The Major Questions About China’s Foreign NGO Law Are Now Settled

Five years after its first post, The China NGO Project is closing up shop. When we began in 2017, we hoped to help international nonprofits working in China make sense of the new legal regime they found themselves under after the passage of China’s...

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/...

A Look Back at Foreign NGOs in China in 2020

2020 saw something of a lull in foreign NGO activity in China. According to Ministry of Public Security data, fewer foreign NGOs registered new representative offices or initiated temporary activities than they had in the previous two years. Of...

‘The New Normal’ for Foreign NGOs in 2020

Jessica Batke
The China NGO Project has, since its inception, been heavily focused on Chinese government-provided data as a means to understand the environment for foreign NGOs there. However, taking stock of the three years that the Foreign NGO Law has been in...

China NGO Project’s Yearly Data Check Yields No Irregularities

As we have done for the past two years, The China NGO Project reconciled all the temporary activity information in our databases with that provided on the MPS website. Last year, this process allowed us to see that two temporary activities...

Zhejiang PSB Issues Certificate, Hong Kong Youth Visit Hubei

Since the establishment of the Guangdong PSB’s Foreign NGO Management Office on November 28, 2016, the office has provided registration and filing services. A total of 33 foreign NGO representative offices have been registered in Guangdong, and 474...

Updated Monthly Registration and Filing Figures Available through September

The China NGO Project recently published the latest figures for Foreign NGO representative office registrations and temporary activity filings, including information through the end of September 2019. The pace of new registrations continues to hover...

This Foundation Has Carried Out More Activities Than Any Other Foreign NGO in China

Grace Charity Foundation has filed for far more temporary activities than any other foreign NGO. Since the Foreign NGO Law went into effect in January 2017, more than 600 foreign NGOs have carried out 2,056 temporary activities in China as of...

Updated FAQ Section

We’ve recently updated and re-organized our FAQ section based on user feedback. In particular, we’ve gathered key questions related to representative offices and temporary activities onto their own separate pages, to allow for easier browsing and...

Where Can My NGO Find Contact Information for Public Security NGO Offices to Register or Report a Temporary Activity?

Foreign NGO registration occurs at the level of the province, which includes five autonomous regions (Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia, and Xinjiang) and four municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing). Each province has...

What Is the Difference between Registering a Representative Office and Filing for Temporary Activities?

A representative office allows for the establishment of a full-time presence in mainland China. For organizations that do not require such a constant in-country presence, filing to hold a single or multiple temporary activities is an alternative way...

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” when filing for a temporary activity. We are unaware of detailed written...

What Happens if a Foreign NGO Violates the Law?

Articles 45 and 46 of the Foreign NGO Law list the sanctions that can be applied to foreign NGOs that are not compliant with the Law. These include the suspension of activities, the confiscation of illegal assets, and the withdrawal of registration...

New Temporary Activity Analysis from China Development Brief

A recent report from China Development Brief (CDB) discusses how some foreign NGOs are choosing to carry out multiple, long-term temporary activities as an alternative to registering for a representative office. Pointing to a decline in the number...

How Does My NGO File for a Temporary Activity in Multiple Provinces?

There does not appear to be one set answer to this question, despite the fact that a large number of successful temporary activity filings have taken place in multiple provinces. Different provincial Public Security Bureaus (PSBs) have offered...

Have Any Foreign NGOs Been Denied Registration or Had Their Temporary Activities Shut Down?

The China NGO Project is not aware of any groups who have been explicitly denied registration by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) or by a provincial Public Security Bureau (PSB). Similarly, we are not aware of any groups who have had their...

Can My NGO Carry out Projects in More Than One Province or Location?

Per information provided at a meeting between Ministry of Public Security (MPS) representatives and foreign diplomats in 2016, a foreign NGO’s representative office may have activities in multiple locations as long as the geographic scope of its...

Recent Increase in Religion-Related Temporary Activities

Data from China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) shows a recent uptick in the number of religion-related temporary activities organized by foreign NGOs that have received government approval. The Hong Kong-based CWM/Nethersole Fund (世界传到会/那打素基金)...

New Analysis on Temporary Activity ‘Renewals’

Are foreign NGOs able to use temporary activity filings—which are officially only allowed to last a maximum of one year—to run longer-term grants or programs? Is it possible for international organizations to file year after year for the same...

Two Years of the Foreign NGO Law: How Did 2018’s Registrations and Filings Stack up against 2017’s?

Jessica Batke
As we greet 2019, we have now seen two full years of Foreign NGO Law implementation in China. If foreign NGOs thought that 2017 had a “crossing the river by feeling for stones” sense to it, 2018 was the year that registration and filing processes...

Two Temporary Activities Removed from Ministry of Public Security Database

The NGO Project has discovered that two temporary activities, previously listed on the Ministry of Public Security’s website, have been removed. The website does not provide any explanation for or recognition of this change.

General Administration of Sports Releases Foreign NGO-Related Rules

The General Administration of Sports has issued a notice regarding foreign NGOs conducting sports activities in China.The notice reiterates that sporting events held by international non-profits fall under the ambit of the Foreign NGO Law. Article 6...

