiple foreign Investment Negative Lists and Encouraged Lists, which are applicable to foreign investors with an interest to establish an enterprise located in either China or designated national level Pilot Free Trade Zones. In addition, a Market Access Negative List and a Catalogue for Guiding Industry Restructuring is operated, applicable to both foreign and domestic investors.

In this article China’s foreign investment management system is introduced to provide foreign investors with a detailed understanding on how the process of investment into China is structured. The steps to be taken by the foreign investor to determine whether the desired investments are possible and which requirements and conditions might apply is discussed in detail.

Author Biography

Dr. Richard van Ostende, Monarch Business School Switzerland


EMail: [email protected]

Dr. Richard van Ostende holds the position of Professor of China Business Studies and Director of the Monarch China Business Institute. Dr. van Ostende completed his Doctor of Business Administration and Master of Philosophy in Business Research at Monarch Business School Switzerland. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Business School Netherlands and a Bachelor of Economics in Financial Services Management from Inholland University of Applied Sciences.

Dr. van Ostende’s areas of interest revolve around International Business in the greater China region with a focus on the fields of Foreign Direct Investment, Foreign Market Entry and Strategic Decision Making. Dr. van Ostende is a recognized regional expert for China investment and trade with many publications to his credit. He has been named International Friendship Ambassador for Nanjing Municipality; Ambassador for Investment Promotion of Yangzhou Municipality; Ambassador for Investment Promotion of Nanjing Gulou District; and Strategic Partner for Investment promotion of Nanjing Jianye District. Dr. van Ostende is a recipient of China’s Jiangsu Province Youth Friendship Award.

Professionally, Dr. van Ostende holds the position of Chief Representative at the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Nanjing, promoting bilateral trade and investments between the Netherlands and China’s Jiangsu Province. In the past, he has held senior managerial positions including Finance Director Asia Pacific at Formel D Group and Finance Manager Asia at Vestas Aircoil China.

Link: Dr. Ostende's Faculty Biography