After the World Health Organization (WHO) officially approved two Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines, South Korea became the first country to fully exempt travelers vaccinated with shots of Sinopharm and Sinovac from its original mandatory two-week quarantine starting on July 1, a move seen by many as a long-awaited trial for more countries to open their borders to travelers holding "Chinese vaccine passports."

South Korea's exemption applies to those who have received one of the vaccines approved by the WHO - Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covidshield, Sinopham and Sinovac - while travelers still need to be tested before and after arriving in South Korea. Visitors from countries with major outbreaks or variants will not be allowed to skip the quarantine, local media reported.

Meanwhile the EU has decided to launch its intra-EU "COVID-19 vaccination passport" from July 1, and it will also introduce entry quarantine periods or testing upon arrival. It will serve as evidence of the holder getting full shots that were approved by the EU Medicine Agency including Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and J&J, but not Chinese ones.

Experts said that South Korea's policy is a "good step forward" in trials for mutual vaccination recognition, and reflects South Korea's confidence in Chinese vaccines.

If the policy goes well in South Korea, China can refer to it when adjusting its own management measures on arrivals who have developed immunity, a Beijing-based immunologist told the Global Times on condition of anonymity. 

But considering the current epidemic in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province - a major destination for international arrivals to China - it requires more observation and discussion before China makes such an adjustment, the immunologist said.

Immunologists remain cautious in suggesting quicker steps in achieving mutual recognition, considering that some regions using Chinese vaccines are still in a severe struggle against the coronavirus and its mutants.

China probably would continue its strict anti-epidemic policies for "quite a long time" given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, no vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing the virus, Feng Duojia, president of the China Vaccine Industry Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

To keep requiring nucleic acid tests for international arrivals is very important to ensure safe implementation of the policy, Feng warned.



"It is still a long way off before the world can only use vaccination documents for international travels," Feng said, and governments should consider how to reopen with conditions, like South Korea.

Lei Ruipeng, a member of the WHO Ethics and COVID-19 Working Group, previously estimated in an exclusive interview with the Global Times that China could consider launching policies similar to vaccine passports by the end of this year if the country can build herd immunity.

Other countries have attempted to offer convenience or quarantine reductions with travelers getting Chinese vaccines. Thailand, for example, in April approved a list of eight vaccines including ones from Sinopharm and Sinovac as a prerequisite to reduce the quarantine period from two weeks to seven days.

Chinese Ambassador to Israel Pan Qirui said in mid-March that Israel is making efforts to reach an understanding with China on mutual recognition of vaccination to achieve cross-border exchanges. 

Analysts expect more countries will enlist the Chinese vaccines among others for quarantine-free entry conditions.


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China Eases Foreign Ownership Restrictions for Theme Park, Cinema, and Entertainment Exhibition Operators

Foreign investors can now establish entertainment venues in China without special ownership restrictions.



Alexander Chipman Koty

Advisor to Dezan Shira & Associates


Foreign investors can now establish entertainment venues in China without special ownership restrictions, following the release of new regulations.


The policy shift will allow foreign investors to set up cinemas, theme parks, and other entertainment exhibitions without having to enter a joint venture with a domestic partner.


Previously, foreign investors could only operate such businesses as a minority partners.


The amendment offers significant new long-term opportunities for entertainment venue operators, who have been among the hardest hit in China and abroad by COVID-19-related disruptions.


New regulations remove ownership limits


On May 27, 2021, Chinas Ministry of Culture and Tourism released an announcement, Adjusting Approval Conditions for Entertainment Venues and Internet Access Locations, describing changes to the regulation of entertainment venues.


Per the Decision of the State Council on Amending and Repealing Certain Administrative Regulations, foreign investors no longer face restrictions on the proportion of foreign ownership allowed in the sector. In other words, foreign investors can now establish wholly foreign-owned enterprises in the sector.


Previously, foreign investors could only open such venues in a joint venture with a Chinese partner acting as the majority shareholder.


To establish an entertainment venue, foreign investors face the same regulations as their Chinese counterparts, which include an application to the relevant provincial Culture and Tourism department for approval.


The law also prevents entertainment venues, as well as internet service businesses, from setting up in close proximity to schools and kindergartens.


