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Enterprises in China's Free Trade Zones Enter 2017 with New Options for Arbitration

Author::Arthur Dong, Darren浏览次数: Jan 20,2017

Co-authored by Mr. Arthur Dong(Partner at AnJie Law Firm Darren Mayberry 

A recent Supreme People's Court Opinions has created a stir in China's international arbitration community. The Opinions were dated on December 30, 2016 and cover an array of matters relating to legal measures to expedite the development of Free Trade Zones.  Among other matters, the SPC sought to open the Free Trade Zones to further options regarding alternative dispute resolution. The great interest from the arbitration community stems almost entirely from the remarks made in Article 9. The SPC has effectively designated as Foreign Per Se any Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises which are registered in one of 11 current Free-Trade Zones. What amounts to a seemingly technical classification actually heralds a transformation of real significance. In three brief paragraphs, the SPC seems to have shifted the landscape for China-based arbitrations. The Opinions offer little tangible or immediate benefit to Chinese arbitration users. Although the immediate practical significance of the Opinions may remain humble and limited, it will have two notable effects. The world arbitration community will welcome the increased deference and jurisdictional purview the SPC meaningfully presents to foreign tribunals. Chinese businesses and arbitration professionals may recall this moment as the initial beginning for ad hoc arbitration in China.     

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