China (CN)

Jurisdiction Overview

206 *Is any formal registration required at all? NEITHER: Neither domestic law trusts nor foreign law trusts domestically managed have to register.
 Data Date: 2013


It appears that only trusts (domestic law or foreign law trusts) that operate in China (trust activities are carried out in China) would be subject to China's trust law. This means that trusts that carry out activities outside of China would be beyond China's trust law. Moreover, tax obligations appear to require registration only when the trust or beneficiaries receive income or carry out activities in China. According to the Global Forum: "The Trust Law applies to all trusts where the civil, business or charitable trust activities are carried out within China's boundaries (regardless of whether the trust is governed by foreign trust law)" (GF 2013: 45). Therefore, provided that the trust activities are carried out within China, also foreign trusts administered by a resident trustee fall under the scope of the Trust Law (GF 2013: 45-46). The Global Form adds: "Under the Trust Law, all Chinese trusts must be created using a written trust document (i e the trust deed), which must contain inter alia the following information (Arts 8 and 9 See also ARTC Art 32): the purposes of the trust; names and addresses of the settlor, the trustee and the beneficiaries; the scope, type and status of the trust property; and the ways and methods by which the beneficiary receives the trust proceeds" (GF 2013: 46).
Consequently, both domestic and foreign trusts whose activities are within China’s boundaries, are required to register. Even in such case, it is not exactly clear, however, whether trusts that are not business trusts nor trusts for public welfare (and their activities are carried out in China), should register. In addition, there are reporting obligations under the tax law. However, it appears that the reporting obligations are only triggered when either the trust or the beneficiaries receive income or when the trust's activities are within China’s boundaries (GF 2013: 47-50).


GF 2013: 45-50
FATF 2019: 230-231