The amendment formalizes in law changes made to the Negative List in 2019, which removed the stipulation that the construction and operation of cinemas must be controlled by a Chinese party. This earlier change did not apply to other entertainment venues, including theme parks.


Theme park openings in China continue


Chinas theme park industry continued to expand in 2020, despite closures and international travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, though some parks struggled in these conditions.


According to the infrastructure firm AECOM, 12 new theme parks opened in China in 2020, while nine parks closed or suspended their operations. In total, the firm says that there are 156 theme parks in China, an increase of 28 over a two-year span. By 2025, AECOM projects 80 new theme parks to open in China, with a combined investment of about RMB 300 billion (US$46.92 billion).


Major foreign theme park operators in China include Shanghai Disneyland, the upcoming Universal Studios theme park in Beijing set to open later this year, the Six Flags theme park planned for Tianjin, and the Legoland park that will open in Shanghai.


Typically, foreign theme parks with recognizable intellectual property operate in Chinas most developed cities, while domestic operators, who largely draw on Chinese culture and history for their themes, dominate smaller markets.


In 2019, before the pandemic, Disneyland Shanghai had 11.2 million visitors, which was the second most in China. The Chinese-owned Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Guangzhou, which had 11.7 million visitors that year, is the worlds most visited theme park.


With the policy shift, existing foreign theme park operators will be able to buy out the shares of their domestic partners, though there are no indications that major players are planning on doing so. When Shanghai Disneyland opened in 2016, Disneys joint venture partner, the state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group, owned a 57 percent stake.


Film industry recovering from pandemic


The move to allow foreign cinema operators full ownership will increase access to the worlds largest film market.


Following months of closures due to the pandemic, Chinese cinemas reopened halfway through 2020 with restrictions, leading China to surpass the US to become the worlds largest film market. China registered US$3.1 billion in ticket revenue in 2020, while the US registered US$2.1 billion. Before the pandemic, Chinas box office receipts were worth about US$9 billion per year.


Chinese filmgoers still face a number of restrictions when visiting a cinema, including required mask wearing, capacity restrictions, and compulsory sign-up to contact tracing apps. Despite these restrictions, February 2021 was Chinas largest ever month for movie ticket sales, as residents flocked to the theater during the Lunar New Year holidays.


The Chinese comedy Hi, Mom earned US$825 million in February alone. Through May 2021, Chinas box office generated US$3.97 billion in ticket sales, which was only 5.7 percent behind the countrys pre-pandemic levels in 2019.


As Chinas film industry develops, audiences are increasingly turning to domestic films rather than foreign ones. In 2020, foreign films accounted for 16 percent of box office sales, compared to 36 percent in 2019. Though this comes with the caveat that studios delayed many foreign films amid the pandemic, blockbusters such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Mulan vastly underperformed expectations in China.


The total number of cinema screens in China increased from 6,256 in 2010 to 75,581 in 2020, according to Statista. Chinas Dalian Wanda Group is the largest cinema operator in China and in the world overall. Since 2012, Dalian Wanda Group held a controlling share of AMC Theaters, the biggest theater exhibitor in North America, until it recently sold off most of this stake.


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On June 10, 2021, the Data Security Law of the People's Republic of China is promulgated by the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, effective September 1, 2021.2021610202191
Highlights are as follows:
Data Security System
* The State establishes a data classification and hierarchical protection system to protect data by classification and level, depending on the importance of the data in economic and social development, and the damage caused to national security, public interests, or the legitimate rights and interests of individuals and organizations if the data is falsified, damaged, disclosed, illegally obtained or illegally used. The national data security coordination mechanism shall coordinate the relevant departments to formulate catalogs of important data, and strengthen the protection of important data.
* The State establishes a data security review system, under which data processing activities that affect or may affect national security shall be reviewed for national security.A decision on security review made in accordance with the law shall be final.* The State exercises export control over the data which falls under controlled items and is related to the safeguarding of national security and interests and the fulfillment of international obligations in accordance with the law.

