DS: China — Measures Affecting Financial Information Services and Foreign Financial Information Suppliers
This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.
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Summary of the dispute to date
The summary below was up-to-date at
Complaint by the European Communities.
On 3 March 2008, the European Communities requested consultations with China with respect to measures affecting financial information services and foreign financial information services suppliers in China.
The European Communities claims that a number of Chinese measures are adversely affecting financial information services and foreign financial services suppliers in China. Such measures include no fewer than a dozen legal and administrative instruments which empower the “Xinhua News Agency”, the State news agency in China, to act as the regulatory authority for foreign news agencies and for foreign financial information providers. The European Communities contends that Xinhua News Agency is responsible for the examination and approval procedure in respect of foreign financial information providers and that, as a result, these foreign suppliers can only operate in China through an agent designated by Xinhua. As such, they are not allowed to directly solicit subscriptions for their services in China. The European Communities claims that Xinhua News Agency has only designated the China Economic Information Service (CEIS), a branch of Xinhua, as an agent and it has made the renewal of foreign financial information suppliers licences conditional upon the signature of agent agreements with CEIS.
The European Communities considers that the measures at issue are inconsistent with China's obligations under various provisions of the GATS, the TRIPS Agreement and China's Protocol of Accession.
On 14 March 2008, the United States requested to join the consultations. Subsequently, China informed the DSB that it had accepted the request of the United States to join the consultations.
On 4 December 2008, China and the European Communities informed the DSB that they had reached an agreement in relation to this dispute in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding.
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