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China allows visa-free entry to citizens from 12 new countries

December 2023

As China seeks to revitalize its tourism industry following the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning has announced a temporary visa-free access in China for citizens of twelve countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria and Malaysia.

This new policy started on December 1st, 2023 and will last until November 30, 2024. Until then, passport holders from these countries will be allowed to enter China for business, tourism, family visits, or transits for up to 15 days without a visa.

China's commitment to global openness

This decision coincides with China’s attempts to improve its standing internationally and strengthen its relations with Western countries, as international relations have been strained over some issues including COVID-19. The visa exemption policy is expected to boost tourism and economic exchanges between China and the six countries involved. German Ambassador to China Patricia Flor expressed hope that the policy would be extended to all EU member states.

China has gradually been easing its travel restrictions in recent months. The country abolished all COVID-19 testing requirements for inbound travelers last August and resumed 15-day visa-free entry for citizens of Singapore and Brunei last July. International flights to and from China are gradually recovering, with passenger flights expected to reach 71% of the total four years ago. The European Chamber of Commerce in China welcomed the visa exemption, stating that it would “help boost business confidence”.

Facilitating cross-border ventures

China’s visa-free access is particularly significant for business travelers seeking to explore and engage with the Chinese market. Entrepreneurs, investors and professionals are now free to cross Chinese borders without the logistical complexities of visa applications. However, it is required to be well-informed about the practical aspects of this initiative. Travelers must ensure that their passports meets the validity requirements and that they adhere to the stipulated duration of stay.

In addition, they have to understand the specific conditions for visa free entry in China, such as the purpose of travel and the necessity for pre-authorization in some cases. Business travelers are encouraged to leverage this opportunity by planning their ventures in alignment with the policy. This may involve scheduling business meetings, conferences or market exploration activities within the stipulated timeframe, maximizing the benefits of this unique policy.

Want to learn more about doing business in China?

If you are interested in reading more articles about doing business in China, check out our article about China’s booming industries.

HASLER Group

ALTIOS supports HASLER China in recruitment services throughout their long-term relationship

HASLER Group and ALTIOS have been working together for several years and ALTIOS has provided us with various services including recruitment, payroll hosting in several countries. For the Chinese market particularly, we have a recent yet sustainable relationship with a keen understanding of the needs and we appreciate the approach ALTIOS has on the Chinese market.

Romuald Collaudin
General Manager, HASLER Shanghai
Challenge
  • China is a prior market for HASLER Group, which has long been focused on building long-term relationships with the right customers and partners to build sustainable growth, and is now focusing on accelerating its development in the coming years.
  • To meet its objectives, HASLER Group is prioritizing the recruitment and retention of top talents that will help the company in developing its business activities and opening new sales channels in mainland China. HASLER Group is interested in acquiring profiles that already have a strong experience in respective industries and that can autonomously activate their existing networks as soon as they join the company to create short-term and long-term wins.
Solution
  • HASLER Group and ALTIOS have been working together for several years and ALTIOS provided HASLER Group with various services including recruitment in several countries. On the Chinese market particularly, HASLER Group & ALTIOS local teams have a sustainable relationship. ALTIOS has a keen understanding of HASLER’s needs and HASLER Group appreciates their approach to the Chinese complex market.

  • With both expertise in recruitment & business development, and dedicated recruiter based in Shanghai, ALTIOS has made it very efficient to identify, approach, and select profiles that match HASLER Group current and future needs.
  • ALTIOS & HASLER Group worked together to define a mission and its associated “job description” that answered HASLER’s business needs but also attracted the right talents interested in joining a fast-growing company in China.
Results
  • Through careful approach and follow-up, ALTIOS has been capable of securing two business developers that are currently helping HASLER Group in growing its revenue in China.

Want to know more about HASLER’s experience and its international development?

Zoe Zhu, VP – ALTIOS China, recently talked to Romuald
Collaudin, the General Manager of HASLER Shanghai, about the success story of HASLER Group.

Discover more on HASLER Group

Company Profile

Headquarters: Nanterre, France

Turnover:32 M

Sector: Industrial machinery/equipment manufacturer

Expertise: Dosing, mixing, filtering and kneading equipment for industries using continuous production processes: cement, fertilisers, mining and metals, fine and speciality chemicals, etc.

2 production sites: Mêle-sur-Sarthe (France), Shanghai (China)

Hasler’s brands:
Dosing: HASLER®
Agitation: LUMPP®
Filtration: AOUSTIN® Table Filter, Filtres PHILIPPE®, Filtres VERNAY®
Kneading: AOUSTIN® Continuous kneader, Malaxeurs GUITTARD®, NOVAMIX®

success story hasler altios

Hong Kong Bouncing Back

Local Insight HK

January 2023

After 3 years of pandemic restrictions and economic stagnation, Hong Kong and China are expected to fully open their borders in the beginning of 2023. Preparations are being made to reopen as Beijing is eager to bring back social and economic stability.

Foreign companies should be preparing to seize the opportunities which comes with opening up, as Hong Kong is back in action after the long pandemic.

Hong Kong, special administrative region of Republic of China, is under “One country, Two system” policy, which lets Hong Kong have its own currency, political and legal systems. As the core of innovation in Asia, the region is also a center of commerce, trade, and finance in the continent.

Hong Kong is a focal point of the generation of Intellectual Property (“IP”). It is also the focus for the trading in IP, including technology transfer, licensing, franchising, merchandising and copyright trading.

Business Facts to consider:

  1. Unique Trade Access: Hong Kong has tied Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 20 economies around the world. There are 0 duties on goods originating from Hong Kong, in the coming years.
  1. International Hub – The region’s strategic position makes it a great location for international trade and travel. It’s at a 4-hour-flight to major Asian cities: 3h40 from Seoul, and 4h from Tokyo.
  1. No custom duties on imported goods – Hong Kong is an unique logistic center in Asia.
  1. Low cost of business operations for international companies – Companies looking to invest or expand in Hong Kong, will incur no VAT, no taxation on dividend (compared to 10-20% in China ).

Some numbers to keep in mind:

  • GDP: $341
  • GDP growth: 3.8%
  • GDP per Capita: $46,200
  • Trade Balance: 4.3%
  • Population: 7.2 Million
  • Unemployment: 3.1%
  • Inflation: 1.5%

Hong Kong: A Gateway to Mainland China

Here’s two reasons why companies who plan to reach China should use Hong Kong as a bridge to achieve their goal:

  1. GBA (Greater Bay Area): with an economic integration of 11 most dynamic cities in Canton province, Hong Kong ensures its role of finance & international business center, connecting GBA to the rest of the world.
  2. Free Movement of Goods, Talent, and Capital: in 2022, GBA’s population was over 86 million, compared to Germany’s 83 million, and the U.K.’s 67 million. As for its economic power, Hong Kong’s GDP in 2020 was USD 1,958.14 billion (less than 10% of total China GDP).

Post-COVID: Business opportunities in Hong Kong

After the COVID-19 restrictions, international companies looking to invest or expand in Hong Kong may feel discourage to do. However, there are numerous reasons to consider this promising market in 2023:

  • Honk Kong is known as a center for innovation and technology.
  • Start-ups and R&D centers can benefit from Honk Kong’s active Corporate Finance industry and supportive policy.
  • It is also considered a regional center for intellectual property (IP) trading.
  • Thanks to its legal system, Hong Kong is the 3rd best arbitration institution in the world, right after London and Paris.

Rediscovering success in Hong Kong & China

Companies looking to recapture the market China must understand the stakes, and the direction that would lead them to success. Some main points to know include:

A State of Law

China will reinforce its legal environment. Governing China by law has been the trend since years, which shows the determination from the Central Government to create an arbitration with more fairness & justice.

Foreign companies in China may be treated the same way as Chinese local companies, making it easier for them to understand and operate locally.

Doing in it the Chinese Way

The closure of the borders for almost 3 years has raised patriotic sentiment among Chinese consumers. Geopolitical influence has split the world, resulting in Chinese companies being more competitive on the local market.

To take advantage of the market, foreign companies need to adapt their products and services to the Chinese local market.

Trade and investment liberalization” VS. “Increased self-reliance”

To companies that plan to invest in China, this approach may seem contradictory, give China’s self-reliant position. However, upcoming legislation will undoubtedly be much more favorable for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). China plans to create a “world-class business environment while adapting to a stronger CCP influence”.

