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China simplifies telecom VAS approval in Shanghai FTZ

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BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The review and approval process for foreign-funded enterprises to operate telecom value-added service (VAS) businesses in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has been simplified, a Chinese ministry announced on Tuesday.

The review and approval authority has been delegated from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to the Shanghai Communications Administration, the ministry said in a policy document.

The length of time from submission of application to approval has been shortened to no more than 60 days from five months, the document said.

Telecom VAS providers refer to those using public telecom network infrastructure and providing value-added services including call centers and smartphone app stores rather than traditional voice telephony services.

The Shanghai FTZ, established in September, has undergone a string of key reform measures including easing cross-border use of RMB, liberalizing interest rates on foreign currency loans, facilitating offshore financing and outbound investment.

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