Beijing Lifts MOFCOM Filing Requirement for Real Estate FIEs

Effective as of November 6, 2015, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”) jointly promulgated the Circular Concerning Further Improvement of Filing Process for Foreign Investment in Real Estate (“Circular 895”). Circular 895 lifts the requirement for foreign invested real estate enterprises (“Real Estate FIEs”) to complete or, more accurately, to wait for the completion of, a national-level MOFCOM filing after receiving “COFTEC” approval (approval at the provincial or local MOFCOM level). The national-level MOFCOM filing requirement has been in place since 2007 as a part of the Chinese central government’s previous effort to exercise more scrutiny and control of foreign investment in Chinese real estate. Circular 895 evidences another step in the continued relaxation of the rules governing such scrutiny