Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Julian Burling and Kevin Lazarus
Chapter 28: China: Developments in Insurance Law and Regulation in the People’s Republic
Wenhao Han 1. CHINESE INSURANCE LEGISLATION AND SOURCES OF LAW The history of insurance in China is relatively short. Insurance was ﬁrst introduced to the country at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the British merchants of the East India Company and as a consequence the market was initially dominated by British insurers. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Chinese national merchants and government began to set up insurance companies along the Chinese south coast in Shanghai and Guangzhou to compete with the overseas insurers.1 With the development of the insurance business in China, there were several attempts to introduce legislation dealing with insurance. The ﬁrst Chinese insurance legislation was drawn up by the last Qing Imperial government between 1908 and 1911 as part of the then Commercial Code. The Code followed the Japanese legislation but was never put into force due to the revolution by the republicans and abdication of the last Qing Emperor in 1912. There were two subsequent attempts to legislate on insurance contract rules in 1929 and 1936 respectively by the ruling governments of the country at those times. The 1929 legislation was drafted by a French insurance lawyer appointed by the then Chinese government. The 1929 legislation was not well received in the insurance industry and failed largely due to the civil war (1927–1937) in China. A few years later, the 1936 legislation tried to absorb principles and doctrines from English insurance law as a result of demands from the industry...
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