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Yao Qian on the Way to Become China’s Regulatory Commissions Director

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) may soon appoint former People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s digital currency research head to helm a new department it is forming. 

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According to a report by Chinese financial news site Caijing, the CSRC is setting up a new technology regulation division with the aim to deploy some latest technologies, including AI, cloud computing, and big data, to better inform its data analytics effort.

Citing sources close to the regulator, Caijing said an appointment announcement had been published on the CSRC’s internal bulletin, naming Qian Yao as the director.

Yao is not an unfamiliar name among the Chinese cryptocurrency community. He was the founding member of the PBOC’s digital currency research institute and had been in the post until Oct. 2018. He was also nominated by CoinDesk as one of the most influential figures in blockchain in 2017. Most recently, Yao was the deputy secretary of the communist party committee at the China Security Depository and Clearing Corporation.

The Function of the CSRC

China’s Securities Law (passed December 1998, effective July 1, 1999), the nation’s first comprehensive securities legislation, grants CSRC “authority to implement a centralized and unified regulation of the nationwide securities market in order to ensure their lawful operation.”

The CSRC oversees China’s nationwide centralized securities supervisory system, with the power to regulate and supervise securities issuers, as well as to investigate, and impose penalties for, “illegal activities related to securities and futures.” The CSRC is empowered to issue Opinions or Guideline Opinions, non-legally binding guidance for publicly traded corporations. Its functions are similar to that of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States.

Among its responsibilities include:

  • Formulating policies, laws and regulations concerning markets in securities and futures contracts.
  • Overseeing issuing, trading, custody and settlement of equity shares, bonds, investment funds.
  • Supervising listing, trading and settlement of futures contracts; futures exchanges; securities and futures firms.

Indicative of the role of the CSRC, China’s highest court, the Supreme People’s Court–at least as of 2004–has declined to handle securities-related litigation directly, instead deferring such judgments to the CSRC.

According to CoinDesk’s Report about Qian

Qian appears to have emerged from the ether as a rare government agent in a position of power not just through appointment, but also through his evidently strong grasp of the technology itself. And in an article penned in May of this year, one that served as his introduction to Western audiences, Qian seemed keen to engage.

In September, a report was published by the official Shanghai Securities News saying that Mu Changchun will replace Yao Qian, who was the first director of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) research institute on digital currency.

Yao, formerly the deputy chief of the central bank’s technology division, has joined the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation as general manager.

The research institute was set up at the end of 2016 to study the possibility of issuing a sovereign digital currency when commercial tradeable cryptocurrencies started gaining traction before China banned trading in such currencies.

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