China's tobacco regulator has issued draft rules to strictly control e-cigarette production, as it tightened oversight of the industry, reports Reuters.
The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration said it would "reasonably" control the scale of e-cigarette production capacity to prevent overcapacity. Foreign investment in the retail of e-cigarette products would be banned, the regulator said, and it would review foreign investment in production and require pre-approval from e-cigarette companies that want to list in China or abroad.
China has tightened its scrutiny of e-cigarettes in recent months, and last year amended its tobacco monopoly law to include such products (see TJI 02/22). Since then, e-cigarette companies have only been allowed to sell their products through authorised channels, and have been prohibited from selling e-cigarette flavours other than tobacco. Earlier in April, it unveiled technical standards for such e-cigarettes as well.
China's cigarette industry is subject to a state-run monopoly directly controlled by the tobacco regulator, which sets pricing and distribution of brands and generates tax income for the government.