China will ease restrictions on overseas investments by local firms and deals below $1 billion will no longer need approval, the country's economic planner said in another step to cut red-tape and facilitate the growth of private investment.
Starting from May 8, Chinese firms planning to invest less than $1 billion will only need to register with authorities rather than seek approvals from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the commission said in a statement late on Thursday.
Read More China consumer prices up 2.4% in March
In a series of sweeping reforms published in November, China promised to free up the market by simplifying administrative controls and to restrict central government management of microeconomic issues.
Lengthy approval times, which can take up to six months, have dented the competitive edge of privately-owned Chinese firms in their overseas acquisitions, since other foreign companies can adjust to changes in economic conditions at a much quicker pace, analysts have said.