The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued an airworthiness directive outlining the modifications that must be made to all B737 MAX registered in the country before they can be allowed to resume commercial operations.

China maintains a separate ban on the type's operations in its airspace and has not signalled any changes there as yet. The regulator did not respond to Reuters' questions about its next steps, although Boeing welcomed the directive as "an important milestone".

CAAC ordered all Chinese B737 MAX operators to update their aircraft's software in line with Boeing's changes, fix wire routing near the horizontal stabilisers, install appropriate stick shaker circuit breakers, and revise manuals to reflect updated procedures.

Despite being a major MAX customer, China remains the last major jurisdiction in which the type has remained grounded since it first sanctioned it in March 2019. The ch-aviation fleets module shows that 97 out of 628 delivered B737 MAX are operated by Chinese airlines: 9 Air, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Fuzhou Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Kunming Airlines, Lucky Air (China), Okay Airways, Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines.