China‘s major state-owned shipping companies include China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (COSCO Shipping) and China Merchants Group.
On the one hand, COSCO Shipping is the largest shipping company in the world, with a fleet of 1,371 vessels with a combined capacity of 109.33 million DWT.
It reportedly has the world’s largest container fleet, as well as bulk carriers, oil tankers, and general and specialized cargo ships.
On the other hand, the shipping activities of the conglomerate China Merchants Group are carried out through its subsidiaries China Merchants Energy Shipping (which specializes in energy and bulk cargo transportation), Xunlong Shipping and Hong Kong, China Ming Wah Shipping.
China Merchants Group is the fourth largest energy transportation company in the world.
According to a World Trade Organization (WTO) report, there has been no change in China’s maritime cabotage policies in the past four years. Domestic water transportation companies must have Chinese parties as majority shareholders.
The Maritime Law stipulates that shipping and towing services between ports in China must be carried out by ships flying the Chinese flag, unless laws or administrative regulations provide otherwise.
The Regulations on the National Water Transport Administration stipulate that water transport operators may not operate domestic water transport business with foreign vessels.
However, with the permission of the competent transportation department of the State Council, water transportation operators may temporarily operate a transportation business with foreign ships subject to time and travel limitations.
Between January 2018 and February 2020, eight foreign vessels were authorized.
In 2019, the State Council issued the Decision on the Revision of Certain Administrative Rules and Regulations (State Council Decree No. 709), and revised the Regulations on International Shipping, which lifted restrictions on foreign investment in shipping. shipping and international shipping agency services in China.
Previously, international shipping companies were limited to Chinese-foreign capital/cooperative joint venture operations.
The authorities confirm that there are no requirements for government cargo to be transported on national flag vessels.