This barrier is unrelated to the end of the transition period, following the United Kingdom's departure from the EU.

Public ID: PID-GDZ3V9

Licensing restrictions on overseas telecommunication services in China

in China

Trade barrier summary

The Chinese telecommunications industry has a number of market access restrictions for overseas investors. Foreign investment in some telecoms licences are prohibited, while others require the formation of a joint venture with a domestic partner. The 2015 version of China's Telecommunication Services Classification Catalogue gives provisions for licensing telecoms services. Telecoms business activities in China are divided into (1) Basic Telecoms Services (BTS); and (2) Value-Added Telecoms Services (VATS). BTS is about providing public network infrastructure, public data transmission and basic voice communications services. VATS is about telecoms and information services provided through public network infrastructure. Overseas investment in China is generally limited to 50% for VATS and 49% for BTS.

Sectors affected

  • Technology and smart cities



Date reported

20 March 2019

Last updated

18 December 2020

Public ID


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