PRC state-owned entities may not invoke Crown immunity when carrying out commercial activities

In its 8 June 2017 judgment, TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd v China National Coal Group Corporation HCCT 23/2015, the Hong Kong Court of First Instance ruled that a PRC state-owned entity could not invoke crown immunity when undertaking commercial activities.

Before the Court was a letter from the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, which stated that a state-owned enterprise, China National Coal Group Corporation (“CNCGC”) was an independent legal entity carrying out activities of production and operation on its own, with no special legal person status or legal interests superior to other enterprises. It stated that CNCGC was not deemed part of the Central People’s Government of the PRC (“CPG”), nor deemed as a body performing functions on behalf of the Central Government.

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