Will 2018 Be the Year of a Silent Foreign NGO Exodus?

Despite People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) officials’ statements to the contrary, it is clear that 2017 was more of a “soft launch” for the Foreign NGO Law, a year of ambiguity and improvisation for both foreign NGOs and for the public security...

MERICS Experts Podcast Highlights The China NGO Project

The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) interviews The China NGO Project Editor Jessica Batke about the Foreign NGO Law, asking questions both about how the Project goes about its day-to-day work and about what implementation looks like on...

How Does My Organization Find a Professional Supervisory Unit?

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has released a list of approved Professional Supervisory Units (PSUs), arranged by field of specialization (see below). In addition, most provincial-level MPS foreign NGO offices have posted more specific PSU...

What Is the Scope of Work Permitted under the Foreign NGO Law?

Foreign NGOs may conduct work in “fields such as economics, education, science, culture, health, sports, and environmental protection, and for areas such as poverty relief and disaster relief.” Foreign NGOs’ work “must not endanger China’s national...

How Many Foreign NGOs Have Registered Offices in China and Where Are They?

A list of successfully registered NGOs is available here (in Chinese) on the Ministry of Public Security’s main NGO website. The China NGO Project also maintains a map with information about approved NGOs, including their location of registration,...

What Is Considered a “Temporary Activity”?

There is no formal written Ministry of Public Security (MPS) definition of a temporary activity. This category appears largely to be a mechanism by which the MPS can remain apprised of foreign NGO activity in China, even if a Foreign NGO does not...

Visually Understanding the Data on Foreign NGO Representative Offices and Temporary Activities

Jessica Batke
The China NGO Project has created the following visualizations based on data available on the Ministry of Public Security website, as well as on our own research. To analyze foreign NGO representative offices, we looked at organizations’ countries/...

Foreign NGO Registration and Filing Data Now Available through April 2018

Statistics showing the number of foreign NGOs that have filed for temporary activities or established representative offices from January 2017 through April 2018 are now available as part of our suite of data visualizations.

ICNL Releases 2018 China Philanthropy Law Report

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) has released an updated version of its China Philanthropy Law Report. The report offers an overview of recent developments in civil society and philanthropy in China, including the passage of...

Giving out Glasses in Southwest China

China Development Brief (CDB) recently posted an interview with the co-founder of Education in Sight, a social enterprise that provides access to eye exams and eyeglasses to children in Yunnan province. Though Education in Sight is not registered as...

The China NGO Project Featured on CIPE Podcast

As a guest on the “Democracy that Delivers” podcast, China NGO Project Editor Jessica Batke discusses the motivations behind the creation of the Foreign NGO Law, issues with the law’s implementation, and the “effects on those organizations promoting...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018:Today, the George Institute for Global Health (Australia) registered a representative office in Beijing. Established in Sydney in 1999, the Institute began working in China in 2007, conducting research on cardiovascular disease,...

Government Cartoon Portrays ‘Foreign NGOs’ as National Security Concern

As part of the third annual “National Security Education Day” on April 15, several Chinese government institutions released a cartoon warning citizens to be on alert for attempts at foreign political infiltration. The cartoon shows a foreign NGO...

First Foreign NGO De-registers in China

According to information on the Ministry of Public Security website, the Li Ka Shing Foundation (Hong Kong) de-registered its representative office in China, as of February 28, 2017. This is the first (and only) known organization to de-register...

Guangdong Gives Awards to Foreign NGOs

As reported by Chinanews.com, on March 26 the Guangdong Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office gave six foreign NGOs a “2017 Exceptional Representative Office Award.” These foreign NGOs were: The Chinese General Chamber of...

Data Visualizations Updated through March 2018

The China NGO Project has just posted the latest breakdown of statistics for foreign NGO representative office registrations and temporary activity filings, to include information through the end of March 2018.

North Korean Group Establishes Foreign NGO Representative Office in Jilin Province

According to information on the Ministry of Public Security website, on April 3 a North Korean organization successfully registered its first foreign NGO representative office in China. Located in Changchun city, Jilin province, the North Korea...

A Round-up of Some Recent NGO-related News and Articles

A summary of several Chinese government entities’ recent statements that relate to foreign NGOs, as well as a quick look at academic work related to Chinese civil society more broadly.

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—March 13, 2018

Today, the Jiangxi Foreign NGO Management Office and the provincial Department of Civil Affairs sent personnel to Pingxiang City to visit the Luxi County Children’s Care Center, run by The Chinese Agape Foundation (United States). The government...



