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New Laws Restrict Foreign Organizations in China

Chinese trade show paintOrganizations and associations that hold events in China will be subjected to new rules that exhibition industry officials expect to have an impact on trade shows and events there. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2017, will require foreign nongovernmental organizations to register with China’s Ministry of Public Security and allow Chinese authorities to review their operations and finances.

The degree of scrutiny an organization can expect appears to be related to the organization’s purpose, with topics such as economics, science and technology, charity, disaster relief, education, and environmental protection causing little discomfort for officials. However, officials have expressed concern over the presence of any organization that may have a human rights or civil liberties agenda, and organizations engaging in activities construed as being in those domains may find their ability to hold events in China limited.

All foreign nongovernmental organizations will also be required to be sponsored by a Chinese organization once the new law takes effect. Scientific research organizations, universities, and hospitals will be exempt from the new law.

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