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...

Can a Foreign NGO Pay for Services from a For-Profit Chinese Entity?

Though the Foreign NGO Law forbids foreign NGOs from partnering with for-profit organizations for activities, may foreign NGOs contract with for-profit entities for certain services?The Ministry of Public Security has not issued official written...

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...

Tianjin Public Security Bureau Donates to Orphans, Tibet Public Security Bureau ‘Braves the Winter Cold,’ Shandong Public Security Bureau Meets with Locally-Registered Foreign NGOs

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...

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...

What Is Considered “Fundraising”?

The Ministry of Public Security has not offered clear guidance on this point. Notably, an earlier draft of the Foreign NGO Law forbade “accept[ing] donations from within Mainland China.” The final version of the Law says only that foreign NGOs and...

Does a Foreign NGO Need to Have an Office in China Before It Can Formally Register a Representative Office?

According to the Foreign NGO Law, a foreign NGO must provide “proof of premises of the proposed representative office,” though the law is not explicit on what constitutes “proof” if an NGO does not yet have an established presence in China. This...

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...

National People’s Congress Alters Accounting Rules in Foreign NGO Law

As part of an ongoing effort to streamline red tape, on October 31 the National People’s Congress Standing Committee struck several provisions from a draft version of the Accounting Law currently under deliberation, which in turn affected the...

242 Overseas NGOs Register in China

Deng Xiaoci
Global Times

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...

Jiangxi and Hubei Public Security Bureaus Meet with Other Government Agencies to Talk Foreign NGO Law; Jiangsu and Yunnan Engage with Registered Foreign NGOs

Today, the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office issued registration certificates to three foreign NGOs: World Sport Federation Asia Headquarters (世界体育总会亚太区总部) (Macau), Oxfam (Hong Kong), and France Export Céréales.

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...

Open and Honest Communication with Public Security Bureaus Advised by One Foreign NGO

On October 17, the China Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI) at Beijing Normal University published an interview with The Asia Foundation in both English and Chinese. The Asia Foundation noted that the Foreign NGO Law offered them the ability to...

China Subverting UN Efforts to Protect Human Rights, Says Pressure Group

South China Morning Post
A human rights group said in a report on Tuesday that China has tried to intimidate, blacklist and suppress the voices of rights advocates who operate within the UN system, calling on Beijing to stop such pressure and urging UN agencies to resist.

Which Professional Supervisory Units Are Sponsoring Foreign NGOs?

Following are the Professional Supervisory Units that have sponsored a (or multiple) foreign NGO representative office(s).

MAC Advisers’ Report Warns over NGO Safety in China

Lin Liang-sheng and Jonathan Chin
Taipei Times

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...

CPRI Posts Interview with the Ford Foundation

On August 21, the China Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI) at Beijing Normal University published an interview with Elizabeth Knupp of the Ford Foundation in both English and Chinese, discussing Ford’s history in China and its registration...

Shaanxi Public Security Bureau Talks Foreign NGOs with Hong Kong Government; Shandong Trains Local Police; Hainan Meets Local PSUs; Liaoning Chats with Slovenian Consulate

On August 16, the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office met with Italian NGO “International Cooperation Volunteer Group—Our Homeland,” and presented the group with its registration certificate. Also present were...

New Foreign NGO Employee Work Permit Rules; Shandong, Wuhan, Beijing, Henan Discuss Foreign NGO Law with Government Agencies and Chinese Partner Units

Today, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security jointly issued a “Notice on Handling Work Permits for Foreign Employees of Foreign NGOs and Related Issues” to recipients at the provincial level.

Foreign NGO Law Publicity in Gansu, Training for Domestic NGOs in Shanghai, University Meetings in Hubei and Jiangsu

The Fujian and Sichuan Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Offices granted registration certificates to foreign NGOs in their respective jurisdictions. Fujian gave certificates to The Chinese Art of Tea Craft Union, the Chinese Youth...

New Comparative Analysis from Contributor Elizabeth Plantan

Ph.D. candidate Elizabeth Plantan compares and contrasts Russia’s and China’s foreign NGO-related legislation. Though both laws had a similar set of motivations driving their creation, Plantan shows key differences in the drafting processes as well...

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.

Hubei Public Security Bureau Discusses Foreign NGO Law at Local Universities, Beijing Meets Professional Supervisory Units, Shanghai Encourages a Foreign NGO to Register

Today, the Guangxi and Shaanxi Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Offices issued registration certificates to the Guangxi Business Association of Canada and Plan International (United States), respectively.

We Need Your Input: How Much Does It Cost to Carry out a Temporary Activity?

Cold hard cash—it’s an issue that has come up in many of our conversations about temporary activities. As we note in one of our FAQs, it can be quite pricey for foreign NGOs operating in China to compile all the documentation and authorizations...

New (Open-Access!) Academic Article on Foundations in China

Andreas Fulda of the University of Nottingham has published a new article, “The Contested Role of Foreign and Domestic Foundations in the PRC: Policies, Positions, Paradigms, Power,” in the Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies...

Analysis on the First Six Months of the Foreign NGO Law

Contributor Tee Zhuo has done a deep dive on the statistics provided by the Ministry of Public Security for the six first months of Foreign NGO Law implementation. Among his findings are that representative offices tend to skew toward trade with...

Six Months In: An Analysis of Foreign NGO Activity in China

Tee Zhuo
Half a year after China’s new law regarding foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) went into effect, many questions remain about the law’s implementation across different regions of China and across different fields of work. To get a better...

Making Sense of MPS’ Data: A Compendium of Data Visualizations

To better understand the Ministry of Public Security’s publicly-available information on Foreign NGOs’ representative offices and temporary activities, The China NGO Project has created a series of data visualizations that allow readers to explore...

Guangzhou Small Group Holds Training Class

According to the Guangzhou government website, Guangzhou’s Coordinating Small Group for Foreign NGO Management Work held a training class on July 11 and 12. Participants included representatives from all of the government entities represented in the...