Beijing has suspended issuing business licenses to new companies using a virtual address in their filing, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The new rule has come into force across several districts in the Chinese capital, including Chaoyang, Fengtai, and Haidian where the branch bureaus of the Administration for Industry and Commerce have stopped accepting business registration applications using addresses of spaces like a co-working office or incubator. No official announcement has been made.

China’s co-working market is booming under the authority’s vision for an innovation-driven economy. Zhang Peng, Chief Strategy Officer of co-working unicorn URWork, said in September that 3% of Beijing office space is now made up of co-working hubs. Foreign players also want a slice of the big pie; American unicorn WeWork is in full force with China expansion.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.