China inheritance tax not to come any time soon

At the end of last month, in response to an inquiry by a member from National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conferrence, China State Administration of Taxes published on its website its reply. It said:

(1) China has not levied inheritance taxes so far, and has never published any regulation on this or even any draft regulation on inheritance…

Overview of China Trust Law

Does China has its own version of trust law?  Many may not have a ready answer.

Yes, China does have its own Trust Law enacted back in 2001. This post will summarize the main provisions and talk about the main issues.

1.   Definition of Trust

Article 2 of the Law provides for the definition of trust:

“For purposes of this Law, trust refers to that the settlor,

Mainland and Hong Kong mutual recognition and enforcement of family court judgments

This is a new sign of integration of Hong Kong into its mainland. The two sides now mutually agreed to recognize and enforce the family court judgments delivered by the courts in the other side in full aspects, meaning that clients who have obtained a divorce judgments (child custody or other family issues decisions) from Hong Kong court (vice versa) can now request…

Loans made between enterprises in China still invalid?

For many years, loaning activities were tightly controlled and regulated, only duly licensed banks are allowed to lend money to the public, and loans made between domestic enterprises are often held as invalid, and consequently, the borrowed shall return the loan principal to the lender and interests are seized by the state. With this rule in place, borrowings…

Share Repurchase under China Company Laws – Commentary on China Supreme Court Ruling

[For a PDF version of this post, please click here.]

Sparked by court cases in private equity investment world recent years, share repurchase by the company (whose shares are being repurchased) has been a hot topic in the legal arena. Foreign investors in China may well be involved in such a share repurchase arrangements, and it is of interest to foreign investors…

Can company’s creditors go after shareholders who have not paid up subscribed capital?

This is not a new topic on this blog. However, it prompted me to look further into the issue when I realized that in judicial practice, courts are actually very much divided on this issue.

Following the company registered capital reforms initiated back at the end of 2013, the market has witnessed many newly setup companies that have a huge amount of registered …

New notary rules to affect real estate transactions in China

On August 14, China Ministry of Justice issued a new notice entitled “Notice of “Five Forbiddances Concerning Notary Work”, listing five notarisations that shall be forbidden in the course of notary businesses by notary offices and notary public.

Among the five forbiddances is the forbideance of conducting notarisation on power of …

Watch out your manager for your China business

Just recently a client of mine, a foreign company that has a subsidiary business presence in China, approached me for a service to investigate some suspicious dealings that were made by one of his senior manager in Shanghai subsidiary.

The foreign parent company apparently discerned something fishy from a decline in profits of the subsidiary company and commenced…

40% of Children of China’s rich refuse to carry on family business

A recent interesting case has sparked interests in China’s rich with regard to their family business continuation and inheritance.

A rich couple in China Jiangsu province was sued by their son to nullify a share transfer which was carried out by his parents without his knowledge in order to force the son to take up the family business to carry it on. Unfortunately…

Sale of co-owned property in China

Properties, I mean real estate such as houses, apartments, condos, and offices, can be owned by more than one owner, resulting in co-ownership in a certain piece of property.

I.  Co-ownership under China Property Law

Under China Property Law, there are two types of co-ownership: tenancy in common and joint tenancy. However please be noted that the tenancy

Notarization and Legalization of Documents to be Used in China

Documents originating outside of China shall be first notarized and then legalized at China consulate in that country before they can be used in China official proceedings such as court lawsuit, notary office or other governmental agencies.

In practice, I generally prepare those documents in bilingual version in both English and Chinese so it is easier for…

Security provided to foreign creditors by Chinese citizens

Here is the situation presented before me: a Chinese citizen who does business in Singapore (or USA) wishes to borrow money in USD from an American citizen, and the American lender requires security or collateral to guarantee that the borrower will be able to pay off the debts (principal and interest). Fortunately, the Chinese debtor has an apartment in Shanghai…

When a foreign testamentary trust involves a property in China

As I deal with quite a number of matters of inheritance by foreigners of estates in China, a few cases in which clients from Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions such as Canada and USA inherited estates left by their family members have involved trusts that are set up by the decedents, which are very interesting to me, a lawyer in China where civil trusts are rarely used in…

The Dilemma of Minority Shareholder in a China Limited Liability Company

Facts: a limited liability company (“LLC”) incorporated in 2013 in China has two shareholders with the majority shareholder having 60% of equity interests (there is no share in a China LLC, and equity is expressed in percentages), and the minority shareholder having 40%. The Company has a three-member board of directors with the majority shareholder…

A New Understanding of Trust Laws-Close the Gap between Civil and Common Law Systems

You can download the PDF version of this post HERE.

Trusts have been hot in China recent years esp in the financial sector of China economy. As a business and family lawyer in China, I find it intriguing how the trust mechanisms can help with respect to estate planning for wealthy Chinese and business planning as well, which has prompted to further explore the world…

Citizen-state relation culture difference between China and the western countries

I have been doing research on trust laws for some time in particular the comparison between Chinese trust laws and those of the Western countries such UK and USA.b

An obviously observatory difference manifested from trust laws is that western countries recognize and allow its citizens to use trusts and other legal instruments to reduce and evade tax burdens…

A trust is an independent legal entity?

It is actually quite a predominant view that a trust is often considered to be an independent legal entity or in other words, a trust once settled, has come to have its own legal personality capable of engaging to legal activities such as owning properties or entering into contracts.

But it is not correct. Recent case rulings by American courts have confirmed …

China Divorce: divide corporate equities indirectly held by one spouse

A client asked an interesting question regarding her attempt to divide her husband’s equity interests in a China limited liability company. Here is the story: the Chinese lady client got married with a foreigner husband ten years ago and now they are in the process of divorcing. The husband has invested indirectly through a BVI company, in a foreign-invested…

Foreign corporate owners of China properties: how to sell property and take money out of China

There has been quite a few inquiries in the past from foreign companies that own properties in China (either residential or commercial) on how they can sell their China properties and then convert the sale proceeds into foreign hard currencies such as USD or Euros and take the same out of China.

I wrote a post regarding foreign corporate owners intending to sell…