According to documents that made it to the mainland internet, China is issuing new rules that would constrain wealthy Chinese from emigrating overseas.
Radio Free Asia reported screenshots of the documents on May 2, which appeared to have come from the Chinese Ministry of Justice and the notarial association.
The rules require the notary to strictly inspect applicants’ foreign bank accounts, stock holdings, and property transactions. That includes the individual’s identity and their business purpose and nature.
Applicants must also provide approvals from China’s foreign exchange administration and their working-abroad experience documents.
In other words, they must go through closely state-run inspection without any other alternative methods.
According to the Da Ji Yuan outlet, Limei, an immigration agent in Beijing, believed these new requirements are meant to make it, quote, “more difficult to obtain a notarized certificate and complete the emigration process,” end quote.
According to the notice issued on April 24, all local notary services must report their new regulations’ execution to the Ministry of Justice and the notary association by May 7.
A notary at the Guoxin Notary Office in southwest China confirmed to Da Ji Yuan media on May 3 that they could not work on overseas investment now due to the newly issued document.
He said, quote, “We can’t do it. But it is still all right to notarize for going abroad to work or study,” end quote.
Experts supposed that Beijing’s move aims to hinder Chinese residents from leaving China for other countries through investment immigration. It could be an attempt to prevent capital from leaving China.
According to Wang Yingguo, a Shenzhen entrepreneur living in the U.S., the leaked documents appeared to be the type issued internally, not those that are for public notice.
He said, quote “It involves the issue of investments in foreign countries. (Currently), the related notarization is stopped. … It means China is tightening its control of foreign exchange and the outflow of funds,” end quote.
Frank Xie, a professor at the University of South Carolina’s Aiken School of Business, said, quote,
“It [the Chinese regime] is now trying to cut off all possible channels for capital to flee to foreign countries, and all channels that may consume its foreign exchange,” end quote.
According to Frank, Beijing would want to maintain enough foreign cash to buy food, energy, medications, and medical products as it grapples with the economic downturn.
The new regulations came out amid a time of heightened interest in emigrating away from China. According to Da Ji Yuan, wealthy Chinese are eying new citizenship as discontentment with the country’s rigid zero-COVID policy is growing.
This has resulted in a significant increase in China’s web searches for “investment immigration” and “immigration” on Baidu and Google platforms.