Insights / Updates

Stay up to date with legal developments in China.

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Draft Law Makes Substantive Amendments to the Rules in Connection with Interim Measures in Arbitration

Interim measures, also known as "interim relief", refer to temporary measures that are granted prior to the final arbitral award. Examples of common interim measures include freezing orders and anti-suit injunction orders. Many major arbitration rules in the common law world and European countries provide that arbitral tribunals have the power to grant interim measures during the arbitration, while emergency arbitrators have the power to grant pre-arbitration interim measures. 

China has thus far adopted a different approach. Under the current law, the power to grant interim measures is vested in the courts rather than tribunals or emergency arbitrators. In addition, with some limited exceptions, the Chinese courts will not grant interim measures to assist arbitrations seated in foreign jurisdictions (known as "foreign arbitrations"), but only arbitrations seated in China, comprising pure domestic arbitrations and foreign-related arbitrations. 

On 30 July 2021, the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China published the Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China (Amended Version) (Draft for Comments) (the "Draft Arbitration Law") for public consultation. The Draft Arbitration Law contains proposals for substantive amendments to the current regime in China concerning interim measures in arbitration and introduces, for the first time, the regime of "emergency arbitrators" in China.

Visit our Arbitration Asia website for insights from our thought leaders across Asia concerning arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, ranging from legal and case law developments to market updates and many more.

Draft Law Potentially Lifts Prohibition on Ad Hoc Arbitrations in China

Arbitrations are by-and-large divided into two categories – those that are administered by an arbitral institution (institutional arbitrations) and those that are not (ad hoc arbitrations). Ad hoc arbitrations are usually cheaper and more flexible, but lack the support and supervision of a well-organised institution. As such, the Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China ("Arbitration Law"), first released in 1994 and last updated in 2017, prohibited ad hoc arbitrations in China. This prohibition still remains as a general rule in the current legal system, although judicial authorities have made some small, case-by-case exceptions.

Almost 30 years later, China's arbitration system has undergone significant developments, and more and more scholars are advocating for ad hoc arbitration in China's domestic arbitration system.

On 30 July 2021, the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China ("Ministry of Justice") published the Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China (Amended Version) (Draft for Comments) (the "Draft Arbitration Law") for public consultation. The Draft Arbitration Law introduces for the first time the rules of ad hoc arbitration into the domestic arbitration regime. In this article, we examine the current position and comment on the three draft Articles that touch on ad hoc arbitration.

Visit our Arbitration Asia website for insights from our thought leaders across Asia concerning arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, ranging from legal and case law developments to market updates and many more.

China Will Enter a New Era of Personal Information Protection

On 20 August 2021, the 13th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China passed the Personal Information Protection Law (中华人民共和国个人信息保护法) ("PIPL"), which will take effect on 1 November 2021. The PIPL, together with the Cybersecurity Law which came into effect on 1 June 2017, and the Data Security Law which came into effect on 1 September 2021, form the core tenets of cybersecurity and data protection in China.

Compared with the second draft of the law, the enacted draft of the PIPL introduced several important new rules that will have a significant impact on how Personal Information Processors such as Internet and social media giants may handle and process Personal Information. This update will examine some of the key highlights of the PIPL.