Latest updates

Role of digital yuan in gaming industry
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Macau
  • 02 February 2021

Although the Macau regulator has reported that the potential use of a digital yuan in Macau's casinos is 'fake news', this new form of currency could jeopardise the gaming promotion activity that has underpinned the entire industry since the 1980s. A centralised, trackable and seizable digital currency would provide never-before-seen visibility over clash flows to the city cages. This could singlehandedly cut off the shadow banking and money laundering activities that have plagued economies worldwide.

Role of digital yuan in gaming industry
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 28 January 2021

Although the Macau regulator has reported that the potential use of a digital yuan in Macau's casinos is 'fake news', this new form of currency could jeopardise the gaming promotion activity that has underpinned the entire industry since the 1980s. A centralised, trackable and seizable digital currency would provide never-before-seen visibility over clash flows to the city cages. This could singlehandedly cut off the shadow banking and money laundering activities that have plagued economies worldwide.

Draft law on tax benefits for activities dedicated to scientific and technological innovation
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Macau
  • 15 January 2021

The government has issued a draft law on tax benefits for undertaking activities dedicated to scientific and technological innovation. This draft law is a consequence of the Macau Special Administrative Region Policy Address for the Fiscal Year of 2019, particularly in relation to innovation in the areas of technology and smart-city development, and aligns with the goal of transforming the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area into an international centre of science, technology and innovation.

Draft law on tax benefits for activities dedicated to scientific and technological innovation
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 14 January 2021

The government has issued a draft law on tax benefits for undertaking activities dedicated to scientific and technological innovation. This draft law is a consequence of the Macau Special Administrative Region Policy Address for the Fiscal Year of 2019, particularly in relation to innovation in the areas of technology and smart-city development, and aligns with the goal of transforming the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area into an international centre of science, technology and innovation.

Proposed new law on h­­otel establishments' activities
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 15 October 2020

Macau's tourism and entertainment industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly initiated discussions on the draft law on hotel establishments' activities, which the government submitted to the Plenary in February 2019. This law is welcome, as it will update the 1996 law and modernise the legal framework which governs Macau's economic engine.

New e-government law will streamline administrative proceedings
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 16 July 2020

In Macau, administrative acts must generally be performed in writing. Thus, given the way in which COVID-19 has affected everyday life, Law 2/2020, which was recently approved by the General Assembly, could not have come at a more appropriate time. This e-government law enables public bodies to undertake various actions and formalities electronically and, together with Law 5/2005, provides the tools for modern, paperless proceedings.

New minimum wage regime
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Macau
  • 10 June 2020

Amid the global COVID-19 crisis, the Legislative Assembly has approved Law 5/2020 on workers' minimum wage, which aims to protect workers and avoid overly low salaries. The new law has expressly revoked the minimum wage for cleaners and security workers in the property administration industry and is the first almost-universal regulation to set a minimum wage in Macau.

New minimum wage regime
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 04 June 2020

Amid the global COVID-19 crisis, the Legislative Assembly has approved Law 5/2020 on workers' minimum wage, which aims to protect workers and avoid overly low salaries. The new law has expressly revoked the minimum wage for cleaners and security workers in the property administration industry and is the first almost-universal regulation to set a minimum wage in Macau.

Data protection exemptions due to COVID-19
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Macau
  • 08 May 2020

Although several entities have collected and processed personal data based on genuine public health reasons since the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, such activity lacked sufficient legal grounds in light of the obligation to notify the Office for Personal Data Protection (OPDP). In order to remedy this situation, the OPDP has published three authorisations which exempt entities that process personal data from the requirement to notify it of such processing.

Data protection exemptions due to COVID-19
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 07 May 2020

Although several entities have collected and processed personal data based on genuine public health reasons since the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, such activity lacked sufficient legal grounds in light of the obligation to notify the Office for Personal Data Protection (OPDP). In order to remedy this situation, the OPDP has published three authorisations which exempt entities that process personal data from the requirement to notify it of such processing.

