BEIJING -- China released its latest list of areas off limits to foreign investment on Thursday, cutting the number of restrictions to 48 from 63 as it opens more markets, most notably in finance.
The new list will take effect throughout the country on July 28, allowing majority foreign ownership in securities, insurance and commodity futures businesses. All restrictions on foreign investment in these areas will be removed in 2021, according to the document.
Previous "negative lists," released each year, applied only to certain areas like Shanghai, while the rest of the country had tighter regulations.
This marks the first written confirmation of an easing of capital controls announced in April by People's Bank of China Gov. Yi Gang. The government will also end a rule capping foreign investment in Chinese banks at 25%.
In the automotive industry, China will lift investment restrictions on commercial vehicles in 2020 and on passenger cars in 2022, as announced in April. All ownership limits on gasoline stations will also be removed.
Farmers will also be free to breed new crop varieties, excluding wheat and corn, and produce seeds.
Foreign investment in internet services remains largely banned, however, except for certain areas like maps. These restrictions have drawn criticism from Western nations and may become a sticking point in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.