China Philanthropy Law Report

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
China’s legal framework is constraining for civil society in general and philanthropic giving in particular. During the current administration of President Xi Jinping, Chinese civil society has come under a great deal of pressure. In terms of both...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—March 2, 2018

Following the lead of the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management office, the Shanghai PSB Foreign NGO Management Office held a training on how to complete annual reports for 2017. In attendance were representative and financial...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—February 9, 2018

The foreign NGO management offices of three separate provincial public security bureaus (PSBs) recently conducted outreach activities on college campuses related to the Foreign NGO law.

County in Yunnan ‘Cleans Up’ Foreign NGOs and Foundations

The Discipline Inspection Commission website for Qujing City, Shizong County, Yunnan province recently posted an article describing the actions the county took in response to the recommendations of a provincial discipline inspection team that...

China-Europe Association for Civil Rights 2017 Civil Society Analysis

The China-Europe Association for Civil Rights (CEACR) has published an English-language version of its 2017 Annual Report, which takes a careful look at both domestic and international NGOs working in mainland China under the Charity and Foreign NGO...

Policy Analysis on China’s Civil Society Organizations

from China-Europe Association for Civil Rights
Three policies emerged around 2017 that have a significant impact on the development of civil society organizations: the Law on Administration of Activities of Overseas [Foreign] Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China, effective the...

Operational Guide for Foreign NGOs Completing Annual Reports Online

As detailed in a February 9 Ministry of Public Security WeChat post, the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office held a special training session to explain to Beijing-based foreign NGOs how to correctly submit their 2017...

February Foreign NGO Data Now Available—with a Few Changes to Our Categorization Scheme

We’ve updated our monthly tallies of foreign NGO temporary activities and representative offices as well as our graphics showing which Chinese government entities are serving as Professional Supervisory Units (and which are not). As we do...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—February 1, 2018

February 1, 2018:Today, the Tianjin Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office held a “Service Day” activity. Among those attending were the chief representatives from eight foreign NGOs based in Tianjin; representatives from eight...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—January 26, 2018

Today, the Ministry of Public Security Foreign NGO Management Office, together with the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office, held a conference with representatives of foreign NGOs in China.

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—January 5-17, 2018

January 5, 2018: Today, the Zhejiang Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office used new media to heighten awareness of the Foreign NGO Law after one year of implementation, resulting in a number of provincial and local news sites re...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—December 22, 2017-January 2, 2018

Today, Shanxi held a meeting for foreign NGO Professional Supervisory Units (PSUs). Representatives from each of the province’s 42 PSUs participated. (Note: This likely refers to eligible PSUs, as Shanxi had registered no representative offices as...

Upgrades to Our Temporary Activity and Representative Office Tables

In response to reader feedback, we’ve made two big changes this week to our tables that contain translated Ministry of Public Security information on representative offices and temporary activities: First, we’ve enabled a filter/search function on...

Temporary Activity and Representative Office Data through January 2018 Now Available

We’ve just posted the latest information about all the foreign NGO temporary activities and representative office registrations that took place as of January 31, 2018. Of note, registrations of representative offices were down somewhat in January—...

NGOs at a Crossroads

Nuala Gathercole Lam
“Whether or not these two laws existed hasn’t had much effect on us because we had already felt the impact of the political environment. They just help the government to, as they say, ‘strengthen the rule of law.’ But really the laws are just for...

Yes, It Really Does Take That Many Stamps

Any Foreign NGO wishing to establish a representative office or file for a temporary activity in China must compile a number of documents to be reviewed by public security authorities. That is the easy part. Because China has not ratified the Hague...

Reams of Paperwork: Preparing Documents to Get Official Status in China

Siodhbhra Parkin & Gisa Dang
Any foreign NGO seeking to register a representative office or file for a temporary activity in China must prepare a number of official documents in the location where it is headquartered. These documents must be notarized and authenticated in the...

We Know the Statistics, but What Do They Mean?

Thanks to the Ministry of Public Security’s website, we have a clear picture of which foreign NGOs were able to work in China in 2017 under the Foreign NGO Law, either through establishing representative offices or carrying out temporary activities...

2017 in Numbers: Temporary Activities and Registered Offices

Our suite of data visualizations now includes data from January to December of 2017.Of note, Anhui registered its first foreign NGO representative office in December, Love Without Borders Foundation (United States).You can see the full set of...

Has the Foreign NGO Law Changed the Work of Foreign NGOs in China?

Jessica Batke & Chen Qi Hang
The advent of the Foreign NGO Law in January left many wondering what it portended for foreign NGOs’ work China. How many foreign NGOs would be able to register? Where in the mainland would they be able to operate? And how might the new registration...

