Shenzhen Qianhai Special / Multimedia

Shenzhen's Qianhai expands financial and legal opening-up

By YUAN SHENGGAO |  China Daily Global |  Updated:2022-11-11

Area becomes first option for institutions from SAR to enter mainland market

Qianhai in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, has achieved further opening-up especially in its financial and legal service sectors through its constant effort in expanding international cooperation.

In September 2021, the central government issued the Plan for Comprehensively Deepening the Reform and Opening-Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, proposing the implementation of the country's policy initiative of further opening up its financial industry in the Qianhai Cooperation Zone.

Taking this opportunity, the emerging financial district in Shenzhen has responded to the plan with dedicated moves over the past year. In the first half of this year, the added value of the financial sector in Qianhai increased 18.1 percent year-on-year, official data showed.

The Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City has built a 4-million-square-meter industrial area for Hong Kong-funded financial institutions after the launch of the Qianhai plan. So far, the industrial space has attracted 218 financial institutions, with Hong Kong and foreign-funded entities accounting for 30 percent of those businesses.

The businesses include French insurance company AXA, Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali, Hang Seng Qianhai Fund Management, Linklogis and Dah Sing Bank.

Qianhai has become the first option for Hong Kong's financial institutions to expand into the Chinese mainland market, local officials said. One of the best examples, Hong Kong-based Dah Sing Bank, has set up its branch in Qianhai.

"We have kept close eyes on Qianhai, learning that it is constructing the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City with a high standard and is promoting the financial system's interconnection with the globe, which is attractive," said Harold Wong, managing director and chief executive of DSB.

Since the launch of the plan, Qianhai has established the first batch of pilot programs in the country including multicurrency bank accounts, the integrated cash pool of local and foreign currencies for multinational businesses and the crossboundary wealth management in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The implementation of a series of policies and measures featuring financial opening-up in Qianhai has made it more attractive to Hong Kong and foreign-funded financial institutions, said Liu Yu, general manager of Hang Seng Qianhai Fund Management.

As an investor from Hong Kong, Hang Seng appreciates the opening-up in the financial sector in Qianhai, Liu said.

He noted that the cross-boundary wealth management not only provides Hong Kong and Macao residents with opportunities to manage their properties on the Chinese mainland, but also allows asset management institutions to offer services to more investors. That also helps expand renminbi usage in financial trade and facilitates the internationalization of RMB.

Apart from the financial sector, Qianhai has also seen further development in the opening-up of legal services. Official data show the Qianhai Court has recruited 32 jurors who are native to Hong Kong and 16 mediators from Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and overseas regions. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area International Arbitration Center was established in Qianhai, and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration has new arbitrators from 114 countries and regions.

In addition, the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Legal Services District has introduced 122 legal service institutions such as the China (Shenzhen) Intellectual Property Protection Center. Qianhai is now home to seven of 15 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao jointly operated law firms in the country.

China Commercial Lam Lee Lai (Qianhai) Law Firm, the first Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao jointly operated law firm in China, was set up in Qianhai in 2014. Early this year, Lam Lee Lai moved its office to the SCIA Tower, China's first international arbitration building, in the legal service district. Its office area has increased by up to 2,000 square meters.

Que Lingyun, a partner lawyer in Lam Lee Lai, said the law firm achieved rapid development thanks to Qianhai's interconnection with Hong Kong and Macao in terms of rules and institutions.

At this time, Lam Lee Lai has more than 30 lawyers from the Chinese mainland and more than 20 from Hong Kong and Macao, having seen a surge in annual business, Que said.

After moving to the legal service district, institutions engaging in judicial, arbitration, mediation, legal and IP protection services have helped promote communications and increase the efficiency of business operations, Que added.

Lam Lee Lai has also established a practical operational relationship with its counterparts in Qianhai, Que added.

At present, Qianhai has gathered judicial organs at different levels and types such as courts featuring IP and financial services.

The legal service district has planned to build centers for international legal services and commercial dispute resolution, as part of the effort to help promote the interconnection of different law systems and rules. It also aims to help jointly operated law firms to expand their businesses overseas.


The city's skyline pictured from the Qianhai Guiwan area in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. FENG XIAO/FOR CHINA DAILY


A view of Qianhaiwan, which is located in the west of Shenzhen. FENG XIAO/FOR CHINA DAILY

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