Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs face a 100% tax on signings as their mid-season transfer window opens on Monday.
The country’s Football Association (CFA) is proposing the measure for loss-making clubs in order to try to curb the league’s extravagant spending.
Chinese clubs spent £331m during the country’s winter transfer window, which was more than their English Premier League counterparts in January.
The proceeds from the tax would go into a government-run fund.
If enforced, the measure would in effect double the fee for any player.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Chelsea striker Diego Costa are among the high-profile players to be linked with the CSL, with the transfer window open until 14 July.
In the last transfer window, Shanghai SIPG bought Brazil international Oscar for £60m from Chelsea, while Shanghai Shenhua spent £40m on Carlos Tevez. The Argentina striker signed a deal worth a reported £310,000 a week.
At the time, a spokesperson for China’s General Administration of Sport said clubs in the country were “burning money”.
Limits on the number foreign players in squads were put in place for the current season, which runs from March to November. Only three non-Chinese players can now be fielded in a fixture in a move the CFA hoped would tackle “irrational” spending.
Costa was a target for Tianjin Quanjian but the club’s owner, Shu Yuhui, said in January that a bid to sign the forward had been scuppered by new CSL rules limiting the number of foreign players.
In each game next year, clubs will also have to field as many Chinese under-23 players as overseas players.