Providing momentum for innovation and self-sufficiency, IPR protection ranks high. National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the Copyright Law on 11 November, the latest in a spate of moves. As with earlier Trademark Law amendments, infringing copyright will be made more costly.
Relations between Beijing and Big Tech face a hard reset. Ant Group’s IPO on Shanghai and HK stock exchanges, set to be the world’s largest ever, was stymied by last-minute changes to regulation of online microfinance.
Long-term goals will shape the upcoming plan period. China is comfortably placed to meet its 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) set by the Paris Agreement. These are minima. Tougher targets will be required to meet Xi’s pledge to peak CO2 emissions before 2030, reaching carbon neutrality before 2060.
While BMI (basic medical insurance) and public hospitals remain the dominant partnership delivering healthcare into the future, new models are being explored under long-term reform plans. Many cities, for example, are rolling out supplementary private insurance.
Epitomising industry policy, the automobile sector features prominently in Made in China 2025 as well as Beijing’s efforts to promote high-quality development, curb air pollution, secure supply chains, reform SOEs, boost new infrastructure, build global brands and attract foreign investment and knowhow.
Regulators are keeping up the steady drip of financial opening that started in 2018, and has run through COVID-19. With financial reform now vital to ‘dual circulation’, opening is unlikely to be wound back soon.
Xi’s ‘dual circulation’, equipped with a robust domestic ring and new modes for global cooperation and competition, will underpin macro-economic planning over the next five years. Indigenous innovation and self-reliance will be paramount. Playing a lead role in global affairs becomes secondary.
Essential for admission to top schools and earning higher degrees, rote learning and the standardised tests that enforce it have long been deemed a blight on the education system. CCP Central Committee and State Council strive to end this entrenched approach by creating new criteria for evaluating local education authorities, schools, students, teachers and job candidates.
COVID-19 has all eyes, not least Chairman Xi’s, on public health. But reactive measures will do little to bolster the post-pandemic health system. Pre-existing conditions across healthcare provision and insurance must be tackled in this next plan period, with innovation in digital health and biopharma tech at the core.
Genetic and biometric data also feature in the draft Personal Information Protection Law, which had a first reading at NPC. Taking 15 years to develop, the draft reportedly focuses on safeguarding internet users against IT giants, fining the likes of BAT giants up to five percent of turnover or C¥50 million for data leaks.
Innovation and consumption are set to dominate the 14th 5-year social and economic development plan. Flourishing financial and digital sectors are crucial to this development.