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December 11, 2001 was a long awaited day for both regional companies, as well as for foreign investors. This was the afternoon that the Chinese State Council promulgated the Regulations for the Administration of Foreign Invested Telecommunications Enterprises (FITE) which were scheduled to come into effect on the 1st of January 2002. As it is accession into the WTO, overseas telecommunications have eyed what's arguably the greatest telecommunication's business on earth, and increasing at a rate of over 20 per cent per annum. Having said that, Bureaucratic influences have stunted what were once crucial and foreseeable changes in regulation, the effect being cushioned only by government investment into the business. "We encourage more investment into the telecommunications sector as we are moving into a vital stage since the business is deepening its reform and telecom equipment is upgrading", says Xi Guohua of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII). However, although this quote quite accurately reflects the attitude of the Chinese Government in terms of foreign investment, stringent regulation is a hurdle that's still making it difficult for foreign firms to penetrate the marketplace. As of October 2004, 10 out of the meagre 12 applications made by foreign firms to present telecom-related services have been pending approval for over 12 months . Along with these characteristic delays in Government approval (often blamed on red tape-ism) come the problems of stringent regulation...