Some foreign-invested firms in China will be able to apply online for the annual inspection of their corporate structure this year, sources with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) announced on Tuesday.
This is the first time the checkup, which is compulsory for all foreign-invested firms to determine changes like ownership, number of employees and office locations, will be conducted via the Internet.
The online process will benefit three quarters of the 210,000 foreign invested firms in 14 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities this year, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.
The new system will be applied to the remaining 17 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in 2007 after training courses are held for staff at local administrations of industry and commerce.
The online system was developed with the sponsorship of the SAIC to meet the higher standards set for the annual checkup by the amended regulations to company registration, which came into effect in January 2006.
Information gathered by the annual checkup system will be stored at the SAIC and shared with tax, foreign exchange administration and other authorities. This will enhance the government's capacity in social and economic management, the sources said.