Government adopts measures to fight COVID-19
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 09 April 2020

In view of the speed with which COVID-19 spread throughout China, Macau implemented various preventive measures under the Law on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases. After more than 30 days without any new cases, some measures were revoked. However, in March 2020 – given the spread of the virus across the globe – Macau was forced to reinforce measures in order to contain the re-appearance of the virus in the region.

Is 2019 novel coronavirus case of force majeure under Macau law?
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Macau
  • 02 March 2020

Although Macau has largely been spared the human toll of the 2019 novel coronavirus, the region's economy will suffer greatly in the short term. The unpredictable nature of the outbreak and the important human and economic costs deriving therefrom have led to inevitable questions, such as what kind of legal consequences can this virus entail? Further, if the severe economic downturn affects the fulfilment of contracts, could this be a case of force majeure, and could contracts be rescinded on this basis?

Is 2019 novel coronavirus case of force majeure under Macau law?
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 27 February 2020

Although Macau has largely been spared the human toll of the 2019 novel coronavirus, the region's economy will suffer greatly in the short term. The unpredictable nature of the outbreak and the important human and economic costs deriving therefrom have led to inevitable questions, such as what kind of legal consequences can this virus entail? Further, if the severe economic downturn affects the fulfilment of contracts, could this be a case of force majeure, and could contracts be rescinded on this basis?

Macau responds to regulatory trends with new Cybersecurity Law
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Macau
  • 21 February 2020

In June 2019 the Legislative Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) enacted the Cybersecurity Law. Prior to this, no legislation covered cybersecurity issues in the Macau SAR. As such, this new law reflects the region's efforts to respond to the latest regulatory trends regarding privacy and security and establish a legal regime for such matters. The main purpose of the law is to protect the networks, systems and data of critical infrastructure operators of the Macau SAR.

Macau responds to regulatory trends with new Cybersecurity Law
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 20 February 2020

In June 2019 the Legislative Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) enacted the Cybersecurity Law. Prior to this, no legislation covered cybersecurity issues in the Macau SAR. As such, this new law reflects the region's efforts to respond to the latest regulatory trends regarding privacy and security and establish a legal regime for such matters. The main purpose of the law is to protect the networks, systems and data of critical infrastructure operators of the Macau SAR.

New Arbitration Law eradicates dual system
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Macau
  • 30 January 2020

The new Arbitration Bill was approved in general terms by the Legislative Assembly in 2018 and voted into law in November 2019. Once the New Arbitration Law enters into force in May 2020, Macau's dual arbitration system will cease to exist. This legislative cohesion is likely to encourage foreign investors and partners to choose Macau as their jurisdiction for disputes and strengthen its arbitration credentials internationally.

New Arbitration Law eradicates dual system
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 23 January 2020

The new Arbitration Bill was approved in general terms by the Legislative Assembly in 2018 and voted into law in November 2019. Once the New Arbitration Law enters into force in May 2020, Macau's dual arbitration system will cease to exist. This legislative cohesion is likely to encourage foreign investors and partners to choose Macau as their jurisdiction for disputes and strengthen its arbitration credentials internationally.

Gaming and economic diversification: is Macau merely a gaming tourist region?
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 16 January 2020

Economic diversification cannot be achieved overnight; nonetheless, the government regularly promotes it in public announcements. However, can Macau really have a diversified economy, given its existing dependence on gaming? Arguably, in order to diversify its economy, Macau must establish clear rules and enforced compliance in this sector.

Fiscal consequences of offshore regime revocation
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 11 July 2019

Macau's offshore regime will be revoked on 1 January 2021. While the main reason for establishing an offshore company is to take advantage of an offshore regime, primarily for tax benefits, in light of this impending revocation, such advantages will soon be inapplicable to offshore companies established in Macau.

New rules for companies incorporated under offshore regime
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 25 April 2019

Since 1 November 1999, hundreds of companies have been incorporated under Macau's offshore regime. However, following the Legislative Assembly's recent approval of Law 15/2018, the offshore regime and its associated companies' days are numbered. Until 1 January 2021, some economic activities relating to foreign markets will continue to benefit from the offshore regime, including those performed exclusively by non-resident institutions authorised to operate in Macau.