Foreign Investment Control in EU Becomes More Stringent - Chinese Version

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有意在欧盟投资?那您可能要面临更严苛的外商投资管制了。新的欧盟外商投资管制方案正逐渐成形,而欧盟各国政府现正实行更为严格的规则。

概览

从欧盟近日对外商投资管制实施的改革可以看出,外商投资审查程序会对相关关键产业外商投资交易的时间进度与结果产生影响。当外商投资可能影响国家安全及公共秩序时,其就越发可能受到各国政府的限制或禁止。

未来预期将有更多交易须受外商投资管制,尤其相关国家政府正考虑下调管控的适用门槛,而使少数权益投资(例如收购欧盟企业10%股份)也需要接受审查,情况类似于美国CFIUS制度。

欧盟将带头协调关于外商对欧盟投资的审查方针。在欧盟层面,新方案预计可于2018年底前定案,届时该方案将赋予欧盟委员会以对外商投资加以审查并提出意见的新权限,并且引入各国政府与欧盟委员会之间的合作机制。

至于在欧盟成员国层面,德国及意大利已作出改革,英国、法国等多个国家也进一步修改外商投资管制制度,藉此扩大规则的适用范围,令监管机构可作出更多干预,尤其对于“关键基建”及“关键产业”方面的投资。

以下将详细探讨欧盟所提出的管制框架,以及在英国、德国及法国国家层面的制度。

欧盟框架

新审查制度允许欧盟发表意见,但最终仍由成员国定夺

欧盟委员会曾于2017年9月提出《关于建立欧盟外商投资审查框架的规则》初步建议书(“规则草案”)。规则草案目前处于欧盟三方审议程序 ,欧洲议会及欧盟理事会近日已对该规则草案提出修订建议。因此,欧盟层面的立法程序似乎已上轨道,新规则可望于2018年底前获得通过。

按照目前讨论所得,各国政府将仍可独立决定某项交易是否应获批准。除《欧盟并购条例》有所规定外,在欧盟层面上将不会建立集中管辖机制,即使外商对欧盟的某项投资影响了多个成员国亦是如此。事实上,规则草案并未要求欧盟成员国建立任何审查机制。

然而,外商投资管制制度一旦建立,成员国如在国家层面进行了审查,则须与其他成员国及欧盟委员会分享相关信息。

如涉及欧盟计划、补贴或基础设施,将考虑欧盟委员会意见

欧盟委员会将可就可能影响欧盟利益的外商投资向成员国提出意见。然而,成员国已特别强调,此类意见并无约束力。

根据规则草案,欧盟委员会可在下列情况提出意见:

  • 欧盟委员会认为某项外商直接投资相当可能在安全或公共秩序上,对欧盟利益所及的项目或计划造成影响。
  • 相关项目及计划须牵涉可观的欧盟资金金额或份额,或应受到欧盟关于关键基础设施、关键技术或关键进口方面的法例监管。
  • 相关欧盟项目及计划名列于规则草案的附录中,包括运输、能源及电信行业的项目,例如“伽利略(定位系统)项目”、“地平线2020计划”及“全欧网络计划”。

欧盟框架并未指明收购项目若超过何种门槛,方会受欧盟层面审查制度涵盖。一如前述,欧盟成员国将可通过其国家管制制度予以确定门槛,因此审查门槛在不同司法管辖区都可能不同。

或会影响安全与公共秩序的关键行业

欧盟现正试图设定若干最低标准,涵盖审议程序(包括审查时限及保密信息的保护)、欧盟委员会及成员国之间如何协调,以及最重要的是,在符合欧盟法律的前提下如何进一步确定(国家)安全或公共秩序可能受到影响的领域。

目前讨论着眼于分析下列行业:

  • 关键基建,包括能源、运输、通讯、(航空)航天、数据储存、敏感设施,以及由欧盟理事会所建议的用于关键基建的媒体、国防及房地产;
  • 关键技术,包括人工智能、机器人技术、半导体、科技、军民两用物品、网络安全、核技术,以及欧盟理事会所建议的国防、纳米科技及生物科技;
  • 关键进口物品供应方面的安全性,涵盖能源、原材料、零部件及半成品;
  • 对敏感资料的访问或掌控该等敏感资料的能力;以及
  • 媒体多样性。

以上清单并未尽列所有可能须受审查的行业。欧盟框架对成员国将有直接、即时的效力。因此,成员国国家层面若已有审查机制,则国家政府在确定可对何种领域进行干预时,必须将以上清单纳入考虑范围。

目前尚未确定,欧盟框架一旦通过后是否会立即开始适用,抑或会按照欧盟理事会目前的建议延后18个月。此外,关于欧盟及相关国家政府在何种领域可能认为安全或公共秩序将受影响一事,亦尚不明确。鉴于目前并无案例法可供援引,外国投资者除了关注此前已有的在并购条例法规项下的类似申报规定和风险评估以外,还应谨慎考虑在欧盟及相关国家政府层面上行将收紧的外商投资制度对项目时间进度的影响,以及相关监管风险,视具体情况还将包括跨司法管辖区外商投资管制分析。

英国

英国政府进一步进行国家安全改革

英国政府曾于2016年9月宣布有意就国家安全实行权力改革,并曾于2017年10月发表绿皮书。2018年7月,英国商业、能源及产业策略部发表《国家安全与投资白皮书》(“白皮书”),就确保国家安全免受实体或资产控制权敌意收购,再次详述权力改革建议。

白皮书的要旨在于,英国政府在改革后的权力将符合比例原则,并会着眼于适用情况,每一个案均将遵照清晰且可预期的流程,而相关权力将用于保障国家安全,以免国家因相关业务及资产被敌意拥有或影响而遭到损害。与此同时,白皮书表明,英国政府将外商投资及活跃竞争经济视为英国壮大及发展的关键,并表明英国热切欢迎外商投资所作出的贡献,藉此促进研发及创新等领域的国际合作。

英国政府认为,英国经济中仅有少数的投资活动、并购及交易会对国家安全构成风险。然而,若有此等情况,则英国政府必须能够加以干预,以避免并缓解风险。

白皮书属征求意见稿,因此市场及相关专业机构可于最终政策及相关法规发布前,就所提议的权力改革中的特定问题作出回应。

白皮书中详细列明了审查程序

现行规例

目前,英国政府根据《2002年企业法令》享有对相关交易作出干预以避免并缓解国家安全风险的权力。该法令曾于2018年初修订,以赋予政府对英国经济中的若干关键领域作出更多干预的权力。然而,英国政府认为该等权力仍有诸多限制,尤其相较其他国家的制度而论,因此建议对此作出全面改革,从基本法律制度着手并引入新的管控制度。

所提出的新管控制度

简略而言,正在征求意见的新制度将包括下列主要阶段:

  1. 通报:英国政府将鼓励企业自愿就可能涉及国家安全风险的投资及其他事件(“触发事件”)作出通报。
  2. 触发事件:此类事件目前被建议界定为“取得对某一实体或资产的控制或重大影响力”,其形式通常表现为合并、投资或其他商业活动。然而,如通过任何其他方式取得重大影响力或控制,亦会引起触发事件。此外,若额外或进一步取得对某一实体的重大影响力或控制,亦包含在内。
  3. 至于所涵盖的资产范围,《2002年企业法令》目前列明下列类别的资产:
    • 军民两用出口管制技术,指开发或生产军民两用出口管制物品、或持有关乎此等物品开发、生产或效能特性信息的企业;
    • 电脑硬件及软件,指拥有、创造或供应关乎电脑、电脑指令集架构及低阶控制码的知识产权的企业,以及就电脑安全硬件、软件、韧体及密钥安全配置方面进行设计、维护或提供支持的企业;以及
    • 量子计算技术,指研发量子计算技术及其在模拟、显像、感测、时间、导航、通讯或抗量子加密学上的应用、以及生产相关部件或提供相关服务的企业。
  4. 为防止改革遭受颠覆或被规避,拟订立的法规亦允许英国政府在一项对于不动产、动产、知识产权及合同权利方面的控制权进行的收购可能引起国家安全风险时,可就此进行详细审查。
  5. 英国政府的政策意向书将有进一步指引,阐释如何理解“对某一实体或资产的控制或有重大影响力”。
  6. 英国政府亦将详细说明,其认为触发事件最可能于何时及如何发生,使当事方可决定是否与英国政府进行非正式讨论,及/或是否向英国政府作正式通报。
  7. 英国政府亦保留权利,可“传召”交易及其他事件,无论该事件是否已发生,即使在并未涉及触发事件的情况下亦然。
  8. 故此,目前该项政策的适用范围,以及预计将适用于何种行业都尚不明朗。
  9. 审查:英国政府预计每年约有200宗通报,并预计能迅速排除并未造成国家安全风险的通报,从而辨识出须再作进一步分析的触发事件。
  10. 全面国家安全评估:对于英国政府预计会造成国家安全风险的通报(初步分析认为可能占全部通报的一半),将按照既定、透明的程序,对此作出全面评估。
  11. 施加补救措施:经评估后,英国政府如认定国家安全备受风险,则会适度施加必要的补救措施。初步分析指出,每年受到“传召”而须接受全面国家安全评估的案例中,将约有一半须被施以补救措施。
  12. 上述补救办法预计包括由英国政府在评估后施加的若干条件,以避免或缓解国家安全风险。最后办法可能包括阻止触发事件,或要求已发生的触发事件进行撤销还原。

征求意见的时间表与后续行动

白皮书的征求意见阶段将于2018年10月16日结束。英国政府此后将处理征求意见期内收到的对于建议稿的反馈意见,并适时公布最终政策说明书以及拟订立的法规。我们预计该等流程的后期将确定该等规则何时将被定稿。

德国

2017年改革后执法更为严格 门槛可能下调

德国联邦政府近日几近正式禁止一项中国投资者的投资交易。在此项交易中,中方投资者有意投资于德国一家机械工具生产商,其产品用于航空航天、空运及核能业。然而,德国内阁虽然已于2018年8月1日否决了该项交易,但中方投资者于最后一刻放弃交易,以免此项目被正式禁止。因此,德国政府可谓至少实际上已禁止了该项交易,而倘若该收购交易确被正式禁止,则会成为德国外商投资管制制度下首例禁止决定。上述事件在德国收紧外商投资规则后一年发生,部分原因是德国政府在先前的制度下无法管制中方的若干投资事项。

德国外商投资管制制度于2017年7月改革后(详见本所客户通讯),越来越多的交易受到了全面的审查。因此,德国政府与外国投资者已订立多份公法协议,以作为批准若干交易的条件,旨在保障德国政府利益。

德国政府过往即使因相关投资并未达到25%的门槛而无法作出干预,亦曾成功阻止中方对关键能源基建供应商50Hertz作出投资,该项目中,德国国有银行——复兴信贷银行购得50Hertz 的20%股份,从而阻止了中方国有基建服务供应商完成收购。德国政府的该次干预表明,其认为在(外国投资者)对关键基建进行非控股少数权益投资的情形下,仍有对关键基建进行保护的需要。

虽然对于外商投资的审查数量有所增加,且德国政府现正采取更为全面的审查方针,但其审查标准并未更改,德国政府仍只能在个别案例中禁止外商投资。

据报道,德国政府有意降低目前正在适用的25%的审查门槛,甚至或将转而适用英国提出的“对某一实体或资产有控制或重大影响力”的概念,以便能对类似投资展开审查。最近有报道指出,目前适用的审查门槛将下调为“对德国公司15%或以上投票权取得直接或间接控制”,并且德国政府有意于今年内通过该等修订。

法国

改革程序现正进行 再加保护关键产业及高科技业

法国政府亦将采取经修订的外商投资管制规定,旨在进一步保护关键产业,尤其高科技行业。法规草案已于2018年6月完成,现正由相关立法机构审议。

除了对于已被纳入2014年管制制度的行业(例如燃料供应、电力、天然气、公共交通及电信网络)的管控之外,新规则还纳入了类似于欧盟框架所列的行业,包括半导体生产、太空相关产品与研究、无人机、与国家安全相关的人工智能、网络安全、机器人技术及大数据储存。

为保障国家安全及公共秩序,法国政府将可获得额外权力,包括:

  • 暂缓行使投票权;
  • 限制或禁止派发股息;
  • 禁止任何股份及资产交易;以及
  • 委派公众专员,其有权干预公司经营决策机构所作出的决定。

投资者若违反外商投资的管控规定或法国政府就特定交易施加的义务,将可能遭受最高为相关投资额的两倍或投资者年度营收10%的罚款。

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.