The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has announced new rules to govern the use of foreign and young players in local professional leagues.
The changes were announced at an off-season meeting of the governing body in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province on Friday.
They stipulate that at no time should the number of foreign players on the pitch exceed local players under the age of 23.
This is in an effort to see the country's youth players improve, officials say. There is no rule stating how long the youngsters must play.
As for the top Chinese Super League (CSL), the total number of foreigners on the pitch cannot go beyond three. In the lower League one, the number of imported players cannot be more than two.
During the Chinese FA Cup, if teams from different tiers meet, the rules used by the lower-tier side will be used.
CFA Vice President Li Yuyi said, "The Chinese Super League should be stable in its development. The CSL has improved because of U-23 players on the pitch. A symbol of maturity is the stability of this policy. We do not introduce policies easily. We will try our best to unite the football market, clubs and participants to protect the policy to ensure equality for everyone."