Particularly, according to “Plan 2025”:

  • 500 billion USD shall be allocated to local R&D in China. 70% of which to private players.
  • 10% SOE (State Owned Enterprises) will contribute 50% of total revenues (tax).
  • China’s take on sustainability: the destruction of older buildings will be prohibited, relocations of residents will be limited as well, to allow the industry developement of waste management and clean-tech.

Entering Hong Kong's market with ALTIOS

Companies interested in entering the Chinese market, and access to its economic potential, should consider local partners and M&A’s. Channel partnerships, trade fairs, incubators and accelerators, are other great options to prepare the entry process.

ALTIOS is an worldwide business development and market entry expansion firm, with over 30 years of experience in helping clients explore their international potential. Thanks to its strategic network of 22 offices, ALTIOS has helped more than 3500 companies identify, qualify and collaborate with local partners, in Distribution, Joint Ventures and Acquisitions.

Our FDI experts in Shanghai can grant you with suitable resources to position yourself onto the Chinese market.

To discuss about Hong Kong’s business opportunities, book a consulting session with ALTIOS.

Want to learn more?

If you are interested in reading about Hong Kong or China, check out our latest article: China’s MedTech Market

China’s MedTech Market

china medtech market

December 2022

The MedTech sector in China is quickly becoming the most attractive industry for investors.

With a 70% importing ratio, China is one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturing hubs, as well as a market dominated by foreign multinational companies. In this dynamic context, what will be the potential challenges, and keys to success for foreign players in the coming years?

Key Market Data

The Chinese MedTech market has grown at a consistently rapid rate in the past five years, and in 2019, the market reached RMB 7.82 trillion (US$1.1 trillion), an increase of 10 percent when compared to that from the previous year.

For companies that plan on investing in this promising sector, it is crucial to have an understanding of the Chinese MedTech industry’s statistics:

  • In 2020, China’s GDP saw a slower 2.3 percent growth, but its healthcare spending still rose from RMB 6584.14 billion (US$1,033.1 billion) in 2019, and to RMB 7230.64 billion (US$1,134.5 billion) the following year. However, it is still the 2nd fastest growing industry in the world.
  • China’s revenue in the Medical Technology market is projected to reach US$40.96bn in 2022.
  • The market’s largest segment is Medical Devices with a projected market volume of US$29.07bn in 2022.
  • By 2027, revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 8.12%, resulting in a market volume of US$60.51bn.
  • In global comparison, most revenue will be generated in the United States (US$200.20bn in 2022).

MedTech Market Trends

Medical Technology grows steadily due to China’s aging population: the elderly are predicted to reach 300 million by 2025 and 400 million by 2035. Due to a strong rebound of revenue structuring in 2022 and a steady rise in 2023, stable and consistent growth in the industry are anticipated as seen before Covid-19.

This ensures sustained investment in research and development, a proliferation of healthcare services, and the implementation of existing technology.

Moreover, the market presents considerable opportunities for growth. This is possible since the Chinese Government has more recently laid out multiple initiatives to support long-term growth and innovation in healthcare delivery. As for this sector, it will feature more heavily in the 14th Five-Year Plan (covering 2021-25) than it did in the 13th Five-Year Plan.

China’s Market Entry Strategy for Foreign Players

International foreign companies that wish to enter China, usually operate in three ways:

  1. Direct Investing by setting up a base in China via opening a WOFE, Subsidiary, or JV.
  2. Partnership with OEMs
  3. Importing to sell in the market.

However, things are evolving. Following recent global changes, since the pandemic and the tense political restructuring, most firms have realized which is the best way to take advantage of China’s profitable market.

Now companies are focusing on monetizing by selling to local markets rather than exporting. While developing with the end market, businesses are choosing to acquire bigger market shares by localizing the supply chain, rapidly responding to customer demand, and taking advantage of tax policies favorable to investment in R&D.

By localizing, the companies have enhanced their financial incentives, including, but not limited to, lower company tax of 15% and reduced VAT.

At the business model level, MedTech majors are stepping out of their comfort zones with cross-sector partnerships with peers, pharmaceutical companies, providers, and payers alike for disease and health solutions.

Some case studies to explore would be Radiometer’s partnership with AstraZeneca for kidney diseases, Illumina & Sanofi in rare disease treatments, and more.

