PUBLICATIONS

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COVID travel restrictions ease for foreigners coming to China

With over one billion people vaccinated, life is slowly returning to normal in China. Though foreign travel to China has been discouraged to prevent the spread of any new COVID-19 strain, there are exceptions and visa protocols for those who need to enter the country.
 

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Court ends “996” and marks a shift in China’s overtime work culture

The “996 work culture” in China, a practice where employees work from 9am to 9pm six days a week, will no longer be accepted. The country’s supreme court ruled it as illegal, ending the excessive working hours.

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Shanghai cancels assessment method for corporate income tax

The long-standing ‘levying upon assessment’ method for corporate income tax (CIT) was cancelled by the Shanghai tax bureau, after months of speculation. Effective from August 1, 2021, the new measure requires companies to do a more thorough audit of its accounts and special value-added tax invoices (‘VAT fapiao) to work out its taxable income.

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Personal Information Protection Law will have big impact on business in China

The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), along with the Data Security Law and the Cybersecurity Law, will have a significant impact on business operations in China. Foreign companies should familiarize themselves with these new regulations, effective from November 1, 2021, to be compliant and update the functionalities of their existing IT systems.

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Data Security Law works with Cybersecurity Law to expand protection on data

China’s fast growing digital economy is behind a series of new regulations aimed to protect personal information and prevent businesses from using unauthorized data. The Data Security Law contains provisions that cover the usage, collection, and protection of data, and stablishes fines and even suspension for violations, expanding the scope of the existing Cybersecurity Law.

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China simplifies filing for outbound remittances, cancels Local Tax Surcharges on top of VAT and CT

Foreign investors in China are no longer required to present a separate tax record filing for each outbound remittance as long as they are under the same contract, according to a regulation update announced recently by the tax authorities.

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Electronic labor contracts are biding in China and more efficient

Electronic labor contracts are not only more economic but help reduce paperwork and increase efficiency. In China, since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to minimize interaction and made it difficult to sign a paper contract, the Chinese government confirmed the legitimacy of these type of documents.

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Foreign companies should review changes in Stamp Duty Law in China

The Chinese authorities officially announced the Stamp Duty (SD) Law, which will become effective on July 1st, 2022 and replace the prevailing SD Provisional Regulations. Foreign investors unfamiliar with China’s stamp duty should be aware of it to avoid penalties or late payments.

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Volatility and uncertainty of markets drive foreign companies to do JVs in China

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties regarding the future economic relations between China and the United States have driven foreign companies to do joint ventures (JV) with Chinese partners to share the risk. When done right, these joint ventures can be a good way to share risk. But when done wrong, they increase the risk, especially for the non-Chinese company.
 

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Latest guidelines for Pudong New Area aim to attract foreign investment

The Pudong New Area, located in eastern Shanghai, has become in the past three decades one of the most vibrant and highly developed areas in China. Recently, a new set of guidelines was announced by the government containing key policy incentives to attract foreign investment and revamp several industries, such as finance and health care.

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Foreigners in Shanghai may soon have to contribute to social insurance

A few hundred thousand foreign professionals call Shanghai home. Attracted by the city’s international profile and cosmopolitan character, many arrive to this place to live and work. Unlike other major cities in China, until August 2021, expats were not required to make contributions to the local security insurance system. However, this may soon change.

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How will Individual Income Tax Law changes affect foreigners in China

Many foreign professionals living and working in China are concern on how the changes to the Individual Income Tax Law (IIT) will affect their earnings. Beginning on January 1, 2022, the preferential IIT policies offered to foreigners for almost three decades will come to an end.

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Hainan attracts foreign investment through innovative policies - Part 2

The 35,400-square-km Hainan Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is 27 times the size of the other such areas on the mainland. It is 49 times the size of Singapore and nine times that of Dubai. To attract big companies to set up their headquarters in Hainan, the local government has designated the 298-square-km Jiangdong New District in Haikou, the city capital, a business area.

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The Island of Hainan opens to the world with exciting investment opportunities - Part 1

The island-province of Hainan, considered one of China’s most beautiful and bustling special economic zones (SEZ), undoubtedly demonstrates the Chinese government’s determination to open wider to the outside world, promote economic globalization and enhance the confidence of investors, especially foreign ones.

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Business Investment opportunities in the GBA

Despite the global COVID-19 economic crisis and the ongoing trade tensions with the United States, China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) continues to grow and offer interesting business investment opportunities for foreign companies and professionals.

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Opportunities and challenges in the GBA

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), with its massive size and economic potential, will create unprecedented opportunities for a wide range for industries and sectors. However, despite the significant business opportunities, the GBA also faces challenges and uncertainties.

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The GBA as a Leading Manufacturing and Sourcing Hub

By 2035, The Greater Bay Area, or GBA, will transform into a globally competitive, connected, and innovative mega-region, representing China’s next wave of innovation, economic development, and market reform. As this progress becomes a reality, there are numerous opportunities for foreign investors in key areas, especially manufacturing, sourcing, and financial services.

