In order to obtain an insurance broker license, a foreign enterprise must have 30 consecutive years of operation, have had representative offices in China for at least two consecutive years. At accession, such enterprises must have had minimum total assets of RMB500 million (USD60 million). The minimum capital criteria will be reduced to RMB400 million (USD48 million) one year after accession, to RMB300 million (USD36 million) two years after accession, and to RMB200 million (USD24 million) four years after ascension. Upon ascension, foreign insurance brokers could enter the China market as a joint venture partner with equity interest of up to 50 percent. Within three years after ascension, foreign equity can be no more than 51 percent; within five years after ascension, WFOEs may be established. Geographic restrictions on foreign insurance brokers will be lifted gradually. Upon ascension, joint venture operations will be permitted in Dalian, Foshan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Within two years after ascension, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Shenyang, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, and Xiamen will be added. Within three years after ascension, all geographical limitations will be eliminated.
In December 2002, the CIRC approved New York Life Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Nippon Life Insurance, Sun Life Insurance, Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance, Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance, and American International Group to expand their PRC operations.