* Where any country or region takes any discriminatory prohibitive or restrictive measure or other similar measure against the People's Republic of China in respect of investment or trade related to data and data development and utilization technology, the People's Republic of China may take reciprocal measures against such country or region in light of the actual circumstances.
Obligations for Data Security Protection
 *  Whoever carries out data processing activities shall establish a sound data security management system throughout the whole process, organize data security education and training, and take corresponding technical measures and other necessary measures to ensure data security, in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations. To carry out data processing activities by making use of the Internet or any other information network, the aforesaid obligations for data security protection shall be performed on the basis of the graded protection system for cyber security.
* The Cyber Security Law of the People's Republic of China shall apply to the security management for the cross-border transfer of important data collected and produced during operation by key information infrastructure operators within the territory of the People's Republic of China; and the administrative measures for the security management for the cross-border transfer of important data collected and produced during operation by other data processors within the territory of the People's Republic of China shall be formulated by the state cyberspace administration in concert with the relevant departments under the State Council. 
* Any organization or individual shall collect data by lawful and proper means and shall not acquire data by theft or other illegal means.Where laws and administrative regulations provide for the purposes and scope of data collection and use, the data shall be collected and used for the purposes and within the scope prescribed by such laws and administrative regulations.* In the provision of services, an institution engaged in data transaction intermediary services shall require the data provider to explain the data source, examine the identities of both parties to the transaction, and keep the examination and transaction records.
* The competent authorities of the People's Republic of China shall, in accordance with the relevant laws and the international treaties and agreements concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China or on the principle of equality and mutual benefit, handle the requests made by foreign judicial or law enforcement authorities for the provision of data. No organization or individual within the territory of the People's Republic of China may provide foreign judicial or law enforcement authorities with the data stored within the territory of the People's Republic of China without the approval of the competent authorities of the People's Republic of China.


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Bartleby

Working hard for the money

A new study questions the eectiveness of remote working




Jun 10th 2021 | words 729

 

 

 

THE RETURN to the office is well under way, just as summer in the northern hemisphere begins. Pretty soon, people will be able to resume the habit of staring wistfully out of the window, hoping it will still be sunny at the weekend. As many workers embrace a hybrid pattern, perhaps commuting 2-3 days a week, the experiment in full-time home-working is ending. At the same time, assessments of its effectiveness are proliferating.

 

Early surveys of employees and employers found that remote work did not reduce productivity. But a new study* of more than 10,000 employees at an Asian technology company between April 2019 and August 2020 paints a different picture. The firm uses software installed on employees computers that tracked which applications or websites were active, and whether the employee was using the keyboard or a mouse. (Shopping online didnt count.) 

 

The research certainly concluded that the employees were working hard. Total hours worked were 30% higher than before the pandemic, including an 18% increase in working outside normal hours. But this extra effort did not translate into any rise in output. This may explain the earlier survey evidence; both employers and employees felt they were producing as much as before. But the correct way to measure productivity is output per working hour. With all that extra time on the job, this fell by 20%.

 

The interesting thing is why this happened. The academics were able to analyse how much time the employees spent in collaboration hours, defined as various types of meetings, and how much time they had as focus hours, uninterrupted by calls or emails, where they could concentrate on their tasks. Despite working longer hours, the employees had less focus time than before the pandemic. Instead, all their extra time was taken up by meetings. Long-time readers may recall Bartlebys law: 80% of the time of 80% of the people in meetings is wasted. This study certainly offers evidence for the proposition.

 

One possibility is that managers are less certain of their teams commitment and are holding more meetings to check on them. Another is that managers call so many meetings to validate their own existence when they are not in the office. However, the academics suggest the greater need for meetings is the result of the greater difficulty of co-ordinating employees when they are working remotelyanother hint that the process is inefficient. When working remotely, employees also spend less time being evaluated, trained and coached.

 

This seems a raw deal for the employees. They received no more money for the overtime. Although they saved commuting time, this did not offset the extra hours spent in meetings. Not all workers behaved the same way. Those who had worked at the company the longest tended to be more productive, suggesting that they found it easier to navigate the hazards of home-working. Employees with children worked around 20 minutes a day more than those without, implying an even greater fall in their productivity, presumably because they were distracted by child-care duties.

 

So does this mean companies will abandon remote working altogether, even its hybrid version? The academics point out that the staff at the firm under study are nearly all college-educated and their roles involve significant cognitive work, developing new software or hardware applications or solutions, collaborating with teams of professionals, working with clients, and engaging in innovation and continuous improvement. Such work may have posed a particular challenge in remote settings, compared with occupations like responding to customer calls, say, where employees may work to a scripted set of replies.