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Greater Bay Area (GBA) legal system faces challenges but offers interesting opportunities

China’s Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the GBA) is a national initiative aimed at creating the country’s most open and economically prosperous region. It is composed of the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao and nine municipalities in Guangdong Province. In judicial practice, the GBA faces the challenges of “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions”. The economic integration of the GBA initiative will be limited by the existence of three distinctive legal systems and capital account regimes.  

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GBA: Hong Kong and its key role as Financial Services and Securities Investment center

Hong Kong, with its low, simple and limited tax, its open capital/forex market, and proximity to the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and China continues to offer clear advantages and opportunities for foreign companies. Currently Hong Kong is being absorbed into the Greater Bay Area (GBA), which will help the city redevelop and reposition itself as a key financial player in the region. The GBA would be the world’s 12th largest economy if taken as a single bloc, including 11 cities with a combined population of 72 million and an economy worth about US$1.7 trillion. 

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Four tips for motivating your China sales staff

Motivated employees are the most precious asset of any company. Here are some tips for keeping your staff passionate about the work they are doing in China. When it comes to sustained success in sales, employee motivation counts as one of the crucial factors. If your sales staff enjoys the job, they'll perform better. Staff satisfaction will also directly reflect on company revenue as they are the ones making deals with customers.
 

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Look beyond the resume - How to find the right fit for your China company

Keep an eye out for more than skills and experience in prospective employees and you might end up with a perfect team. When hiring, looking at candidate resumes can help you get a broad picture of their work history and essential details. But due to their very nature, resumes can exaggerate and hide important information, especially in China. If you want to learn about a candidate and get the relevant information, there are several methods to do just that. 

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Why every company should have a mentor when going into China

Every entrepreneur and business leader in China could use a mentor at any and every stage of their career. Discover why having a good one can be so important for your China business. Even experienced business persons can say that they have had a mentor at least once in their lives. After all, there is always someone who has been there and done that, someone who has faced the same challenges and came away better. And everyone can learn from such people. Convinced yet? Find out why a mentor might really help you as an entrepreneur.

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7 Most Common Money Mistakes for Startups in China to Avoid

Smart financial management is essential for any business in China, no matter how big or small. However, it can be difficult to get things right, especially during the startup stage. Poor financial planning is one of the most common reasons that China startups fail, so the sooner you take ownership of your business’ financial health, the better. Dealing with your finances head-on from the get-go is the best way to set yourself up for lasting success. Careful planning can help you to avoid common money mistakes and shows potential investors that you are serious. Here are the most common financial mistakes that startups make and how to avoid them. 

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How to Set Up and Maintain a Budget for Your China Startup 

Creating and following a realistic budget for your China startup is essential. In fact, it can even determine whether your business makes it out of the gates. A budget shows you how much money you will need to make in order to break even and highlights what you can and cannot afford. It also helps you to forecast and manage your cash flow, which is essential to keep your China company in good financial health. Budgeting can be a daunting task but this guide is here to make it easy by breaking it down into four simple steps. 

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How to Write a Comprehensive Business Plan for China

Are you planning a new business in China or thinking about pivoting your existing one in China? Spice up your business plan to start on the right foot. Having a detailed business plan is critical to any China venture. It helps you understand your goals and keeps you focused on what to do. At the same time, it can help secure vital investments for growing your business. Here’s an outline that may be of help if you need to create one for your business.

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Superpower 9: The importance of having the ability to focus on what is critical for your China business

You have come a long way since you decided to launch your business in China. Your education, research and due diligence have paid off and your company is on the right track. At this point, the big question you should ask yourself is: are you focusing on your strategy and growth plan? Superpower 9 will enable you to look at the future and longevity of your company. Once you have implemented the necessary operational systems and protected your firm’s assets, focusing on the critical aspects of your business will help you overcome obstacles and be prepared to make the right decisions.

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Superpower 8: The importance of analyzing your China business

At this point you have invested in a sophisticated accounting system for your China business and developed a mechanism to keep organized. But do you really know what those numbers mean and how can they affect your business moving forward? In China, markets move fast, regulations change unannounced and business opportunities come and go quickly. For this reason, the better you understand your numbers and what they mean to your business, the better you will be equipped to make fast, smart decisions.

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Superpower 7: The importance of having transparent numbers for your China business

So far you have done all the necessary things to launch your business in China. You have educated yourself about the market, done your research, developed an ecosystem and created a strong strategic plan. Your next Superpower requires a significant level of detail. At this point, your company is standing on solid ground. But only the transparency of your numbers will tell you if your business has a promising future in China.

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Superpower 6: The importance of creating and executing system processes and operational guidelines

Many foreign professionals, excited with the ample opportunities offered by the Chinese market, rush to launch their companies and later find themselves spending more time and money fixing administrative functions rather than focusing on the growth of their business.

Superpower 6 is about the importance of creating and executing system processes and operational guidelines to avoid fraud and costly mistakes, as well as to build your business on solid ground.