All You Ever Wanted to Know about Temporary Activities

How often does a temporary activity take place in more than one province? How many temporary activities come from “unique” foreign NGOs—is it mostly the same few NGOs doing all the temporary activities, or are there lots of foreign NGOs just doing...

What More Can We Learn about Temporary Activities?

Jessica Batke
How common is it for a temporary activity to cover multiple provinces? Are some provincial Public Security Bureaus (PSBs) more likely to allow cross-provincial activities than others? How many of all the temporary activities are just being done by a...

Only Two New Representative Offices in June

Only two new representative offices were registered in June. The last time we saw such low registration numbers was between mid-February and mid-March of last year (right after the Foreign NGO Law came into effect). We don’t yet know if this drop-...

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...

First Registration in Hainan, Information Sessions in Zhejiang and Qinghai

Today, the Zhejiang Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office held information and education sessions on the Foreign NGO Law at multiple colleges and universities in Hangzhou. Utilizing infographics, posters, video broadcasts,...

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...

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.

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.

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...

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—...

Chinese Civil Society in 2018: What’s Ahead?

Wang Yongmei, Anthony Saich & more
The impetus for this event is it’s about a year since the new Foreign NGO Law was implemented in China. There was also another law implemented in 2016, the Charity Law, that governs how domestic NGOs function in China. But there’s a lot more going...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Forestry Administration Holds Internal Foreign NGO-Related Meeting; Tianjin, Chongqing, and Jiangsu Public Security Bureaus Hold Trainings

On November 21, the State Forestry Administration convened a meeting on the Foreign NGO Law, attended by 28 provincial- and city-level Forestry offices as well as by the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office...

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...

Guangdong Public Security Bureau Talks Foreign NGOs with Cambodia; Beijing, Jiangxi, Chongqing, Shanghai Meet with Registered Foreign NGOs

Today, Guangdong Public Security Bureau (PSB) Executive Vice Director Li Qingxiong met with Cambodian Member of Parliament Suos Yara, who visited the PSB as part of an inspection team related to the Foreign NGO Law. Li said he hoped Suos’ visit...

After Ten Months, What Do We Still Not Know?

As we approach one year since the Foreign NGO Law went into effect, these are some of the common questions and concerns we’re hearing from legal professionals, scholars, funders, and NGOs themselves—along with any answers we are able to offer. The...

Updated Charts Include October Data on Temporary Activities and Representative Offices

We’ve updated our suite of data visualizations to include the month of October.Of note, Qinghai registered its first representative office last month, while Anhui, Hainan, Hebei, Ningxia, Shanxi, Xinjiang, and Xinjiang Bingtuan all remained without...

Fact Sheet on China’s Foreign NGO Law

What is the Foreign NGO Law, and why did the P.R.C. create it? The “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China” was adopted by the National People’s...

New Flowchart Comparing Representative Office and Temporary Activity Processes

We’ve just posted a new analysis juxtaposing the process for registering a representative office and for filing a temporary activity. In particular, the flowchart highlights the differing points in the process during which an application or filing...

Representative Offices Registration and Temporary Activity Filing Processes: A Flowchart

Jessica Batke
Based on its discussions with various foreign NGOs (and with much-appreciated assistance from several experts), The China NGO Project has created the following flowchart to help show the differences between registering for a representative office...

New Data Visualizations Up for January-September

We’ve updated our page of monthly data visualizations to include September. The data show that Hong Kong and the United States continue to have the most representative offices and temporary activities of all the countries/regions working in China...

Poverty Alleviation Office Issues Foreign NGO Guidelines; Guangdong Chats with Hong Kong NGOs

The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development has issued guidelines for NGOs requesting the Office to serve as its Professional Supervisory Unit or as its Chinese Partner Unit for representative offices and temporary...

Forestry Administration Formulates Foreign NGO Guidelines; Ningxia Public Security Bureau Educates Local Police on Foreign NGO Law; Shanghai Public Security Bureau Meets with Canadian Consulate

The State Forestry Administration has formulated “Measures for State Forestry Administration Departments and Subordinate Units Managing Cooperation and Exchange with Foreign NGOs,” meant to regulate and guide offices within the State Forestry...

Professional Supervisory Unit Releases Filing and Application Procedures for Potential Foreign NGO Partners

The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development issued two documents on August 22 outlining the procedures for foreign NGOs seeking to register a representative office or file a temporary activity in conjunction with...

Updated: Ministry of Public Security Releases Guidance on Applying for Foreign NGO Work Permits

Today, in conjunction with the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) issued a “Notice on Handling Work Permits for Foreign Employees of Foreign NGOs and Related Issues.” This is the first official...

How Many Times Must My NGO File for Temporary Activities for the Same Program Carried out Multiple Times in a Year?

Though the Ministry of Public Security has provided no specific guidance on this point, it appears that foreign NGOs may file one time for a program that will take place on non-contiguous dates during the year. (According to the Foreign NGO Law, no...

Updated Data Visualizations for January-July

We’ve crunched the numbers and updated our suite of data visualizations to include the month of July. Let us know if there are other ways we could analyze the data that would be useful for you or your organization.