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UPDATED: December 16, 2006 No9 MAR. 3, 2005
China's WTO Commitments

In the publication industry, China is committed to allowing foreign investment to enter retail and wholesale markets of newspapers, periodicals, and audio-video products :

During the first year of entry, foreign service providers can set up Sino-foreign joint book, newspaper and periodical retailing companies in the five special economic zones: Shenzhen (in Guangdong), Zhuhai (in Guangdong), Shantou (in Guangdong), Xiamen (in Fujian)and Hainan Province; as well as eight other cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou (in Guangdong), Dalian (in Liaoning), Qingdao (in Shandong), Zhengzhou (in Henan) and Wuhan (in Hubei). In Beijing and Shanghai, the the number of retailing companies should be no more than four, and in other cities no more than two. Two of the retailing companies set up in Beijing are allowed to establish branches in the city.

During the second year, all provincial capitals including Chongqing Municipality and Ningbo City should be opened to foreign capital. Foreign capital should be allowed to control retailing companies.

During the third year, for the foreign companies doing book, newspaper and periodical retailing businesses, restrictions must be lifted in terms of location, quantity, stock ownership and the form of the company.

During the fifth year, joint ventures with more than 30 branches are not allowed to be controlled by foreign capital. With regard to the distribution services of audio-video products and entertainment software, on condition of not interfering in investigations conducted by Chinese regulatory agencies, foreign service providers are allowed to set up joint ventures with Chinese partners, participating in the distribution of the audio-video products and entertainment software.

In addition, China is also committed to carry out other duties prescribed in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Following China's WTO entry, many overseas media companies are seeking to have their correspondents stationed in China, and Chinese media are also enhancing their in-depth coverage of the global economy. As the Chinese Government hopes to push forward the industrialization of the culture industry, it is working hard to outperform its commitments to the WTO.

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