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China Superpower 5: The importance of protecting your most valuable company assets

Superpower number five is all about protection. Fraud exists in China as much as it does in the rest of the  world. Evaluating your most valuable assets and developing a system to protect them is key to the longevity and success of your business.

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China Superpower 4: The importance of developing an empowering ecosystem in China

You worked hard to get educated, you did the necessary research to identify the market opportunities in China that will benefit your company and you were able to write down your vision, in the form of a budget and business plan. Everything is moving in the right direction, but you can’t do it alone. Superpower 4 is all about the importance of developing an empowering ecosystem in China.

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China Superpower 3: The importance of putting pen to paper and writing your China strategy

Education and research will give you a solid base of knowledge to identify the market opportunities in China that will benefit your business. Once you are equipped with the correct information and tools, your next step will be superpower 3: designing your strategy. You may have dozens of good ideas, but they won’t become a reality until you put them down on paper. Now that you have the knowledge and data necessary to move forward, it is time to put your vision in writing.

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China Superpower 2: The importance of having data at your fingertips through research in China

Once you have acquired your first superpower, which is educating yourself on the market opportunities in China that will benefit your business, it is time to move on to the next superpower: research. If you want your business to succeed in China, you will need a significant amount of research at your disposal, readably available. This will help you make decisions swiftly and effectively in a market that is constantly growing and changing.

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China Superpower 1: The importance of educating yourself on doing business in China

If you want your business to succeed in China, you will need more than just good intuition. The Chinese market is evolving and changing rapidly and in order to reach the necessary milestones to establish and run a business successfully, there are nine superpowers you should master first.

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How to create your own China roadmap

The best way to reach your destination is to know where you are going and how to get there. The same philosophy can be applied in the business world. Navigating the complex roads of the Chinese market takes more than just good intuition, it takes an effective roadmap.

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Developing your Direct Import Program from Asia
using Hong Kong

If you are sourcing or buying from Asia and selling your products to large customers in your home country or third-party destinations, then the Direct Import Program can help you achieve greater competitiveness and efficiency. The program enables you to centralize your sourcing function in Asia, thereby giving you greater control of the quality standards of your products and create savings from economies of scale.

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Tips to vet a Chinese partner

When it comes to choosing a business partner in China, due diligence is a must. This is probably one of the most important things you will do before setting up a running business in the country. A local partner with good standing will surely be of great help to you, while a bad one could ruin your reputation.

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The correct Incoterm can lower transportation costs for your China business

The use of Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) is meant to minimize or eliminate the confusion arising from the interpretation of the trade rules in different countries. Foreign companies importing goods from China must understand the proper use of these terms to avoid complications and lower their transportation costs.

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Advantages and disadvantages of partnering with a distributor for your China business

The Chinese market offers incredible business opportunities but going at it alone can turn out to be a difficult enterprise.  However, utilizing an infrastructure and logistical know how that already exists in your target market may prove to be more of a time and cost-efficient strategy. This is where distributors come to play. 

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Understanding the Harmonized System (HS) for your import-export China Business

A growing number of foreign companies is looking to start or increase their import-export business in China. Classifying and declaring goods accurately according to China’s version of the Harmonized System (HS) is a key component of a successful operation.

In the past few years, international companies have had to pay more attention to the classification of their products in China to avoid criminal or civil penalties. The misclassification of goods can turn out to be a very costly mistake.

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Foreign investment in China, risks and rewards

As one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world, China offers unique opportunities for foreign investors. As appealing as this idea may be, you may find yourself wondering about the

difficulties of understanding a business culture with its own set of rules and the risks of investing in a highly regulated market.

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Maintaining Good Standing Status is crucial for your China Business Compliance

As a foreign professional planning on starting a business in China, it is critical that your corporation maintains a good standing status in its place of origin. The Chinese government will require a Certificate of Good Standing from you before letting you register your company in the country. Maintaining this status is fundamental for the future success of your business.

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Benefits of using a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) for your China business

As a new foreign business owner in China, you might be spending more money than you intended on research to understand the Chinese market better.  Investing in a corporate structure in China may seem out of the question for the moment, therefore you need to look for low-cost options to manage a small team of people while focusing on developing your business.

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Pros and Cons of switching accounting service providers in China

As a foreign company doing business in China, it is fundamental to have an trustworthy accountant who can not only help you with your financial decision making needs, but most importantly will guide you efficiently through the complicated Chinese tax and legal system.

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Top 5 reasons Why WeChat is crucial for your China business

With more than 900 million active users, WeChat has changed the way people in China live their daily lives.  What began as an application to send messages similar to WhatsApp, has since morphed into a multidimensional platform that offers its members a simple yet highly effective way to take care of most of their everyday needs, from paying bills to transfer money, get news and manage personal finances, among many others.

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Foreign Investment Law -  key points that all foreign investors should know

On January 1, 2020, the new Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China went into effect. This represents a new era for China’s legal framework surrounding foreign investment. The new FIL replaces the Law on Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises, the Law on Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, and the Law on Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Ventures (the three previous foreign investment laws).

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