The postal system in China is probably one of the cheapest and most efficient in the world. In this article, I am going to give a small description of the different needs, the sending possibilities that exist, and the advantages and disadvantages of each service. Below, you can find the points I am going to cover. [Read more…]
- The pros of opening a company in Singapore
- The cons of opening a company in Singapore
- How to open an Singapore a company without living or even go there
- All the documents you need to register a company in Singapore and the procedure for opening it
- The total cost of registering and maintaining a company in Singapore
- How to open a multi-currencies business bank account in Singapore
- Frequently asked questions
- Get a free quotation from an agency that can help you to set up your Singapore company
Virtual phone numbers – Index
What is a virtual phone number?
A virtual number is a phone number that isn’t associated with any physical phone line: all the incoming calls are redirected to another number (for instance your mobile number)
Why you may need a virtual phone number
Have you ever used a roaming service while you were abroad? I did it when I just arrived in China and I ended up paying a huge amount of money (at the time my family needed to contact me quite frequently and I was often offline). After the first crazy expensive bill I decided to find a solution to this problem. This is how I stumbled upon virtual numbers.
Using a virtual number to redirect calls from a local number in your country to your Chinese mobile number is probably the best option to receive calls in China or wherever you are. It’s cheap and you won’t have to teach your grandma to use Skype!
The Canton Fair is held every six months on the island of Pazhou, at the China Import and Export Fair Complex (380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou).
This is the biggest Commercial Exhibition Fair on the planet. Just to cite a few numbers, in the Autumn edition of 2019, around 60,000 manufacturers (or wholesalers) and 180,000 potential buyers participated.
In this article, you’ll find all you’ll need to plan your trip to the fair.
If you’ve already decided that you want to attend the Canton Fair but you don’t want to worry about organizing your trip, we can suggest a trustworthy travel agency that will do it for you. Click here to contact us.
Canton Fair – Index
- When does the Canton Fair begin?
- How to sign up for the Canton Fair
- Visa for the Canton Fair
- International flights to China
- How to get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai
- Tour to attend the Canton Fair
- Hotels for the Canton Fair
- Health Insurance
- Internet and communications
- Getting around Guangzhou by taxi or metro
- Frequently asked questions
How to Get a Chinese Visa – Index
- How long does it take to get a Chinese Visa?
- Do I need a Chinese Visa?
- How much does a Chinese Visa cost?
- Where can I get a Chinese Visa?
- What are the basic requirements for getting a Chinese Visa?
- Do I have to file my fingerprints to get a visa for China?
- What are the different types of Chinese Visas?
- What information does the invitation letter have to contain?
- What Visas must be converted into a Resident Permit?
- How do I read a Chinese Visa?
- Can I extend/change my Visa once I enter China?
- What happens if I overstay my Visa?
- Frequently asked questions
Top Trade Fairs in Hong Kong – Index
In this article we list some of the top trade fairs in Hong Kong. If you are interested on trade shows based in China (Mainland), you can click here.
HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair
The HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair is one of the biggest electronics fairs in the region. Here, you’ll learn about the latest technology ideas & trends. Thousands of service providers that work with inspection, certification, testing and other related services exhibit at the fair. [Read more…]
Hiring locally in China – Index
One of the first considerations after deciding to establish a new business in China is to hire employees from the local workforce.
Many businesses are hesitant to hire foreign nationals who are not already in China because of the additional steps that must be taken, including obtaining a visa and sponsoring an employee.
There are many reasons a firm would choose to instead hire locally, here the top three:
- Local employees will be more knowledgeable about the current business environment;
- Local employees will also be fluent in Chinese, a big factor when dealing with local partners;
- Local employees will be familiar in local customs and business culture and will advise you in how to avoid common mistakes.
For these reasons and many more, it is convenient to hire a local employee, when possible. In the past, employers were more likely to hire locally due to the lower expectations for a compensation package. Although that was true in the past, the cost of living has risen across the world and specifically in China, where employee wages are also on the rise. It is important to not have these expectations when entering the Chinese market now.
Although the process of hiring a local Chinese employee is much more straightforward than that of hiring a foreign national, there are still many considerations in deciding to go this route.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key considerations when deciding to hire a local employee in China, including:
- What is included in the salary package?
- The mandatory benefits included in the social security system.
Many assume that the best method of entry into China is a Free Trade Zone. This method of entry has been popular in China for several years. Although there are certainly many reasons to consider setting up in a Free Trade Zone, it is always important to analyze the benefits as it would apply to your company. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important topics concerning a Free Trade Zone in China:
Free Trade Zones in China – Index
This article describes the WFOE capital requirements involved when setting-up a Wholly Foreign Owned Entity in China.
