Work Plan of Shenzhen for Optimizing Market-oriented Business Environment (2023-2025)
This work plan is formulated to fully implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important discourse on fostering a first-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and internationalized, and to create a market-oriented business environment featuring an effective market and abundant government support, so as to protect and nurture market entities, unleash their vitality to a greater extent, and encourage the high-quality development of market entities of various types.
I. General requirements
Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Shenzhen will, after thoroughly studying the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the important speeches and instructions to Guangdong Province and Shenzhen by General Secretary Xi Jinping, continue reforms to develop its socialist market economy, and work unswervingly both to consolidate and develop the public sector and to encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector. The city will leverage the decisive role of the market in resource allocation, give better play to the role of the government, push for more effective integration of a vibrant market and an efficient government to contribute to the unified domestic market. It will work to facilitate the smooth flow of factors, innovate government management and services to serve key areas such as property rights protection, market access, fair competition and social credit. By making full use of policy advantages such as special measures for relaxed market access, it will strive to foster a market-oriented business environment where property rights protection is more effective, the market access mechanism is more mature, competition is fairer, the credit system is more secure, resource allocation is more efficient, and government services are more convenient. This will provide strong support for Shenzhen to accelerate its pace in building an economic center and international metropolis with more global influence, and in building a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics and a model city in a great modern socialist country.
II. Main tasks
(I) Step up protection of market entities’ property rights
1. Protect the legitimate rights and interests of market entities of various types on an equal basis in accordance with the law. Shenzhen will fully implement the Regulations on Foreign Investments in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, carry out special actions to optimize provisions that contradict with encouraging foreign investments and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, and improve the online and offline complaint mechanism for foreign investors. The city will work to improve its mechanisms for supervising the government’s credibility in terms of fulfilling commitments, and will come up with enterprise compensation and relief measures in 2023. To protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors on an equal basis in accordance with the law, the city will introduce and implement the Regulations for Protecting Investors in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in 2023.
(Responsible units: Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Qianhai Authority)
2. Strengthen intellectual property rights protection. Shenzhen will pilot mechanisms for expedited processing of intellectual property disputes and multiple-mode trials of patent reexamination and patent invalidation cases to shorten the overall processing time for intellectual property cases. It will step up the protection of intellectual property rights in key industries and their crucial technologies. It will open new channels for expedited patent pre-examination to shorten the cycle of patent application and authorization.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court)
(II) Continue to lower thresholds for market access
3. Implement the market access system. Shenzhen will make efforts to promote the implementation of its 24 special measures to relax market access. Support will be offered for multinational enterprises to establish financial and capital centers in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone to provide services for enterprises’ overseas operations. The city encourages private enterprises to participate in major projects and projects that address the city’s shortcomings. It will carry out evaluations on the efficiency of the market access system, and compile a list of enterprises that violate the local negative list for market access. Market access will be incorporated as an indicator in the assessment of Shenzhen’s achievements in rule-of-law construction.
(Responsible units: Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, People’s Bank of China Shenzhen Central Sub-branch, Qianhai Authority, Justice Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
4. Optimize enterprise registration and exit services. Shenzhen will fully implement the Provisions on Business Registration in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. The city will formulate a work plan in 2023 for one-stop processing of business registration matters in government service halls citywide to increase access to business registration. It will promote the mechanism for processing all procedures of registering a foreign-invested enterprise at a single service window to streamline business license applications. It will encourage enterprises to apply for physical medium-free electronic signatures to reduce the cost of starting a business. The city will expand the service of applying for different certificates for starting a business at one time to more scenarios including enterprise alterations and cancellations. For financially distressed companies with potential and value for development, the city will provide debt solutions through out-of-court restructuring and reconciliation to increase the success rate of bankruptcy reorganization and reconciliation. It will establish an integrated platform for enterprise bankruptcy-related matters, improve the mechanism for bankruptcy data sharing and business synergy, and by 2025, it will make one-stop inquiry of bankruptcy-related information and processing of bankruptcy-related affairs accessible.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court, Justice Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality )
(III) Maintain the market order featuring fair competition
5. Improve the review mechanism for fair competition. Shenzhen will treat enterprises of all ownership types on an equal basis. The city will pilot an independent review system for fair competition, with a fair competition commission in the nature of deliberative and coordinating bodies to be set up in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in 2023 to advance the review of fair competition policies and the assessment of market competition conditions. A fair competition index will be rolled out by 2025 to improve evaluations on fair competition policies.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Qianhai Authority)
6. Improve anti-unfair competition regulations and mechanisms. Shenzhen will formulate the Regulations on Anti-unfair Competition in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and further strengthen regulatory efforts against unfair competition. The city will carry out special actions to ban the abuse of administrative power to exclude or restrict competition, and timely eliminate policies that hinder a unified market and fair competition, such as those favoring local protection, market segmentation, and designated transactions.
