China overhauls work permit system for foreigners

Casey G. Watters, Xuan Feng, Zheng Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Chinese economic miracle experienced in the four decades since reform and opening transformed the country from an agricultural economy to the world’s largest economy as measured by purchasing power parity. Reform and opening also oversaw China’s transition from a largely isolationist state, a result largely attributable to years of subjugation by foreign colonial powers, to hosting over 900,000 foreign experts in 2016 and with over 505,000 foreign-funded enterprises employing over 13.6 million people. The growth of the economy and corresponding changes in employment of foreign nationals require adaptability in regulatory regimes. In 2017, China amended the Administrative Rules on the Employment of Foreigners in China and issued two notices integrating the two pre-existing work permit systems. The reforms, which were first introduced through a pilot program in select regions in 2016, seek to ‘streamline the application procedure, plug loopholes in management and improve efficiency’ by establishing clear standards and integrating the two previous regimes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-277
Number of pages15
JournalIndustrial Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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