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South Africa’s trade relationship with China is growing, resulting in several announcements regarding trade at the BRICS Summit in August 2023. Among the announcements was the news that Chinese companies had signed deals to buy South African products worth around USD 2.2 billion. Also announced were plans for China to import more South African beef and other South African agricultural products, as well as the donation of Chinese energy equipment worth USD 8.9 million to South Africa, in addition to a grant valued at USD 26.9 million to assist the country with its energy crisis.

In recent months, generative artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm.  Following plans to offer generative AI products announced by Chinese companies, the Cyberspace Administration of China released on 11 April 2023 the Measures for the Management of Generative Artificial Intelligence Services for public consultation. Following the consultation period, the interim measures were published on 13 July and take effect on 15 August.

The Brazilian Secretariat of Foreign Trade opened, on 22 June 2023, a new investigation to assess whether the Chinese government granted actionable subsidies to its national producers who exported fiber-optic cables to Brazil. The investigation may result in the imposition of countervailing measures and the consequent increase in the cost of Brazilian imports of fiber-optic cables for a period of five years. In parallel, there is another ongoing investigation into the alleged practice of dumping by Chinese manufacturers/exporters of the same product, which may result in the imposition of antidumping duties, further raising the cost of Brazilian importers.

On 16 May 2023, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) published Guideline No. 6 on the Application of Regulatory Rules on Overseas Securities Offerings and Listings: Guidelines for Overseas Offering of Global Depositary Receipts (GDR) by Domestic Listed Companies. It provides detailed guidance from the CSRC on the registration, filing, use of proceeds and other requirements on overseas offerings of GDRs by Chinese listed companies.

On 12 April 2023, China’s regulators on cybersecurity and product standardization, including the Cyberspace Administration of China, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Finance and the China National Certification and Accreditation Administration, jointly published a Circular to announce changes to the licensing regimes for network products distributed in the Chinese market.

Baker McKenzie’s Asia Pacific Employers’ Forum took place in Singapore on Thursday, 27 April 2023. You can access a number of related resources relating to employment issues and trends.

• Government further strengthens enforcement measures against social insurance fraud
• Guangdong province issues detailed implementing rules for parental leave and elder care leave
• National authorities publish guideline cases dealing with protection of women’s rights
• Guangdong High People’s Court publishes guideline case on ex-employee theft of trade secrets
• Shanghai non-compete case shows courts may look at circumstantial evidence to prove breach by employees engaged in covert competition
• Henan court case shows importance of using correct terminology in an employment termination notice

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on 12 April 2023 that it has initiated a trade barrier investigation involving 2,455 categories of Chinese products that may be subject to import restrictions or prohibition in Taiwan, including agriculture, mineral, chemical, and textile products. The outcome is expected to be announced by 12 October 2023, or 12 January 024 if the investigation is extended. Due to the current geopolitical tension between Taiwan and China, it is possible that the investigation may be expedited.