(Responsible unit: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
7. Promote fair competition in government procurement bidding. Shenzhen will launch special campaigns to rectify bidding and government procurement acts that violate the construction of a unified market to ensure enterprises of all ownership types have equal access to fair market competition. The city will upgrade the catalog of items for centralized government procurement and procurement quota standards to facilitate fair competition in the government procurement market.
(Responsible units: Finance Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Housing and Construction Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
8. Reduce public resource transaction costs. Shenzhen will promote the use of non-cash transaction guarantee methods, such as letters of guarantee and policies, for the payment of bid bonds, performance bonds, and project quality bonds. The city will integrate the registration for different public resource trading platforms in one single platform, and promote the mutual recognition of digital certificates of various sectors to reduce transaction costs for market entities.
(Responsible units: Housing and Construction Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, Finance Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
(IV) Improve credit supervision and related services
9. Innovate approaches for pre-approval credit supervision. Shenzhen will promote the mechanism of approving enterprises’ application of operation permits based on their commitments of having fulfilled relevant requirements, and establish and improve a closed-loop mechanism for the management of such commitments. By 2024, the city will replace the requirement for enterprises to provide proof of no illegal activities and no violations with a unified credit report in the areas of financing, business operation, and administrative management.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Government Services and Data Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
10. Standardize the supervision of in-process credit. In 2023, Shenzhen will formulate credit risk-based inspection standards featuring the random selection of inspectors and enterprises to be inspected and the prompt release of results, and by 2024, the city will incorporate factors such as the focus of public opinion and hot issues of public complaints and reports into the supervision of market entities’ credit risks to further increase the accuracy of the lists of enterprises under supervision. It will promote the implementation of credit rating-based supervision in the fields of food and drugs, workplace safety, pricing and statistics, with an aim to achieve full credit supervision in key areas by 2024.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Emergency Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Statistics Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
11. Improve after-processing credit supervision. Shenzhen will work to improve consumer services, further optimize its mechanism for resolving consumer disputes, and further promote the policy of unconditional return within seven days of purchase in offline stores. In 2023, the city will establish a mechanism to proactively inform enterprises that have accepted administrative punishment on how they can improve their credit, and work to ensure the processing of an enterprise’s credit restoration-related matters can be completed at a single service window within a single visit. It will tighten restraints on market entities’ default behaviors, and by 2024, it will see the implementation of punishment measures for market entities with default behaviors in terms of administrative approval and funding support.
(Responsible unit: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
12. Strengthen cross-border cooperation in credit services. By 2025, Shenzhen will establish a comprehensive cross-border credit service platform, cooperate with overseas credit service agencies in terms of management systems, service standards and product standards, and promote cross-regional sharing of credit information and mutual recognition of credit evaluation results for the benefit of people in different regions. The city will pilot cross-border cooperation in credit reporting in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone to support cooperation among credit service agencies from Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, and facilitate financing for overseas enterprises.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Qianhai Authority, People’s Bank of China Shenzhen Central Sub-branch, Shenzhen Office of National Administration of Financial Regulation)
13. Foster market-oriented credit service agencies. By 2024, Shenzhen will introduce policy measures to promote the development of the credit service market, improve service standards and regulatory norms for the credit service industry, and attract and nurture a batch of credit service agencies with international competitiveness.
(Responsible units: Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, People’s Bank of China Shenzhen Central Sub-branch, Local Financial Regulatory Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
(V) Improve the guarantee of resources
14. Increase land supply. Shenzhen will encourage enterprises to set up factories in multi-story buildings while providing no less than 20 million square meters of high-quality, low-cost, and customized factory space each year. The city will revise the Measures for the Management of Lands for Temporary Use in Shenzhen to facilitate enterprises’ access to lands for temporary use. It will adopt a range of approaches, including setting reasonable time limits for land development, encouraging joint development, and establishing a land reclamation mechanism for requisitioned-but-not-supplied lands and unused lands. By advancing land consolidation projects for 20 advanced manufacturing parks, the city will consolidate about 15 square kilometers of industrial lands by 2025. After being divided into lands for new projects, lands for expansion projects and reserved lands, the consolidated lands will be released in an orderly manner. By 2024, Shenzhen will revise the Measures for the Management of Land Supply for Industrial and Other Uses in Shenzhen, and improve its mechanisms for land use planning, project attraction, land post-supply management as well as other stages in the whole-process coordinated supervision and management of land uses.
