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Supreme Court of China Issues Interpretations Governing Foreign-Related Civil Relationships

 1.     What can be defined as “Foreign-Related Civil Relations”

According to the Interpretations on Several Issues Concerning the ‘Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Application of Laws to Foreign-Related Civil Relations’, a foreign-related civil relation can occur in any of the following instances:

(1) Where either party (or both parties) of a civil relationship is a foreign citizen, foreign legal person, or other organization or stateless person;

(2) Where the subject matter of the relation is located outside the territory of the People’s Republic of China;

(3) Where the legal facts that trigger, change or terminate the civil relation take place outside the territory of the PRC;

(4) Where the “regular residence” of either party ( or both parties) is located outside the territory of the PRC;

(5) Other circumstances that may be determined as foreign-related civil relations.



2.     Are situations, such as medical treatment, labor dispatch and business affairs, are included in “Regular Residence”?


No, they are excluded from “Regular Residence”.

“Regular Residence” is defied as a place where a party to the relationship has consecutively resided for more than one year, with that residence functioning as the center of the party’s living at the time the civil relation established, changed or terminated.


3.     What are the scenarios where application of PRC Law is mandatory?


Under the Interpretations, PRC law must apply – regardless of the agreement between the parties – if the relation involves:

(1) Labor protection;

(2) Food and pubic health safety;

(3) Environmental safety;

(4) Financial safety such as foreign exchange control;

(5) Anti-monopoly and anti-dumping

Other circumstances may also be governed by PRC mandatory provisions.

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