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China

China’s renewable energy boom powers global job surge, report says

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The global energy sector is witnessing a surge in job opportunities fueled by clean technologies, with China contributing over half of this growth, a Paris-based energy watchdog said, while warning that skill shortages are emerging as an increasing concern.

Energy-related jobs reached a total of 67 million in 2022 worldwide, marking a growth of 3.5 million compared to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest “World Energy Employment” report released on Wednesday.

From 2019 to 2022, employment growth was primarily driven by five sectors, with solar PV employing the most at 4 million jobs, while electric vehicles and batteries experienced the fastest growth – over a million jobs since 2019.

This graphic shows change in energy employment by sector and region, 2019-2022. Credit: IEA

The IEA report comes as another report, “State of Climate Action 2023,” said this week that the world was off track in 41 of 42 critical measurements to reach the 2030 climate target, with only electric vehicle passenger car sales on the right path. 

Six indicators, including phasing out public financing for fossil fuels, were heading in the wrong direction entirely, according to the report by the World Resources Institute, and others.

China boasts the world’s largest energy workforce, the IEA said in its report, with over 19 million employees – or 28% of the global workforce – in 2022. Its clean energy sector constitutes about 60% of the nation’s total energy workforce, a ten percentage-point increase since 2019. 

The world’s top carbon emitter witnessed a significant growth of 2 million jobs in the clean energy sector and a notable decline of 600,000 jobs in fossil fuel-related industries, primarily within the coal sector, between 2019 and 2022, the IEA said.

China’s clean energy manufacturing industries support about 3 million employees, representing 80% of the global workforce in manufacturing solar photovoltaic panels and electric vehicle batteries.

In 2022, global solar PV manufacturing capacity expanded by nearly 40%, with most of this growth happening in China.

Meanwhile, global wind power generation and hydropower employment surpassed 1.5 and 2 million respectively. The majority of the jobs are in Asia, especially China.

Asia leads the global race in renewables

Another report released on Thursday said renewable energy investment in Asia is growing at 23%, primarily due to China, amounting to US$345 billion allocated to wind, solar, and clean vehicles by the end of 2022.

The Asian region now contributes a substantial 52.5% to global energy capacity in 2022, attributed mainly to the significant efforts of China, India, and Vietnam, according to the analysis by Zero Carbon Analytics, an international energy research organization.

However, on a global scale, Asia is also responsible for 51% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, primarily due to India and China’s extensive coal-powered energy infrastructure. 

“China is racing ahead in the shift to clean energy, this is no small feat for the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses,” said Li Shuo, incoming director for China climate hub at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

ENG_ENV_EnergyAsia_11162023.3.jpg
This aerial photo taken on Sep. 19, 2023 shows a solar photovoltaic power project under construction in Zhangye, in China’s northwestern Gansu province. Credit AFP

Meanwhile, energy think tank Ember said Thursday that Vietnam drove ASEAN’s 43% per annum solar and wind generation growth from 2015 to 2022.

In 2022, growth slowed to just 15%, highlighting the need for more robust policies to sustain energy transition, said the report “Beyond Tripling: Keeping ASEAN’s solar and wind momentum,” published Thursday by the London-based energy research organization. 

Vietnam accounted for 69% of ASEAN’s solar and wind generation by 2022. It was the main driver of the region’s growth and its recent slowdown was due to a new tariff scheme. 

ASEAN’s solar capacity reached 26.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2022, while its wind capacity reached 6.8 GW. However, these figures represent less than 1% of the region’s enormous solar and wind potential, which exceeds 30,000 GW and 1,300 GW, respectively. 

ASEAN projections indicate that in 2040, solar energy is expected to add 45 GW of capacity, while wind capacity will reach approximately 9 GW. This combined capacity will account for 15% of ASEAN’s electricity generation by 2040.

Skilled labor shortages could impede expansion

A survey of 160 global energy firms by the IEA showed a problem of labor shortages, especially for skilled workers in the energy sector, due to a higher demand for jobs than the number of people with the necessary qualifications, particularly affecting vocational workers and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematical) professionals.

Meanwhile, the IEA also said Chinese factories are facing challenges in finding suitable candidates to fill positions due to a shrinking working population and a preference among new entrants in the workforce for white-collar roles rather than trades or factory jobs. 

Around 30% of all energy manufacturing positions in 2022 were located in China. By 2025, the country could potentially encounter a shortage of approximately 30 million workers for manufacturing jobs, according to a Chinese government estimate. 

“The unprecedented acceleration that we have seen in clean energy transitions is creating millions of new job opportunities all over the world – but these are not being filled quickly enough,” said the IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol. 

More than a third of global energy workers hold high-skilled positions, in contrast to about 27% in the broader economy. 

The IEA said fossil fuel companies are retraining employees for low-emissions roles to retain talent, but this may not work universally, especially in the coal sector with declining employment due to mechanization, highlighting the need for policymakers to prioritize a people-centered, equitable transition and invest in job training for the ongoing shift towards clean energy.

Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.

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Revealing the Encouraged Industries of Hainan in 2024: Unlocking Opportunities

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The 2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue, issued by the NDRC, MOF, and STA, aims to boost industries in the Hainan Free Trade Port. It prioritizes sectors like tourism, modern services, and high technologies, offering incentives for foreign investment and market access expansion since 2020. The Catalogue includes 176 entries across 14 categories, with 33 new additions focusing on cultural tourism, new energy, medicine and health, aviation, aerospace, and environmental protection.


The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Taxation Administration (STA), has issued the Catalogue of Industries Encouraged to Develop in Hainan Free Trade Port (2024 Version), hereinafter referred to as the “2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue.” The updated Catalogue took effect on March 1, 2024, replacing the previous 2020 Edition.

Beyond the industries already addressed in existing national catalogues, the new entries in the 2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue are based on practical implementation experiences and the specific needs within Hainan, prioritizing sectors such as tourism, modern services, and high technologies.

The Hainan FTP has been providing incentives to draw investors to invest and establish businesses in the region, especially foreign investment. Alongside a phased approach to opening the capital account and facilitating free capital movement, Hainan has significantly expanded market access for foreign enterprises since 2020, particularly in sectors such as telecommunications, tourism, and education.

The Hainan Encouraged Catalogue comprises two main sections:

Similar to the approach adopted by the western regions, foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) should always implement their production or operations in accordance with the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment.

On top of the industries already addressed in existing national catalogues, the 2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue encompasses 14 distinct categories and a total of 176 entries especially encouraged in the region, including 33 new additions compared to the 2020 Edition. These new entries predominantly span cultural tourism, new energy, medicine and health, aviation and aerospace, and ecological and environmental protection, among others.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Key Guidelines for Companies in Compliance Audits for Personal Information Protection Standards

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China’s standards authority has released draft standards for personal information protection compliance audits, potentially making them mandatory for companies in 2023. The audits will require companies to undergo annual or biennial checks based on the number of people’s information they handle. The draft standards outline the audit process and requirements, seeking public feedback until September 11, 2024.


China’s standards authority has released draft standards for conducting personal information protection compliance audits. Regular compliance audits to ensure compliance with personal information protection regulations may become a requirement for companies in China under draft measures released in 2023. We explain the audit processes and requirements proposed in the draft standards.

The Standardization Administration of China (SAC) has released a set of draft standards for conducting personal information (PI) protection compliance audits. Under draft measures released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) in August 2023, companies that process the PI of people in China are required to undergo regular compliance audits.

Specifically, companies that process the PI of over one million people must undergo a compliance audit at least once a year, while companies that process the PI of under one million people must carry out an audit at least once every two years. 

While the draft measures stipulate the obligations of the auditing body and the audit scope, the draft standards outline the specific audit process, including evidence management and permissions of the audit organization, as well as the professional and ethical requirements of auditors. 

The Secretariat of the National Cybersecurity Standardization Technical Committee is soliciting public feedback on the draft standards until September 11, 2024. Public comment on the draft measures released in August last year closed on September 2, 2023, but no updated document has yet been released. 

The draft standards outline five stages of the PI protection compliance audit: audit preparation, implementation, reporting, problem rectification, and archiving management. 

Auditors are required to accurately document identified security issues in the audit working papers, ensuring that the records are comprehensive, clear, and conclusive, reflecting the audit plan and its execution, as well as all relevant findings and recommendations. 

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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A Comprehensive Guide to China’s Expanded 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy at 37 Ports

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China has expanded its 144-hour visa-free transit policy, allowing travelers from 54 countries to visit certain areas without a visa. Zhengzhou in Henan Province and eight cities in Yunnan Province are now included. The policy aims to promote people-to-people exchange and requires travelers to meet specific requirements.


China has expanded the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, which allows people from certain countries to enjoy six days of travel to select areas of the country without applying for a visa beforehand, to cover 54 countries and 37 ports. Zhengzhou in Henan Province and eight more cities in Yunnan Province can benefit from this policy as of July 15, 2024. Amid China’s continuous efforts to promote people-to-people exchange, we explain who is eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit and where in China you can travel on this special entry permit.

The National Immigration Administration (NIA) has expanded China’s 144-hour visa-free transit policy to 37 ports as of July 15, 2024. Zhengzhou aviation port in Henan now offers this policy, with the stay limited to the administrative region of Henan Province. The stay range of Yunnan Province’s policy has been expanded from Kunming to eight other cities (prefecture-level) including Lijiang, Yuxi, Pu’er, Chuxiong, Dali, Xishuangbanna, Honghe, and Wenshan. Additionally, Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, Lijiang Sanyi International Airport, and Mohan Railway Port have been added as ports applicable to the 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

In this article, we explain how this 144-hour visa-free transit policy works and summarize some frequently asked questions.  

Under the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, foreign travelers can enjoy a six-day stay in certain Chinese cities without a visa, provided they come from 54 eligible countries, enter and exit China from eligible ports, stay within the allowed cities and regions, as well as satisfy other requirements.  

To obtain this visa exemption, the foreign national must have a valid passport from one of the 54 countries, which are: 

As per the requirements of China’s National Immigration Authority (NIA), people applying for 144-hour visa-free transit must have: 

You may also be required to answer some questions at immigration control upon arrival.  

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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