(Responsible units: Planning and Natural Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
15. Guarantee workforce supply. In 2023, Shenzhen will recognize overseas professional qualifications in the fields of emergency safety and environmental protection, and expand the list of professions whose practitioners are allowed to practice in the city with overseas professional qualifications. The city will allow expat talents working in other parts of China to apply for working permits in Shenzhen and recognize their working permits that were assigned in other parts of China. It will support universities, colleges and vocational schools to cooperate with enterprises to jointly cultivate talents that the enterprises need. It will increase the supply of affordable housing to reduce the cost of living for residents.
(Responsible units: Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Housing and Construction Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
16. Expand enterprises’ access to capital resources. Shenzhen will promote an online loan mechanism that allows commercial banks to collaborate with external investment institutions to provide loans for startups that have obtained investment funding. It will pilot the transfer of equity investment and venture capital shares, and cultivate the secondary fund market. For enterprises preparing for listing and listed enterprises preparing for restructuring, reorganization, and mergers and acquisitions, the city will open a green channel and stipulate time limits for the processing of procedures related to land, taxes and property transfer and keep improving such mechanisms. It will leverage the local financial infrastructure of credit platforms to achieve precise matching between enterprises’ financing needs and banks’ credit product supply to reduce financing transaction costs. By 2024, the city will establish an emergency loan transformation mechanism targeting small and medium-sized enterprises to alleviate eligible enterprises’ difficulties in repaying bank loans. By the same year, it will develop policies to encourage support from the financial industry to the high-quality development of supply chains as a means to enhance the precision support capabilities of financial services. The city will launch projects to make loans more accessible to enterprises that have never taken a loan, and by 2025, no less than 50,000 such enterprises will have benefited from such projects and successfully received loans. It will lower the threshold for banks’ access to subsidies for losses due to bank loans to medium, small and micro enterprises, increase the ratio of such compensation, and by 2025, the proportion of inclusive loans to small and micro enterprises will increase to 18% of the banks’ total loans.
(Responsible units: Local Financial Regulatory Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Qianhai Authority, Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, People’s Bank of China Shenzhen Central Sub-branch, State-owned Assets Supervision and Management Commission of Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, Finance Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen Office of National Administration of Financial Regulation)
17. Promote and adopt new technologies and new products. Shenzhen will compile and update a rolling catalog of its innovative products recommended for promotion and application on a yearly basis, and encourage market-oriented lead investment institutions to join hands with municipal State-owned investment platforms to make strategic investments in enterprises in the catalog. The city will launch high-level exhibition and marketing platforms for industrial products, and organize promotion events to recommend and promote domestic industrial software to industrial enterprises nationwide. By 2025, it will complete the promotion and application of 450 or more “firsts,” including the first set of major technical equipment, the first batch of new materials, and the first applications of software.
(Responsible units: Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Finance Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, State-owned Assets Supervision and Management Commission of Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, Local Financial Regulatory Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality)
18. Increase support to the data factor market. Shenzhen will continue to improve its open public data platform, and will introduce the Measures for Managing the Opening of Shenzhen’s Public Data in 2023, and open a total of more than 5,000 data sets by 2025. The city will introduce the Interim Measures for the Registration and Management of Data Property Rights by 2023 to protect the lawful rights and interests of entities involved in the data factor market, and promote the open flow, development and utilization of data. It will make efforts to manage the safety of cross-border data transmission (outbound) and explore the establishment of a data safety management mechanism. By 2024, the city will pilot public data authorization and operation in key areas such as enterprise registration and supervision, healthcare, transportation, weather, finance and electricity.
(Responsible units: Government Services and Data Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, Office of the Cyberspace Affairs Commission of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee)
19. Build world-class trading platforms. Shenzhen will step up its promotion efforts and will regularly organize events to promote major trading platforms launched in the city. Following the development strategy of integrating production, supply and marketing, domestic and international trade, and upstream and downstream industries, the city will focus on developing its five major trading platforms: the Components and IC International Trade Center, the Shenzhen International Jewelry and Gemstone Comprehensive Trading Platform, the Qianhai Mercantile Exchange, the Shenzhen Data Exchange, and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Technological Achievements and Intellectual Property Rights Trading Center. It will ensure their healthy development as an effective way to pool resources and provide convenience for market entities to participate in the transactions of commodities, data, technological achievements, and intellectual property rights.
