China: MOFCOM New Merger Filing Form-Clarification on Major Filing Issues

Last Updated: 28 July 2012
Article by Susan Ning and Huang Jing

On June 6, 2012, the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") promulgates the new merger filing form (the "New Form"). Filings submitted after July 7, 2012 should use this New Form. The New Form is more than just a formal change. MOFCOM has condensed its three and a half years of experience since the first filing form of January 2009 into the new form. It contains requests for additional information and guidelines on some substantive issues of merger filling.

  • The definition of "operator to the concentration" Before the promulgation of the New Form, the definition of an "operator to the concentration" is one of the major unsolved issues related to merger control review in China. Article 3 of the Provisions of the State Council on Notification Thresholds of Concentrations of Undertakings (the "Turnover Provisions") requires that "operators to the concentration" file a notification if their turnover meets the stipulated thresholds. However, "operator to the concentration" is neither defined in the Turnover Provisions nor in any other documents. It is thus unclear whose turnover should be counted in to apply the thresholds. The New Form sheds light on this issue by clearly defining "operator to the concentration" in different types of concentrations, which is summarized in the below chart:
    Type of Concentration "Operator to the Concentration" Concerned
    • All parties involved in the merger
    Acquisition of sole control
    • The acquirer;
    • The target(s)
    Acquisition of joint control (by establishing a new joint venture)
    • The new joint venture's parent companies which obtain control over the new joint venture
    Acquisition of joint control (by obtaining control over an existing joint venture)
    • The existing joint venture;
    • The parent company(ies) which take control over the existing joint venture after the transaction
    Acquisition of joint control (by obtaining control over a company solely controlled by one parent company, and the original parent company maintains control after the transaction)
    • The original parent company;
    • The new parent company(ies) who obtain control after the transaction
    Acquisition of joint control (by obtaining control over a company solely controlled by its parent company, and the original parent company loses control after the transaction)
    • The company to be jointly controlled;
    • The new parent company(ies) who obtain control after the transaction
  • Submission without executed transaction agreement According to the Guidance of Merger Filing Information issued by MOFCOM in January 2009, the parties were required to submit a copy of the executed transaction agreement for the filing. MOFCOM's general attitude was that the transaction may not be definite if the transaction document is not signed, and reviewing indefinite transactions could be a waste of administrative resources. As such, MOFCOM usually requests that a copy of the executed transaction agreement be included in the submission. However, the request for the executed transaction agreement may cause problems in practice. In some cases, the parties are requested by law to close the transaction within a given period shortly after the execution of the agreement. If the parties submit the filing after the execution of the agreement, they could very likely fall into a dilemma where they must close the deal before obtaining MOFCOM's merger control clearance. In some other transaction, the parties do not intend to sign any written agreement at all. The New Form provides a solution for the above difficult situation. If the parties can provide sufficient evidence to prove that the executed transaction agreements cannot be submitted due to special transactional arrangements, mandatory legal requirements of China or other jurisdictions or any other legitimate reasons, or that clearance from MOFCOM could not possibly be obtained within the reviewing timelines stipulated by AML if the notification is made after the execution, the parties can file relevant memorandums, framework agreement, draft agreements or tender offer, accompanied by the main terms and conditions of the transaction. After the submission, the parties concerned are obliged to supplement a copy of the official agreement of the transaction once it is executed. They should also report to MOFCOM about any major changes, and revise the relevant sections of the filing or re-file the case, where appropriate.
  • Conversion of turnover into RMB The turnover thresholds provided in the Turnover Provisions are denominated in RMB. As such, turnover figures in a foreign currency must be converted into RMB in order to determine whether the thresholds are met. Before the issuance of the New Form, there was no guidance as to what exchange rate should be used. It was common to see companies using the average exchange rate of the previous fiscal year, the exchange rate of the first day or last day of the previous year, or the exchange rate of the execution date of the transaction agreement. Most of the times, the exchange rate is a minor issue in the filing process. However, in case that the parties' turnover is very close to the thresholds, using different exchange rate could lead to different result in terms of notifiability of a transaction. In such circumstances, consultation with MOFCOM may become necessary for companies to decide what course to follow. The New Form makes it clear that the exchange rate to be used should normally be the arithmetic average of central parity rate of the fiscal year concerned published by the People's Bank of China.
  • Newly requested information Compared with the original filing form, the New Form includes some new items of information to be provided for MOFCOM's review. Some of these items are constantly requested by MOFCOM in the pervious reviewing practice, such as the compliance status of the parties to the concentration; and the non-compete arrangements among JV partners. Others may not be so frequently seen, such as information about concentrations conducted by the operators in the past three years in the relevant market. The new items are mainly related to the past compliance activities of the parties. It is reasonable to expect that previous non-compliance could be a factor affecting the review timeline, or even review decision of current transactions. Companies should pay attention to the newly requested information at the filing preparation stage.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.