 

It is hardly surprising that there would be some teething and co-ordination problems involved with remote working. The practice was, after all, imposed suddenly. The study stopped last August and one wonders whether employees have learned to use their time more efficiently since then. And the research shows that employees were able to achieve as much output with slightly less focus time than they had at the office. The real source of inefficiencysurprise, surprisewas the time spent in meetings. And the answer is simple; dont call as many, and keep them short.

 



VOCABULARY

 

 

proliferate

proliferate / prlifreit / 

verb [V]

to increase rapidly in number or amount

()

SYN multiply : 

Books and articles on the subject have proliferated over the last year.  

 ,

 

teething problems

(also teething pains AmE)(or teething troubles BrE)

used about the small problems that a company, product, system etc has at the beginning:

 We're not just having teething problems, these are serious difficulties.

 There were a few teething troubles in the first year after the council was reorganized, but everything's working well now.

 


 







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Economist | Working hard for the money

Apple Watch 7, which is due to be launched later this year, will have a different look and a speedier processor than its predecessor, the Apple Watch 6. However, the rumored, big health updates are likely to come in 2022 or later, Bloomberg reported Monday. 


According to the report, which cites people with knowledge of Apple's plans, the Apple Watch 7 will likely have a thinner display with reduced bezels compared to last year's model. Interestingly, the Watch 7 will be "slightly thicker," which may indicate a bigger battery, but the report doesn't mention battery life. 


The Apple Watch 7 will also feature ultra-wideband functionality, as seen in Apple AirTags, as well as a faster processor. 


Apple Watch 6 was launched in September 2020, a month ahead of the iPhone 12 launch, so it's likely that the Apple Watch 7 will launch in the fall as well. 


Things get a bit more interesting when we look ahead, into 2022. According to the report, that year's model will likely have a body temperature sensor. As for the rumored blood-sugar sensor, it's unlikely to be ready for a commercial launch for a few more years. 


Apple considered adding the body temperature sensor into this year's model, but the report claims it's "more likely" to happen next year. It would be a pity a body temperature sensor on a wearable makes a lot of sense in times of the Covid-19 pandemic. As for the blood-sugar sensor, it could help people with diabetes monitor their glucose levels. 


Bloomberg also says Apple is working on an "extreme sports" variant of the Watch, likely to be released in 2022. There's no word on features for that one, though a previous report said it would have better impact and water resistance than the standard versions. 


Finally, Apple is also likely to launch a successor to the cheaper Apple Watch SE in 2022. 


Resource: mashable.com


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Apple Watch 7 to get redesign, but health updates coming later

Solid Power, a solid-state battery developer backed by Ford and BMW, is going public. The company said Tuesday it would head to the NASDAQ via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp III at a post-deal implied market valuation of $1.2 billion.


The transaction is expected to generate around $600 million in cash, including a $165 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction from investors Koch Strategic Platforms, Riverstone Energy Limited, Neuberger Berman and Van Eck Associates Corporation. Solid Power said in a statement Tuesday that the funds will go toward growth and operations.


Solid state batteries are considered by many as the next long-awaited breakthrough in battery technology. They are so named because they lack a liquid electrolyte, the mechanism that moves ions between the cathode and anode in traditional lithium-ion batteries, as Mark Harris explained in an Extra Crunch article earlier this year. By getting rid of this liquid component, developers say SSBs are safer and with far superior energy density. Solid Power said in a June 15 investor presentation that its batteries are expected to deliver a nearly 500-mile range on a single charge and more than double a conventional battery's 8-year lifespan.


Ford Motor Company and BMW AG have made it clear they're bullish on Solid Power's ability to deliver. The two OEMs led the battery developer's $130 million Series B in May and signed joint development agreements for automotive-scale batteries from Solid Power's pilot production line to be delivered in early 2022.


The SPAC transaction will likely be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021, Solid Power said. It's expected to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "SLDP."


Solid Power is just the latest battery company to go public via a SPAC in recent months. One of its main rivals, Volkswagen-backed QuantumScape, went public via a SPAC merger last September at a valuation of $3.3 billion. Earlier this year, European battery manufacturer FREYR and power system developer Microvast also announced mergers with so-called "blank-check" firms.


