October 21, 2019

China’s State Council Revises China’s “Foreign-Invested Insurance Company” Regulations

On 15th October 2019, China's State Council issued revised 'Foreign-Invested Insurance Company Regulations' (the "Regulations'). The purpose of these revisions is (i) to continue the opening and reform of China's insurance sector generally; and (ii) to put into law various, earlier, policy pronouncements from China regulators, particularly earlier policy pronouncements made, and currently acted upon, by the China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission ('CBIRC').

The first major revision in the Regulations are new provisions rescinding the earlier requirements that any applicant foreign investor in a China insurance company must have had: (i) 30 years or more unbroken operation of insurance business history; and (ii) for a period of at least 2 prior years its own insurance representative office in China.

The second major revision in the Regulations are new provisions allowing both non-operating insurance holding companies, and major international financial institutions, to become shareholders of foreign-invested insurance companies in China.

It is anticipated that CBIRC will soon issue new 'Detailed Implementing Measures in Respect of Foreign-Invested Insurance Company Regulations', plus associated measures, in order to flesh out the detailed operation and implementation of the new revised Regulations.