Capital Requirements for a WFOE – Index
What is the current WFOE capital requirement regulation in China?
Chinese government reconsidered the WFOE capital requirements in China, which had been hardly restricted. A quick overview of the relevant changes can be found in this article. [Read more…]
Alibaba VS Aliexpress: How to import from China – Index
Do you dream of setting up your own online shop or import business? In both cases, the best way is to begin your research on the internet.
But how to get started?
I asked my friend and business partner Fredrik, who’s been helping Western companies import from China since 2009, to write this article for my website. Here is what he has to say!
Alibaba.com and Aliexpress.com are well known among importing businesses worldwide. Both websites are owned by the Alibaba Group, based in Hangzhou, China. The difference between the two websites can be hard to spot at a first glance, but they have two very different business models with different strengths and weaknesses. This article will help you choose which one to use.
With the spring in Guangzhou comes a rise in temperatures and a rise in visitors to this beautiful metropolis in the South of China. As every spring and autumn, the largest import & export trade fair in the world, the Canton Fair, is taking place.
Over a course of three weeks, fairgoers can look for suppliers and look around. Not only does the Canton Fair provides a wide variety goods from foreign and local businesses, it also provides an influx of visitors seeking the latest products and an opportunity to explore this buzzing city.
It’s widely known that China is the place to come for entrepreneurs and gadget seekers. It may not be so widely known that Guangzhou in fact, is the source for a lot of goods on the market.
So it only makes sense that the Canton Fair would have emerged from this innovative city. Guangzhou is however, more than markets and production; at day’s end, the focus must shift from buying to living.
After a long day of maneuvering through the vastness of Canton Fair, one will be in the mood for perhaps two things: a stiff drink or a nap. The latter should be skipped because the night can offer up some enticing choices that’ll definitely make this business trip pleasurable. It would be a shame to come to China, down to Guangzhou, and not experience a different side of this metropolis. [Read more…]
In the year 2011, I was in China for the first time. I remember that I was traveling with my best friend, and as he was passionate about coffee, he couldn’t hold out and ended up paying more than 40 Yuan for a black coffee at a Chinese hotel.
One year later, in 2012, I went back to China to learn the language. I arrived in Yantai (in the Shandong Province), a small coastal city with a large amount of South Korean and Japanese influence (if you ever go to Yantai, you will most likely try Korean and Japanese food). In Yantai, I saw how people were starting to open up small specialty coffee shops, some of which had coffee from many different places of origin, and how Chinese customers were slowly starting to try the drink.
Since 2013, coffee shops of this type have slowly started to increase in the city and the offering is getting broader, following the Chinese precept of the art of war… Or maybe the art of imitation.
If you head to Amazon.com you’ll find at least twenty books on “doing business in China” and related topics such as “import from China” or “export to Asia”. Also, there are a lot of blogs and websites that focus on the same topic.
The list that you’ll find in this article is far from being complete: I’ll only talk about books and blogs that I read and appreciated. Let’s get started!
My favorite books on doing business with China
The Official Alibaba.com Success Guide
I’ll start with The Official Alibaba.com Success Guide, written by Brad and Debra Schepp, because it’s the most practical book I read, among the ones devoted to the supply chain niche. Alibaba.com is the biggest portal B2B (business to business), among the ones that aim at connecting Asian suppliers with importers that come from any part of the world. In theory, you can also exploit Alibaba.com in order to export your own products; however it’s certainly not the best portal, when it comes down to sell Western products in Asia. [Read more…]
Today I want to give you a news bombshell: living in China means you’ll have to learn to interact with the Chinese.
Well yeah, I know that it might seem to be a given, but you need to know HOW to deal with the Chinese, especially when you have to spend much time with them as office colleagues.
Stepping back in time, at the end of 2012 I’m working in Beijing for an Italian-American company and I’m the only foreigner in the five branches of the north (Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Dalian and Qingdao).
Relationships with colleagues is always a bit difficult, especially when working for the sales department, since the Chinese see everyone as a competitor that could potentially rob them of a client so everyone is out for themselves without involving anybody else. [Read more…]
Today we interview Wei Hsu, Managing Director of INS Global Consulting, a Shanghai-based firm that helps foreign companies and individuals to develop their business in China, handle Visa procedures, payroll management, recruitment and much more.
In this interview, we’ll focus on what you need to know in order to start a business in China.
Wei, first of all, thank you for accepting this interview. If you want to operate in China, you need a legal entity. What is the difference between the most common types of legal entities in China, Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE), Joint-Venture (JV) and Representative Office (RO)?
