China is one of the world’s largest economies. With its growing middle class and its consumption needs, as well as unparalleled manufacturing capabilities, China has grown to a scale that is largely uncontested. As Chinese companies such as Alibaba , Didi Daiche and Tencent lead the fray, China’s tech and ecommerce industry is also experiencing a renaissance amidst a heavily regulated climate.
Benefits of Setting Up An Office in China
- Investment / Free Zone Zones ( FTZ )
China has various different types of investment zones, which all different types of advantages for investors. Some of these advantages might include tax breaks or tax refunds. From 2015, additional to Shanghai , 3 more FTZ in Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian have been set up. This is to encourage more local and foreign enterprises to set up businesses in these zones.
- Fertile Market
Despite already being an economic superpower, China still remains a relatively untapped market with great potential especially with a fast growing middle class. Businesses can seek to carve new niches in this untapped market. China has a low internet penetration rate compared to most developed nations. China internet users totalled 731 million as of Dec 2016, an addition of 42.99 million from Dec 2015. Internet penetration rate reached 53.2%, up 2.9 percentage points from 2015. Therefore there remains a huge market to tap on especially in the Tech and online arena.
Large Amount Of Local & Foreign Talent
The fact that China is home to one of the world’s largest populations also means that you have a wide pool of skilled hires to choose from. There are more Chinese that received Western education and technological know how now. The Government is also trying to improve the process for skilled foreigners to obtain the relevant work passes and permanent residency.
Factors to consider when setting up an office in China
Most of the more developed cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, have their own mass rapid transit railway lines for commuters. Bus services are also relatively common. For many Chinese residents though, transport is better achieved through personal means, such as bicycles or motorbikes.
Here are some of the more popular cities where one can set up their offices.
Beijing is the capital of China, and serves as a centre for commercial, political and cultural exchange in China. It is one of four autonomous municipalities in China, allowing it to enjoy economic and administrative autonomy. Beijing’s service sector, which consists of industries such as financial services and information technology services, account for nearly 80% of the city’s GDP in 2013. Its also the home city of Zhongguancun, China’s silicon valley, where top venture capitalists and tech talents gather in China.
Guangzhou, or Canton is the capital city of Guangdong province, the largest economy in mainland China. It contains Guangzhou Port, which is the third-largest container port in China. Guangzhou’s main industries are automobiles, petrochemicals and electronics.
Shanghai is home to Mainland China’s financial centre. Like Beijing, it is an autonomous municipality, which means it enjoys economic and administrative autonomy. 60% of Shanghai’s GDP in 2013 was attributed to its service industries, which consisted mainly of financial services, retail and wholesale and real estate. Its most prominent financial zone, Lujiazui , attracted a huge number of local and foreign enterprises due to its Free Trade Zone status.
Shenzhen is the first Special Economic Zone that was established in China, and has been a symbol of China’s opening-up policy since then. It is one of richest cities in China and houses the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which focuses on small and medium-sized companies, unlike its counterpart in Shanghai, which focuses more on larger state owned companies. It has also in recent years been transformed into a hotbed of technological innovations. With the presence of several tech heavyweights such as Foxconn and Tencent and a very vibrant tech ecosystem of talent and investors, its bound to be the next up coming business hub in Asia.
- Bilingual Service Staff
It is important that the service staff at your office are able to communicate effectively in both Mandarin as well as English, if you are a foreign company setting up in China. This is vital not just for creating a strong and professional image, but also for daily business activities. Serviced and co-working offices are well equipped to handle this and also do away with the hassle of outfitting and maintaining the offices.
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