(Responsible units: Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Qianhai Authority, Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, Luohu District, Shenzhen Stock Exchange)
(VI). Optimize government management and services
20. Deepen the reform of the administrative approval system. Shenzhen will formulate a rolling list of administrative licensing matters to make standardized management and processing of the same administrative items across the city possible. The normalization of one-stop review and approval for major projects will be achieved in 2023. The city will step up efforts to make information sharing among public service platforms accessible, including those for investment project approval, integration of multiple regulations, industrial construction project approval, government services, and municipal public utility services such as water, gas, electricity and Internet. It will select areas with the necessary conditions for regional assessments, and release all assessment results free of charge by 2024.
(Responsible units: Government Services and Data Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, Planning and Natural Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Housing and Construction Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
21. Improve smart government services. Shenzhen will continue to upgrade its government service platforms to increase the convenience of online processing of its residents’ most commonly used government services. By 2025, the city will see the number of government service items that can be processed instantly increase by more than 20%, and the scope of government service matters that can be processed online reach over 93%. It will open dedicated service windows to process cross-border cases and work to promote the processing of residents’ most commonly used government services involving other cities in Guangdong Province, in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and even in other provinces, at a single service window. In 2023, it will standardize regulations for one-stop processing of water, electricity, gas, television and Internet-related services so that enterprises can apply for such services while registering a business, and it will further expand one-stop services to cover the inspection of water, gas and electricity facilities, and the use of a single account and a single bill for all three services. It will add more than 200 application scenarios of digital business licenses and electronic seals in key business sectors, and expand the coverage for piloting cross-region mutual recognition of electronic seals.
(Responsible units: Government Services and Data Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Communications Administration of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen Power Supply Bureau, Shenzhen Water and Environment Group, Shenzhen Gas, Shenzhen Media Group)
22. Actively provide precise services to enterprises. Shenzhen will upgrade its one-stop market entity service platform “深i企”, improving features such as enterprise codes, enterprise electronic accounts, policy notifications, and financing services to integrate the release of all preferential policies for businesses on the platform and ensure that they are searchable on the platform with relevant information accurately recommended to designated enterprises. Leveraging government service centers at the municipal, district, and subdistrict levels and industrial parks, the city will set up one-stop enterprise service windows and encourage one-stop processing of preferential policies for businesses. It will promote exempting enterprises’ application procedures for administrative and financial subsidies to benefit more enterprises and people.
(Responsible units: Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Government Services and Data Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality)
23. Stabilize market entities’ expectations on policies. By leveraging the government-citizen interaction channel on the municipal government’s portal website to solicit public opinions on policies related to enterprises, Shenzhen will continue to ensure and improve transparency throughout the entire process of policy formulation and adjustment. When formulating regulations, rules, and normative documents closely related to the production and operation activities of market entities, it will extensively listen to the opinions and suggestions of relevant market entities, industry associations, chambers of commerce, and entrepreneurs. The city will keep its enterprise policies relatively stable, and if adjustments are necessary due to changes in situations or for public interest, a reasonable transition period will be set in consideration of the actual circumstances, providing sufficient time for market entities to adapt.
(Responsible units: Government Services and Data Management Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, all relevant units in each district)
III. Supporting measures
(I) Strengthen organizational leadership. Party committees and governments at all levels should prioritize improving the market-oriented business environment. The city’s leading group for business environment optimization reforms should strengthen its leadership role and enhance its capacities in coordination and planning. The heads of all relevant units should take overall responsibility and personally lead the efforts. By referring to this work plan, detailing the implementation measures and annual work plans of their respective units, formulating agendas, road maps, timetables, and a system of responsibility, they should closely monitor work progress to ensure that all tasks are effectively implemented.
(II) Strengthen collaboration. The office of the leading group should establish and constantly improve its regular communication mechanism with enterprises, collect and report policy implementation progress on a regular basis, promptly coordinate to resolve issues encountered at work, and urge relevant units in all districts to fulfill their responsibilities and work together as a joint force in optimizing the market-oriented business environment.
(III) Increase publicity. All relevant units should strengthen publicity and the interpretation of policies and regulations for optimizing the market-oriented business environment, look for exemplary cases, summarize their experiences, and actively promote them. Channels such as the 12345 government service hotline, the “@Shenzhen—民意速办” public opinion platform, and the “深i企” one-stop enterprise service platform should be better leveraged to improve the city’s mechanism for feedback and supervision of business environment-related issues. By utilizing the immense opportunities brought by the development of market entities, the city will foster a superior business environment and make it Shenzhen’s most notable calling card.