Conclusion

With the right strategy and partnerships, China’s MedTech industry provides significant opportunities. Medtech companies should evolve and innovate to keep pace with the healthcare system highly driven by digital data-driven trends.

Want to learn more?

If you are still interested in reading about China, you can also read our latest article: Hong Kong Bouncing Back

Hong Kong: new business perspective

...as world's strictest pandemic rules are lifted.

October 27th, 2022

10:00 – 11:00 (MEZ).

Good news. Business travel to Hong Kong is about to get a whole lot easier. Since September 26th, the hotel quarantine has been lifted. Business activities in Hong Kong are expected to return to normal soon. Foreign investors also see this as a major step towards the Chinese borders also being reopened in the near future.

What does this mean for your business in Hong Kong and China? It may be time to rethink your China strategy.

Update your knowledge of the Chinese market and use this seminar as an impetus to review and, if necessary, adapt or even completely change your local sales approach.

Target group: Market entrants, but mainly companies that have been active in China for many years.

Event language: English

Agenda

This webinar includes :

10:00 – Breaking news from Hong Kong with possible implications for future business in Hong Kong/China

10:05 – General Business Outlook for 2022

10:10 – Hong Kong’s perspective as a leading Global Business Hub

10:25 – Questions and Answers

Experts

Zoé Zhu

Zoe-Linlin ZHU is the Business & Investment Director of ALTIOS China.

She has more than 10 years of professional experience in multinational corporations.

Before joining ALTIOS, Zoe Linlin ZHU was mainly responsible for sourcing/production.

During the 3 years she ran her own consulting firm, she assisted international companies in handling various projects in China.

Her deep understanding of running a business helped her a lot in managing international projects and negotiating with different people and cultures in the future.

ZHU graduated in “Communication, Entrepreneurship and Business Development” from Lyon-III University and Institut Commercial Lyonnais in France.

Maja Kovačević Coupé

Maja Kovačević Coupé is a Business Development and Account Manager at Altios Hong Kong.

She has spent almost 15 years first studying, then working in Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Maja Kovačević Coupé has a solid knowledge and understanding of Chinese business etiquette and culture.

For the last few years, Maja has been closely following the situation in Hong Kong and its business environment. She would like to share recent evolutions and highlight why Hong Kong remains an important bridge between East and West.

Registration

To better plan the webinar, please register no later than October 26th, 2022. Register here.

The participation is free of charge.

/ AVL WINES

Altios supports AVL Wines with their activities in China and Singapore by hosting and supporting their local staff

The service and support that ALTIOS offers allow small and midsize companies to create a presence anywhere in the world without the risk. They are your eyes and ears in any market.

Nicolas Heretiguian
General Manager Asia, Australian Vintage Limited
Challenge
  • Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) is one of the largest wine producers in Australia and has been highly successful in the Australian and the UK market since 1992. Crushing up to 8% of Australia’s grape supply, AVL is the owner of the third largest winery in Australia where 100% of its energy is sourced from solar and wind power. In 2010 the company started to remotely sell its products to the Chinese market after receiving requests for its wines.
  • Four years later AVL decided to set up an office in Hong Kong to be able to improve the structure of its distribution and sales set up in China and other Southeast Asian countries, and to establish its portfolio of brands in the region.
  • China was becoming a big market for us fast, but our distribution was messy”, explains Nicolas Heretiguian, General Manager Asia for AVL. “We were working with 31 distributors in 31 provinces that were all selling our wines for different prices and with different branding. The volume of our sales were going up, but we needed to structure the approach better. The only way to do that was to be present in the local market.”
  • AVL didn’t want to make a big investment by setting up an office or full sales team, but was looking for an easy way to establish a light presence in China. That’s when AVL contacted ALTIOS with the request to host and support their representative in Shanghai.
Solution
  • AVL’s employee in Shanghai was put on ALTIOS China’s payroll, which relieves AVL of a lot of administrative work and liability. Besides this, ALTIOS hosts their representative in our office in Shanghai, which means AVL didn’t have to set up a physical location themselves and commitment to a long term lease.
  • China is a really challenging and fast changing market, you need to be agile to survive here as an international company”, says Nicolas Heretiguian. “ALTIOS not only hosts our representative in China, but is always there to support us with anything we need. They have expertise on all fronts, from changing government policies we have to implement today-to-day services like getting business visas for our Australian team. Having a partner, like ALTIOS, that helps you to stay on your toes is key here.”
  • While working together to grow AVL’s presence in China, the Australian winemaker is expanding fast in Southeast Asia as well. “We came to the conclusion we needed some extra hands and the first thing that came to mind was to extend our current partnership with ALTIOS by setting up a similar structure in Singapore”, Nicolas Heretiguian says. “It was as easy as setting up in China, which shows that ALTIOS has the local expertise to get you up and running fast anywhere in the world.”
Result
  • ALTIOS and AVL have been in a successful partnership for 4,5 years now. Unfortunately, AVL had to skill down their operation in China due to the new import restrictions the Chinese government introduced at the beginning of 2022 on products like wine, chocolate and coffee.
  • We are happy to continue working together from Singapore”, says Nicolas Heretiguian. “ALTIOS brings the best of two worlds together. They are an international company that understands your position as an international newcomer in a foreign market, but they have the knowledge, expertise and language skills of a local consultant. ALTIOS is the solution for small and midsize companies that want to get started anywhere in the world.”

