Twice last week I got calls from companies wanting to get legal in China. URGENTLY. One company is in Shandong province, the other is in Shanghai. Both have been operating illegally in China for years.
I asked both “why now?” and they both gave essentially the same response:
I want to register my business in China so I can work in China legally. I’m hearing that the government has begun and will be stepping up its efforts to root out foreigners here illegally.
With both, I then discussed how a crackdown on foreigners in China will play well politically as a counterweight to China’s tightening job market. Chinese citizens are not going to take kindly to its government allowing illegal foreigners to “take jobs” from the locals.
The People’s Daily wrote on this the other day, in an article entitled, Illegal workers identified, in what I see as the government’s opening salvo/warning on the issue of foreigners working illegally in China. The article talks about a recent crackdown on 377 foreigners in Shanghai “found to be working here last year without the necessary documentation.”
The People’s Daily article highlights the classic way in which foreigners manage to get into China to work illegally: entering on a tourist visa.
If you are working in China you need a work visa. If you are working for a Chinese company or a properly registered foreign company, you need to make sure you and your employer go through the proper steps to secure approval for you to work in China as an employee. If you are working for a foreign company in China that is not properly registered to do business in China, you have two choices for getting legal. You either register the business and secure approval for you to work in China as an employee or you leave the country.
Or, maybe you think tightening China employment will not impact you, in which case, I would love to hear why you think that is the case.
What are you seeing/hearing out there?