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China Welcome

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China Welcome

Country File

Political Status
- Geographical Situation- Economy & Statistics
- Industry

Other Sectors
- Population
- Languages
- Religious Affiliation
- Weights, measures & voltage
- Money
- Main towns
- Climate
- Insects & Animals

Working in the country
- Formalities to be completed
- Health & Medecine

- Transport
- Time differences
- Telecommunications
- Airport
- Car Hire
- Hotels, Restaurants
- Information
- Your suitcase
- French Banks in China
- Schools & Education
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- Useful addresses in China

CHINA ( Relocation, International Movers, City Guide news, Aparthotel, Real Estate, Moving, ... )

15 - Working in China
State structures no longer control the totality of recruitments. A major problem is the lack of labour regulations. When laws exist they are easily circumvented. Two main obstacles to working in China are : the total ignorance of how business is practiced in the western world and and the absence of people speaking French or English. The lack of good management staff causes an incredible turnover and an annual hike in salaries of around 30%. "Winning away" personnel trained by other western companies (by offering double or triple the salary) is a national pastime.

Setting up a company, looking for work :
To get in touch with a company, you could contact :
- the commercial councellor in the Embassy
- the Chamber of Commerce overseas
- the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- the local management of external trade
- the professional trade union of companies

There are many difficulties to be faced if you want to go and work in China and set up a company :
- not very many people are competent
- expatriates are expensive and there are hidden costs involving the work force i
- the volatility of the work force
- it is extremely difficult to manage conflictual situations with Chinese partners
- there are problems with intercultural communication and negotiation
- customs duties : on the fiscal level and on the intermediary level. The nomenclature is also quite different in China. The situation varies from one place to another. For example in Canton alone there is already 20,000 customs agents, as it is a regional capital.

A customs' specialist Mr Luc Manneval advises " The golden rule is simple ... do not do anything alone in China. In my opinion you have to stop at the border of the country and let the Chinese intermediaries deal with the operation until the final client has been delivered. Since the 1st April 1996 4,000 products of all kinds, particularly industrial and consumer goods, have had their taxes lowered, some of them have gone down by 30%."

It is rare to find an ideal Chinese manager, competent in the technical field, in languages and management. If a French company does find a competent manager he will have to be offered a high salary with fringe benefits.

To distribute your products in China :
Distribution is not very organized, there are no chains of wholesalers or retailers. Carrefour who have opened their first big store in China offer low priced products and large quantities. Elsewhere numerous sale spaces, windows and shelves are practically empty. Unfortunately commercial rents stay high.
Many western goods are imported but not in a steady enough way, so that a certain product can stay unfindable for several months.

Before trying to sell a product in China, you must ask a few questions :
- does this particular product need permission from the ministry which deals with it (e.g. pharmaceutical products)?
- is this product subjected to a quota?
- is this product subjected to regulations about trademarks and counterfeiting?
- does this product need technical support (e.g. manuals in Chinese)?
- how can overall distribution be done successfully?
- what shops should be chosen?

Sectors which are encouraged :
Article 5 in the regulations encourages foreign investors in the following sectors : energy, transport, prime materials, large scale infrastructural projects (hydraulic, railway lines, airports, power stations, gas pipelines, oil piplines), aeronautic construction, food production industries etc. All investment projects permit the use of natural and human resources in the centre and the west of China.

Protected sectors :
Article 6 defines 4 sectors subjected to restrictions : the watch making industry, bicycles, washing machines, refrigerators, tobacco industry, certain mining ressources.

Forbidden sectors :
Anything concerned with national defence, civil order, public health, public services, artisan work or traditional Chinese techniques.

International relationships :
On 12th January 1994 France and China announced that they were about to "completely normalize their relationship" and France declared that it would not sign any new arms contracts with Taiwan.
You should know that an average urban salary is about 3000 Frs, which is the price of a moped. But 80% of the population live with 900 Frs per household a year, according to the China Daily Economic News.

16 - Formalities to be completed
Getting a visa :
The time it takes depends on the type of visa requested :
- 10 working days for an individual visa
- 5 working days for a group visa

Papers needed to obtain a visa :
To obtain a visa it is necessary to provide the following papers :
1) passport : which must be valid at the time of demand for :
- 6 months for a visa authorizing a single entry
- 9 months for a multi-entry visa valid for 6 months
- 15 months for a multi-entry visa valid for 12 months.
2) Photograph : a demand for a visa must absolutely be accompanied by an identity photo (colour or black and white).
3) Form : a demand for a visa must be made on the official form requesting a visa, carefully filled in on which you must stick the identity photo.

For people who cannot move around, it is possible to designate someone else to complete the formalities.

For people living far away from an embassy, the form can be sent by post if you send a stamped addressed envelope.

However, passports sent by post are not accepted.
4) An invitation letter (except for tourist visas) : all visa demands made by a French citizen must be accompanied by an invitation coming from a competent Chinese official authorized by the Chinese government.
For an individual tourist visa :

The following papers are needed :
- visa or plane ticket to your final destination
- the form for your demand for a visa carefully filled out accompanied by an identity photo
- valid passport.

For a student visa :
Students wishing to continue their studies in China must have a visa. There are two categories of student visa :
For short term studies, less than six months, you need to provide the following papers to get a visa ;

- an official invitation delivered by the Chinese government
- a certificate of school registration or a JW 201 (or 202) form requesting a student visa delivered by the State Commission for Education
- a form requesting a visa which must be correctly filled in and on which you have stuck an identity photo
- a valid passport.

For studies longer than six months the same papers must be provide and additionally you have to give a medical certificate delivered by the Chinese authorities. The documents must be filled in, signed and stamped by the French medical authorities.
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs must guarantee its authenticity, the certificate must then be validated by the consular service of the Chinese Embassy.

To get a group visa :

To get this visa you have to provide the following papers :
- an official invitation delivered by an organization authorized by the Chinese government
- a list of delegates, in 3 copies, which has been provided by China
The lists must be typewritten and not handwritten.
- copies of the delegates passports, which must be numbered in the order of the list.

For children who do not have a passport, the following papers must be provided :
- a form requesting a visa which must be filled out with the name, sex, date of birth of the child and the family relationship
- an identity photo of the parents (or the persons requesting the visa) as well as one of the child
- the passport belonging to the parents in which the child must be registered, as well as the identity photo of the child.

For other professional visas :
-an official invitation delivered by the competent authorities (the Office of Foreign Affairs and the state commissions dealing with economic and commercial issues in the provinces, or certain national companies). The invitation must mention the name of the person invited and the proposed length of stay.
In some cases this invitation can be replaced by a letter from the direction of the company in which the person asking the visa is working.
A medical certificate should accompany this letter (the form has to be asked from the Chinese but it has to be filled out, signed and stamped by the French medical authorities). The authenticity of this certificate must be attested by the French ministry of Foreign Affaires and only after this can it be validated by the consular service of the Chinese Embassy.
- a form requesting a visa correctly filled in
- an identity photo stuck on the form
- a valid passport.

 17 - Health & Medecine
We recommend that you get your vaccinations up to date before leaving for China : tetanos, polio and typhoid, and if you are staying over a long period get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.

There is a risk of malaria.
It is absolutely necessary to have a first aid box with you, with intestinal antiseptics, eye drops, disposable syringes and basic antibiotics. Also take with you any medecines that you use on a regular basis.
Protect yourself against any risks of MST and Aids, the statistics of the disease are not known.


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