Resource: techcrunch.com


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BMW and Solid Power will go public via SPAC merger in $1.2B deal

The NFT, or non-fungible token, is a type of cryptocurrency that resides on a smart contract platform, typically Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum's interchangeable units, each NFT is unique, and lately they've found a market that's somewhere between digital collectible cards and artwork, often selling for outrageous amounts.


In particular, the NFT that Berners-Lee will be selling consists of four parts according to Sotheby's: "original time-stamped files containing the source code written by Sir Tim; an animated visualization of the code; a letter written by Sir Tim reflecting on the code and the process of creating it; as well as a digital 'poster' of the full code created by Sir Tim from the original files using Python including a graphic of his physical signature."

The sale, which opens on June 23, will start at $1,000, but given that high-profile NFTs are often sold for millions, Berners-Lee's WWW NFT could easily reach a much higher price. 


According to Sotheby's, the proceeds for the sale will benefit initiatives that Berners Lee and his wife, Lady Rosemary Leith Berners-Lee, support.


Berners-Lee never patented his inventions of the world wide web and the first browser, releasing the source code for free instead. Together with his wife Rosemary Leith, Berners-Lee sits on the board of the World Wide Web Consortium, which they co-founded in 2009 to advance the open web as a public good and a basic right. Berners-Lee is also CTO of software company Inrupt. 


In 2019, Berners-Lee published an open letter, outlining some of the issues that "plague" today's web, including online crime, ad-based revenue models that reward the spread of misinformation, and bad design which harms the quality of online discourse. The launch of the NFT is his first public venture into cryptocurrencies, but according to the Financial Times, he sees similarities between his original vision for the web, and the decentralized nature of Ethereum, which is where most NFTs reside. 


Resource: mashable.com


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Inventor of the World Wide Web is auctioning its source code

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle based on the new Defender SUV and plans to begin testing the prototype next year.


The prototype program, known as Project Zeus, is part of JLR's larger aim to only produce zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles by 20236. JLR has also made a commitment to have zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.


Project Zeus is partially funded by the UK government-backed Advanced Propulsion Center. The automaker has also tapped AVL, Delta Motorsport, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialization Center to help develop the prototype. The testing program is designed to help engineers understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be developed that would meet the performance and capability (like towing and off roading) standards that Land Rover customers expect.


Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity without combustion. The electricity generated from hydrogen is used to power an electric motor. Some automakers, researchers and policymakers have advocated for the technology because hydrogen-powered FCEVs can be refueled quickly, have a high-energy density and don't lose as much range in cold temperatures. The combination means EVs that can travel longer distances.


Few fuel cell EVs, otherwise known as FCEVs, are on the market today in part because of a lack of refueling stations. The Toyota Mirai is one example.


Data from the International Energy Agency and recent commitments by automakers suggests that might be changing. Last month, BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse said the automaker plans to produce a small number of hydrogen fuel-cell powered X5 SUVs next year.


The number of FCEVs in the world nearly doubled to 25,210 units in 2019 from the previous year, the latest data from the IEA shows. The United States has been the leader in sales, although there was a dip in 2019, followed by China, Japan and Korea.


Japan has been a leader on the infrastructure end as it aims to have 200,000 FCEVs on the road by 2025. The country had installed 113 stations as of 2019, nearly twice as many as the United States.


"We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles, it offers another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements of Jaguar Land Rover's world class line-up of vehicles," Ralph Clague, the head of hydrogen and fuel cells for Jaguar Land Rover said in a statement.


Resource: techcrunch.com


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Land Rover to develop a Defender-like hydrogen fuel cell EV

DJI looks set to announce its most affordable drone to date.


The Mini SE quadcopter has already been spotted in a Walmart store by at least one eagle-eyed shopper, along with a $299 price tag.


The diminutive flying machine is also listed on Walmart's online store, though at the time of writing it says, "delivery not available" and "pickup not available."


DJI's Mini SE appears to be the first-generation Mini, which launched in 2019, bundled with the controller that ships with the Mini 2 and Air 2s drones. It's also reported to have an improved chassis.