Discover more about AVL Wines on: https://www.australianvintage.com.au/

Company Profile

Founded in 1991

Headquarters: Cowandilla, South Australia

430 employees

Target country: China / Singapore

format vertical site internet AVL Wines

March 18th, 2021

The National People’s Congress (usually abbreviated NPC), is the highest organ of state power and the national legislature of the People’s Republic of China. The NPC meets in full session for roughly two week each year and votes on important pieces of legislation. NPC annual meetings provide an opportunity for the officers of state to review past policies and to present future plan to the nation.

The 13th NPC of this year is due to define the next Five Year Plan (usually abbreviated FYP) in terms of goals to achieve economically but also socially. It was held from the 5th to the 11th of March

What does this 13th NPC include ?

1) Key social/economic targets
2) About China/Hong Kong relationship
3) Foreign affairs
Business perspectives :

The economic outlook set by China at the 13th National People’s Congress is very positive with a focus on the innovation and technology sector as well as green tech. The tax breaks for foreign companies also demonstrate China’s willingness to welcome more FDI in order to boost its domestic market, one of Beijing’s priorities for the next 5 years.

Contact our Teams in China

January 31th, 2021

A “Comprehensive Agreement -in principle- on Investment” (CAI) has been reached between China & EU countries after 35 rounds of negotiations. It will replace the 25 bilateral investment treaties that China signed individually with EU countries.

For 20 years, cumulative FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flows from the EU to China stayed higher compared to Chinese investments in Europe : +140 billion EUR Europe to China versus 120 billion EUR Chinese FDI to the EU (European commission data).

About half of EU FDI in China is in the manufacturing sector, with the German automotive industry as the main investor. Chinese FDI to Europe are primarily directed to strategic areas such as infrastructure and high technology.

 

What is the opportunity for EU?

The agreement establishes the obligation for Chinese stated-own enterprises to provide more business information and transparency on subsidies in the services sectors.

The CAI forbids requirements to transfer technology to a joint venture partner.

 

What is the opportunity for China?

 

Other outstanding topics regarding this agreement?

More information about key elements of the agreement

Contact our Teams in China

September 21th, 2020

You are an Italian company in the technology sector serving the food industry?

To deepen your knowledge of the Russian market and discuss specific projects or problems with experts operating there, Altios Italy organized experts talks:

? From 24th July to Tuesday 28th July

Georges Karev, our Country Director at Altios Russia, could help companies explore business opportunities during a 40 minutes appointment.

If you are still interested in developing on the Russian market, just contact us in Italy.

▶️ Contact Mirko Mottino or Andrea Magistrelli: m.mottino@altios.com or a.magistrelli@altios.com

June 19th, 2020

To deepen your knowledge of the Chinese market and discuss specific projects or problems with experts operating there, Altios and Crédit Agricole Italia, with the partnership of Sopexa, organized a webinar and experts talks:

? last June 11th, 9.00 – 10.00 CEST

You are an Italian company willing to develop your activity or set up in China?

▶️ Watch the video replay: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/3672777163101603073