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CPA Guide to how things really work in China

To all those CPA's out there that are looking for a Tax Analects front book jacket 24 December 2008.jpggood source of information on how things really work on the street in China, you should find a copy of this new book by a gentleman named Larry Lipsher.  A website has been established at where you can order one.  There are also copies available in many locations in Hong Kong.

What is this all about?  Well, in our experience, part of what will help you and your client succeed here is to know what you are up against, what you should fight about and what you might just have to learn to live with.

China is a predictable environment if you learn to read the bureaucratic geography and this book will help you identify where the high ground should be and where the bogs and swamps are.

Picking your battles in China; a street sweeping snapshot

street_sweeper.jpgIn the context of taking care of our clients here in China, we have often tried to express the idea of picking your battles when deciding what to fight about and what to just recognize as being part of the environment here that is probably not going to change.

Now, this is a very dynamic envoriment and is still rapidly growing although some Chinese are rather dissapointed at a mere 8% growth this year after so many years of double digit growth. But that still stacks up a lot better than much of the rest of the world.

But some things are not part of that dynamic change and no matter what we think, they are probably not going to change anytime soon.  And we can not really say whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.  It is, after all, their country.  After close to a decade of living here, I had another reminder of that this morning. 

On my walk to work this morning, I stopped at a cross walk to watch a street sweeper that did not. 

What does ‘international counselors’ mean?

Often discussed in a face-to-face meeting in our Shekou office, there is generally a primary ‘short form legal opinion’ process that we start with when undertaking acquisition or existing entity restructuring works for our clients.  These tend to be several hundred pages long and are based on a month or two of specific and detail oriented work among ourselves your Board, CEO, CFO, legal counsel, marketing, human resources and other essential personnel divisions as you see fit.

Regarding Foreign Investment in Materials Processing Factories, A Middle Way

In late August 2008 the General Office of the Shenzhen Municipal Government issued File No. 91 Opinions Regarding Foreign Investment in Materials Processing Factories in Shenzhen and Their Continued Operations.  That document embodies a Central Government assignment of authority to each local Special Economic Zone to draft and coordinate a workable solution to keep those foreign investments here in China, while also recognizing the changes in Chinese law that we all have to remain in compliance with.
The good part of that new set of guidelines is that foreign investors are now legally permitted to continue to run a Materials Processing Factory (also known as an “APC”) and also to establish a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (“WFOE”) operation in the same physical location for a transition period. 

Business opportunities on China's mainland abound, but be prepared for truly foreign laws. CORPORATE COUNSEL Magazine

CORPORATE COUNSEL Magazine, New York. October 2004.

Business opportunities on China's mainland abound, but be prepared for truly foreign laws.

       In the three years since China joined the World Trade Organization, much has been written about new business opportunities "on the mainland." But setting up shop in China isn't as easy as it sounds. Companies wanting to sell or manufacture products here must understand that the legal environment in China is unlike any other in the world. All investors -- whether foreign or native -- must jump through a series of statutory "flaming hoops."

The Recorder, San Francisco, California, Scaling The Great Wall - A Look on the Other Side, 14 July 2004

While it is not possible to itemize every element of a successful foreign investment in Mainland China in a few thousand words --- based on responses from our last submission to this publication, we wanted to provide a compass rose for those considering a journey here. Any useful map will show the user North-South-East-West in the compass rose.
In the United States, this means the compass rose will show you North. The transliteration of the word compass in Mandarin Chinese is needle-point-south. Here, we'd like to point out a few items to help keep the map from being looked at upside down.
All gibberish in the media aside, there are still really only three primary foreign investment options here for 95% of inbound capital: a Representative Office, a Wholly Foreign Owned Entity ("WOFE") and a Joint Venture ("JV").

Applying a Chinese Approach when coming to China. This article is the first of a series printed in San Francisco in 2004

 This Article first appeared in the April 14, 04 issue of The Recorder.
       "Yes, your idea would conform to the technical requirements of Chinese law, but we would advise against it...."
       The client rose, thanked us for our time and excused himself so he could report back to the home office in Palo Alto. He was relieved, contented and almost smug. The Hong Kong based Asia VP for a Silicon Valley high tech company was going to be able do things in China the way he wanted and was not going to violate Chinese law. Several times a month this happens. A potential client approaches us to ensure their business plans; choices and preferences for doing things in China are not going to run afoul of local legislation.

Wind power in Inner Mongolia, By: Ella Xu


Many foreigners still think China is a Bicycle Kingdom because of the old rooted idea and negative propagandize from foreign medias. But we may use some truth to change it now.

Everyone knows Inner Mongolia is the most undeveloped region inside China and most of the local residence are herdsmen. Their main income is from cows and sheep they raise. Before 90s of last century, it will be a completely dark area after the sun runs to another side of the earth. The Chinese Government decided to make a strategic plan to change that situation and help local people to enjoy happier life with electricity.

We're back...

Some years ago, this blog was out there in the world.  We were posting updates to Chinese law, lots of things that we found in the media here that there was no realistic way you could find out there, etc.

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