The Walmart listing says the Mini SE features a 2.7K camera, while the Mini 2, which launched in November 2020, has a 4K camera. The Mini SE also has a range of 2.5 miles (4 km) while the Mini 2 can go as far as 6.2 miles (10 km) thanks to the inclusion of OcuSync technology.


With the Mini 2 costing $449 and the original Mini still listed on DJI's store for $399, the Mini SE at $299 would be DJIs best-priced drone yet, coming in even cheaper than DJI's inferior Spark quadcopter that cost $499 when it launched in 2017.


With those specs at that price, the sub-250-gram Mini SE would make a great starter drone, though its worth noting that neither the Mini (SE) nor the Mini 2 comes with obstacle avoidance sensors.


We first heard about DJIs apparent plan to release an SE version of its smallest quadcopter earlier this month when reliable DJI leaker OsitaLV posted a photo of the packaging.


More recently, DroneDJ spotted a tweet that appeared to show the Mini SE on sale at a Walmart store.


Now we just need confirmation from DJI that the Mini SE is actually a thing.


Resource: digitaltrends.com


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Is DJI about to launch its most affordable drone yet?

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The Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress passed the Law against Foreign Sanctions  on June 10, 2021, with immediate effect. The highlights are as follows: 2021610
* Where any foreign country, in violation of international laws and basic norms governing international relations, uses various excuses or pursuant to its own laws to contain and suppress China, adopts discriminatory and restrictive measures against Chinese citizens and organizations or interferes in China's internal affairs, China has the right to take corresponding countermeasures.
* The relevant departments of the State Council may decide to include in the Countermeasures List the individuals and organizations that have directly or indirectly participated in the formulation, decision on or implementation of discriminatory restrictive measures stipulated in Article 3 hereof.
* In addition to the individuals and organizations included in the Countermeasures List in accordance with Article 4 hereof, the relevant departments of the State Council may also decide to take countermeasures against the following individuals and organizations:(I) The spouse and lineal relatives of the individuals included in the Countermeasures List;(II)Senior executives or actual controllers of the organizations included in the Countermeasures List;(III) Organizations that have individuals included in the Countermeasures List acting as senior executives; and(IV) Organizations which are actually controlled by individuals or organizations that are included in the Countermeasures List or have participated in the establishment and operation thereof.
* The relevant departments of the State Council may, in light of their respective responsibilities and tasks, decide to take one or more of the following measures against the individuals and organizations specified  hereof in light of the actual situation:(I) Denial of visa issuance, denial of entry, deregistration of visa or deportation;(II) Seizure, distraining or freezing of movable property, immovable property and other types of property within the territory of China;(III) Prohibiting or restricting the organizations or individuals within the territory of China from conducting relevant transactions, cooperation or other activities with them; and(IV) Other necessary measures.
For more information please visit xinhuanetLaw on Hainan Free Trade Port 
The Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress voted to pass the Law on Hainan Free Trade Port on June 10, 2021. The Law comes into effect from the date of its promulgation. 2021610
According to the Lawthe Port to apply the policy of investment liberalization and facilitation by comprehensively advancing the implementation of the most-simplified approval and investment procedures, improving the investment promotion and protection system, strengthening the protection of property rights, guaranteeing fair competition, and creating an open, transparent and predictable investment environment.


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While COVID-19 restrictions in India appear to be easing amid a lower rate of new cases in recent days, its hope of re-establishing travel connections with foreign countries may hinge on its ongoing effort in bringing the pandemic under control.

New Delhi is in touch with Beijing regarding the latter's "suspension of visas", seeking China to allow Indians to travel to the country for work and education, the Times of India reported on Sunday. A spokesperson from India's Ministry of External Affairs recently told the media that "essential two-way travel should be facilitated, especially keeping in view the fact that Chinese nationals are able to travel to India."

According to the spokesperson, China has suspended visa issuance for Indians since November. Yet, information from the website of the Chinese Embassy in India showed that although the Visa Office of the Chinese Embassy was closed due to the pandemic, applicants can still apply for Chinese visas by submitting online forms starting from May 10.

While it is not clear what caused the misunderstanding about the so-called visa suspension, India's anxiety in seeking an early resumption of travel to China is evident.


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China-India travel facilitation