New Analysis on European NGOs and the Foreign NGO Law

A year after the Foreign NGO Law’s promulgation, Betram Lang of Goethe University asks why European civil society seems relatively quiescent about the new legal regime. The answer may lie in the wide range of interests belied by the singular “...

Why Has the Chinese Foreign NGO Law Become a Non-Issue in Europe?

Bertram Lang
Worries about the future of civil society organizations in China are limited to only a handful of European countries. Others put their faith in established informal ties or have subscribed to Chinese understandings of “people-to-people exchanges,”...

NGO Data Stocking Stuffers

During our year-end review of 2017’s official Ministry of Public Security data on foreign NGOs in China, we came across several interesting tidbits that didn’t fit into stories elsewhere on the site. Rather than holding onto them into 2018, we...

You’re Registered. Now What?

With almost 300 foreign NGO representative offices registered this year, implementation of the Foreign NGO Law has entered a new phase: management. For foreign NGOs that were operating informally or under a different status before, formal...

Are Foreign NGOs Allowed to Generate Income?

Articles 5 and 45 of the Foreign NGO Law suggest that foreign NGOs may not engage in “for-profit activities.” However, according to the NGOs in China blog’s summary of guidance provided by the Ministry of Public Security at a 2016 Q&A...

What Constitutes “Proof of Funding” When Filing for a Temporary Activity?

In conversation with The China NGO project, multiple NGOs have expressed confusion about the exact documentation required to satisfy the requirement for “proof of funding” (“资金来源证明材料”) when filing for a temporary activity. We are unaware of detailed...

Can a Foreign NGO pay for services from a for-profit Chinese entity?

The Ministry of Public Security has not issued official written guidance on this point. According to officials with specific knowledge of the law’s implementation, foreign NGOs may purchase “reasonable” services from for-profit Chinese entities...

Italian NGO Emphasizes Localization, Communication in Interview with CPRI

On December 14, the Charity Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI) at Beijing Normal University published an interview with OVCI la Nostra Famiglia (OVCI Our Family) about their registration process under the Foreign NGO Law. OVCI stressed the...

United States and China Hold Consultation about Foreign NGO Law

As agreed at the U.S.-China Social and Cultural Dialogue in September of this year, the U.S. State Department met with the Chinese government on December 14 to discuss U.S. NGOs in China. Though the State Department’s press release does not detail...

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—December 6- 13, 2017

Today, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) released statistics showing foreign NGO representative offices and temporary activities from January to November of this year.

China Development Brief Holds Workshop for Foreign NGOs

On December 1, China Development Brief (CDB) held a workshop in Beijing for foreign NGOs in China. NGOs that had already registered a representative office in China shared their experiences related to finding a Professional Supervisory Unit,...

I Work for a Foreign NGO Registering a Representative Office in China, What Type of Visa Should I Get?

According to one source, a Ministry of Public Security (MPS) representative said that foreign staff of foreign NGOs seeking to register a representative office may enter China on tourist or short-term business visas. Once the representative office...

Updated Information about Temporary Activities Available

We’ve recently updated our FAQ on the definition of a “temporary activity.” Though there is still no clear-cut definition, we’ve added additional detail from informed sources to help address questions about whether authorities are likely consider a...

November Data Now Included in Data Visualizations

We’ve updated our suite of data visualizations to include information through the end of November. Several new countries of origin were represented among foreign NGOs that successfully registered their first representative office in...

UPDATED: Provincial Public Security Bureau Not Sponsoring a Taiwanese NGO in Liaoning

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) now lists the provincial Department of Commerce as the Taiwan Trade Center’s Professional Supervisory Unit (PSU) in Liaoning. The Taiwan Trade Center confirmed to The NGO Project that the Department of Commerce...

Two New Charts Tracking Temporary Activities

We’ve added two new charts to our suite of monthly data visualizations: one showing how many foreign NGOs have carried out multiple temporary activities, and one showing the number of temporary activities that have started each week this year. You...

The Most Active Chinese Partners for Temporary Activities as of October 2017

Jessica Batke
Though most Chinese Partner Units (CPUs) working with foreign NGOs have only filed for one temporary activity, approximately 18% of CPUs have filed for multiple temporary activities since the beginning of the year. Below, we list the CPUs that have...

A Quick Look at the Most Active Chinese Partner Units

We’ve just published a brief analysis looking at those domestic Chinese organizations that have served as foreign NGOs’ temporary activity partners for four or more temporary activities. Check it out here to see which groups have been most active in...

A Statistical Analysis of Foreign NGOs’ Registrations and Temporary Activities

China Development Brief (CDB) has translated and published a statistical analysis of foreign NGO representative office registrations and temporary activity filings for the first nine months of the year. The analysis, originally published in Chinese...