A WFOE can be owned by foreign parties or offshore companies. It is an independent legal structure that offers a control of operations and a physical presence. You are the sole investor of the company so costs are not shared with your Chinese partner like in a JV. However, as an owner, you are able to choose a business strategy and are responsible for the processing of sales, the local logistics and management of staff.
There is also an important fact to take into consideration: it is not possible to set up a WFOE in every sector. The Foreign Investment Catalogue provided by the Chinese Government lists all restricted sectors as well as those for which investment is encouraged, prohibited or simply permitted.
A JV can exist in two forms: the Equity Joint Venture (EJV) where profits are proportionate to each partner‘s shares and the Cooperative Joint Venture (CJV) where profits are allocated according to the terms of the venture contract. A JV is usually considered with a local company having a complementary commercial and technical know-how. [Read more…]
Do you enjoy beer?
I don’t mean the stuff that was invented because it was safer to drink than water, I mean really good beer! Maybe, you’ve never experienced a beer with such complexity and balance that it should be savored like a fine wine. A beer that needs to “open up” a bit as it settles into the glass, and as you take your first sip you breathe in the aroma of hops and malt.
A beer that, like wine, to fully enjoy it you have to educate yourself a little (or rely on a knowledgeable server) if you are going to find the flavors that tingle your unique palate. If you haven’t yet, then you should, and know that you’re not alone. You can join hundreds of millions of Chinese who have yet to discover craft beer.
Like many places in the world, China has been brewing beer since the beginning of time. Well, at least far enough back to cause a debate. And like other places in the world, it served its purpose then fell out of favor for some other alcoholic beverage. But now China is back on beer, and is the largest beer consuming country on the planet.
Yes, it’s true, when you have a billion plus people you are the largest consumer of many things. But that also means it’s an exciting time for the craft brewers of China. However, only time will tell whether they can follow the same trend as other beer drinking countries like the US, Japan, and the numerous other countries. [Read more…]
In this article we’ll only review hotels close to the China Import and Export Fair Complex (or Canton Fair Complex), which is located in the Pazhou island, Guangzhou. If you’re interested in a hotel in Guangzhou city center or near the airport, click here.
Reviews of Luxury hotels (5 Star) near the Canton Fair Complex
The Shangri-La Hotel is close to the financial district and just a short walk to the International Convention Center, an ideal option for businessmen attending the City’s Fair. There is a business center and several function rooms within the hotel and the 24 hour front desk will arrange transfers to the airport, 30 minutes away. Every room has Wi-Fi and there are plenty of facilities helping guests to relax after a busy day. The fitness center, sauna, indoor and outdoor pools and spa are enticing while those with family will find plenty for children; playground, pool and kid’s club. There are bar, coffee shop and restaurants with a variety of international cuisine. The Shangri-La definitely earns points for its staff and comfort provided even if it is not cheap to stay.
The ancient Chinese proverb “礼尚往来” (lǐ shàng wǎng lái, “courtesy requires reciprocation”) highlights one of the most curious and talked about aspects of Chinese business etiquette. The first character “礼” (lĭ, “courtesy”) expresses a sense of ceremonial observance for the Chinese, while the word “礼物” (lǐwù, “things of courtesy”) is translated as “gift”.
The exchange of gifts has a very important role in business relationships in China. Various online sources, books and manuals recount the value of tradition, explain how to behave and underscore that official politics prohibit the practice (which is considered corruption). In effect, the penal code of the People’s Republic of China (in the art. 164) clearly states: “Whoever gives money or something else to an agent of an organization, firm or other entity to obtain undue advantage, is punished…”. It is here however that doubts are raised.
How can you give a gift? What distinguishes it from simple corruption? And above all why is it so important in Chinese business relationships? To respond to these questions, we have to take a few steps back. [Read more…]
Have you ever been at a point in your job/career when you thought, “I wish I could reinvent myself,” or “restart my career on a different path”? What if I told you I knew of a place where a construction worker became a director of marketing, a sales manager became a journalist, a real estate opportunist started a school, a student became a university economics teacher, and a graphic designer became a CEO (if only for one night).
Such are the opportunities of an emerging market like the big cities of China. But, before you quit your job and throw yourself a going away party, just remember the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
If you have read a newspaper sometime in the past ten years, you may have heard China is quickly becoming the financial center of the world. Obviously, opening a market of this size creates many opportunities. And although we are talking about a 5,000 year-old culture, China only “re-opened” its doors to the business world a mere 35 years ago. This creates an interesting relationship between a very proud nationalist people and what they literally refer to as “outsiders”, or the rest of us non-Chinese folks. [Read more…]