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The newly amended Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women takes effect on 1 January 2023; Shanghai amends rules related to parental leave; the Supreme People’s Court issues a guiding case on how employers should handle sexual harassment in the workplace; an employee’s unsupported accusation of sexual harassment could constitute infringement of the right to reputation; the first equal opportunity case judgment in Guangdong Province is issued; and a Guangzhou court rules that a company’s internal disclosure of an employees’ information violates their privacy.

On 2 November 2022, the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court published its decision on the trade secret infringement case of Wuwei Bosheng Seed Industry Limited Company (Appellant) v. Hebei Huasui Seed Industry Limited Company. This case raised the untested question of whether parent material used in breeding can be protected as a trade secret in China.

On 21 November 2022, the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued the revised draft of the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of New Plant Varieties, which is open for public comments until 22 December 2022. The revisions aim to align the Regulations with the revised PRC Seed Law, which has been effective since 1 March 2022, and which provides more detailed and wider protection for plant variety rights in China.

On 28 October 2022, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued a first round of FAQs regarding the advanced computing and semiconductor manufacturing Interim Final Rule, published on 13 October 2022 (87 Fed. Reg. 62,186) and amending the Export Administration Regulations. The FAQs clarify that that the new restrictions on exports and reexports to China also apply to Hong Kong.

Baker McKenzie was invited to serve as the global editor of the Chambers Advertising & Marketing 2022 Practice Guide which features 8 high-profile jurisdictions and provides the latest legal information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advertising claims and clinical studies, comparative advertising, social/digital media, influencer campaigns, consumer promotions, sports betting/gambling, and cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens.

As an unfortunate consequence of the deterioration of the US-China relationship, more and more Chinese companies are divesting and exiting their US-based operations. In order to execute a smooth exit from US operations, Chinese companies should retain a good US financial adviser. Careful consideration should also be given to how the asset is packaged, preparing stand-alone audited financial statements, and optimizing the business for post-closing operations. Chinese companies should be prepared to use US law and engage in longer negotiations as a result. CFIUS-related requirements and risks should be understood during the early stages of the deal.

On 7 October 2022, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued the much anticipated rules aimed at restricting China’s ability to obtain advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufacture advanced semiconductors. In addition to formalizing the licensing requirements included in the recent BIS “is informed” letters issued to certain US companies on related matters, the Rule imposes a wide range of new and enhanced restrictions targeting China’s advanced computing and semiconductor sectors.

The newly revised Shanghai Labor Union Regulations came into effect on 1 June 2022. The recent round of revisions to the Regulations place emphasis on the democratic management of companies, though the revisions are stated in the form of general principles and provide little concrete guidance. The added provisions regarding gig workers are in line with recent national guidance over the past couple of years focusing on the rights and interests of gig workers. Companies with a labor union should pay particular attention to the obligation to notify the union of their unilateral termination of employment contracts.

On 30 August 2022, the Indonesian House of Representatives agreed to pass a law ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest regional free trade agreement outside the World Trade Organization — involving 10 ASEAN countries and five non-ASEAN countries, i.e., China, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea. With the passing of this law, which still requires promulgation by the President, RCEP is set to come into force for Indonesia, possibly before the end of the year.