China to allow foreign investment in Shanghai Free Trade Zone

Chinese regulators will allow foreign investment in seven telecoms value-added services in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, according to a Chinese news agency.

Full foreign ownership will be permitted in five of the services – including app stores, store and forward services, domestic multi-party communications, call centres and home internet access – with no cap on foreign investment.

For online data and dealing analysis services, foreign investment will be capped at a maximum of 55%, according to Wen Ku, head of the telecoms development department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Successful applicants will be required to base their infrastructure in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and all the services could be made available to the entire country in due course. This provision will not be applicable for home internet access, however, which will only be confined to Shanghai, according to Ku.