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China says it will back down on tech transfers, foreign investment barriers

China says it will back down on tech transfers, foreign investment barriers
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China says it will back off barriers to foreign investment in financial companies and stop forced technology transfers, a move that could boost trade talks with the United States.

“We will move faster to open up the financial industry,” Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a news conference on Tuesday, adding that it would “neither explicitly nor implicitly” force technology transfers.

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China’s restrictions to block foreign ownership of financial companies and its practice of forcing foreign companies to turn over proprietary technology have been major issues in trade negotiations.

The country had previously announced that it would allow foreign ownership of certain financial firms starting in 2020.

China and the U.S. have been working to finalize terms of a “Phase 1” deal on trade to prevent new tariffs from going into effect and ease pressure on U.S. farmers. The outlines of a deal, reached earlier in October, largely avoided the more complex issues surrounding China’s contentious trade practices and President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE’s aggressive use of tariffs.

China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said that negotiators between the two countries “affirmed that technical consultations on part of the text has been basically completed” and that sides would have an additional phone call “shortly.”

The trade war has been a major source of uncertainty for businesses and wobbliness in financial markets amid a slowing economy.