Regulating a FTZ - Simplifying data collection and improving transparency

This paper looks at developments in corporate data collection and transparency in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone (Shanghai FTZ) and current practices in the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada, based on the work of Grant Thornton’s network of China Services Groups across the world.

It is designed to provide insight into international practices, consideration of the benefits of a well-balanced policy in this regard, and a basis for discussion regarding future developments in data collection, utilisation and transparency within free trade zones across China, and in turn, the possibility of expanding these measures nationwide.

The question of when to collect data, what to collect, and how much, is a fine balance. Free trade zones across China provide an excellent opportunity for piloting more streamlined platforms and practices, and to tweak levels of transparency to find the most suitable solution for China’s circumstances. The Shanghai FTZ has already begun the transition to a more efficient system, and many of the elements of a good corporate data policy are contained within the new platform being implemented in Shanghai. This paper presents an overview of these developments, and the systems in the UK, USA and Canada for comparison and further debate.

Key discussion points

  • Further streamline measures for incorporation in the FTZ, and roll out the current streamlined process and reduce the timetable in other FTZs and the rest of the country
  • Reduce the amount of information that companies have to file with the authorities in the FTZ, and integrate further reporting systems to help reduce the compliance requirements for business.


You can also download this report in Chinese.