Grand Halloween Tradition at the Wyndham

The Wyndham Grand, Futian, doesn’t do events by halves, and Halloween this year was no exception. The Grand Kitchen, the Wyndham’s buffet restaurant, was host to the Halloween Buffet Dinner. No word could be used to describe it other than ‘spectacular’.

As soon as the elevator doors opened on the third floor, you were greeted by Halloween decorations and spooky sounds. Cobwebs were draped over light fittings; staff were dressed in cloaks and witches hats, with the occasional addition of scars, vampire teeth or dripping blood; skeletons and skulls caught your eye in every direction.

The most remarkable aspect was the amount of effort that had obviously gone into the Halloween themed food. Even the bread was shaped like ghostly faces!

From 6pm to 9.30pm over 100 people came to spend Halloween eating sumptuous savouries and delectable desserts. Appetizers included a selection of Asian-style and Western-style salads, as well as ‘design-your-own’, sushi, sashimi and an array of imported seafood – the Grand Kitchen’s specialty.

Everything from New Zealand scallops to oysters from Iceland, Alaskan salmon to South American shrimp, was available for the guests’ delight.

At the opposite side of the restaurant, a wide variety of Asian and International dishes greeted guests.

Alongside the usual dishes such as beef brisket, braised noodles with seafood, fried sole fish with cream sauce, Chinese BBQ chicken and pork, and Guangdong-style soup, the food was accentuated by Halloween specials.

A ‘Terrorist Mummy’ of BBQ pork rib with sausage was the centrepiece, complete with ketchup blood, laid ready and waiting to feed hungry guests.

The pièce de résistance of the whole experience was – without a doubt – the desserts. This is where the Halloween theme really came alive – or undead! A human brain, a bleeding heart and a dismembered arm were proudly displayed, surrounded by tombstones, spiders and skulls.

Luckily they were filled with delightful flavours like chocolate cake with raspberry and cream filling, almond cake or Swiss roll. They looked so good people were almost afraid to eat them!

As well as these masterpieces there were over 30 different types of dessert, all designed and made by the bakery chef.

Eyeballs filled with chocolate truffle and nuts, honeycomb witch hat cupcakes, Halloween sugar cookies, sweet witch poisoned soup, 3D spider puffs, fruit tarts in mini white chocolate coffins and chocolate spiders were just a few of the petrifying puddings on offer.

The treats didn’t stop at food either. Free-flow soft drinks and beer were also included with the buffet, along with a complimentary glass of wine and exclusive Halloween mocktails.

Free face paint, stick on scars and wounds, hats and masks were provided for anyone who wanted to embrace their inner scariness.

To top off a spectacular evening, what Halloween celebration would be complete without a pumpkin carving competition!

Eight guests took their places in front of fresh pumpkins, ready and waiting for life to be carving into them. Two children joined in, although after a while it became clear that their parents were doing most of the work as the children decided to go elsewhere and play!

After intense concentration and hard work from the participants, the restaurant manager chose a winning pumpkin. All pumpkin carvers received a Wyndham Grand mug as a special gift and the winner also received an exclusive bottle of house wine. The decision was very difficult to make as a lot of thought and effort had gone into every Jack o’lantern.

This was the third consecutive year the Grand Kitchen has put on a special Halloween Buffet and Mask Party, ever since the Wyndham Grand opened in 2015. If you can’t wait until next October, the international seafood buffet is also available every day for lunch and dinner!

From Monday to Thursday the buffet is RMB268, and RMB318 between Friday and Sunday. All diners are also welcome to enjoy one complimentary glass of wine. Prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% VAT.

Address: 3rd Floor, Wyndham Grand Hotel, 2009 Caitian Road, Futian, Shenzhen (深圳温德姆至尊酒店三层,中国广东省深圳市福田区彩田路2009 )

Tel: +86 755 8299 8888 (EXT 8560)

Difference Between an Accountant and a Bookkeeper

 

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/accountingandbookkeeping/

All too often we can’t wait to get our Hong Kong limited open.

You’ve been enjoying the Global From Asia podcast and blogs here on the site. Now you are looking into what are the ongoing costs.

We had a popular post for the Upkeep for HK company, today we are going to focus specifically on:

What is the difference between an accountant and an auditor?

Drink so coffee (or tea) and don’t sleep on me here. Yes, this stuff can get dry – but the more we understand it, the better business owners we can be!

Accountant Definition

What is an accountant?

Think there are 2 cases.

Case one is the accountant as a bookkeeper. He or she will receive all your financial statements, either by paper or online access. They will setup your books and chart of accountants. You will then watch in awe as they classify your transactions in different income and expense accounts.

Bookkeeping should be upkept throughout the year. Ideally real time. Of course there are many of us with not tons of activity on a daily basis and we can’t afford to have a full time accountant. So I recommend weekly.

It’s not just for the work, but also for you as a business owner. To look at the numbers, the reports, the summary and see your business as a dashboard.

So this type of accountant is a bookkeeper.

The second option is the accountant as a tax form filing specialist. They specialize in a certain geography / government. Let’s say for here its Hong Kong. They know what all the different tax forms are, how to fill them out. Also, if they have experience, they will be able to tell you how to best keep the forms filled out. How to optimize your tax strategy.

This type of accountant is I believe what most of us think of when we hear a tax accountant. Having a good grasp of that government’s tax law and advising clients how to file for their personal and/or businesses.

Auditor Definition

Auditor, for many Americans (myself included) will cringe. We all hear about an IRS tax audit. The mental picture I get is a group of government officials in suits pounding on your office door to do a sudden check on your books. The business owner rushing to shred all the documents before they break the door down.

Do you get such a dramatic mental picture as that?

Well, that isn’t what we’re doing here – at least in the Global From Asia – Hong Kong tax sense. An audit here is one you pay a Hong Kong CPA (certified professional accountant) to check your books.

This auditor is the same as those who are rummaging through your shredded documents but this time you pay them to do it. Or at least you’re required by the Hong Kong Internal Revenue Department (IRD) to do so.

They will not enter your transactions into an accounting system or excel. That you should have done already. What they will do is check over your financial statements such as your profit and loss statement and balance sheet. They’ll see if it makes sense. Such things as your margins, your expense account sizes in comparison to your revenue numbers. Are you hiding something.

They are to snoop around in your financial statements, and your transaction history looking for things that may not add up.

This is their job. And they are using their expertise – AND LICENSE – to do it.

You may ask yourself, why would they dig into it if I’m the one paying them. Wouldn’t they want to keep me as the paying client happy?

You would think so – but the Hong Kong government gives them a license. Their job is on the line. If they don’t do their job and the IRD checks it later and feels the CPA was negligible, they jeopardize their license.

Make sense?

An Accountant Can Also Be An Auditor

You can use the same person to do both of these tasks. They will accept it, because it means more money for them!

It may make sense too. They will understand the books as they have been working with you on entering the transactions and speaking to you throughout the year on questions you have. You should have a good regular communication flow with your accountant. Alert them of new products, services, and other financial related changes in your business. Taking a new business loan? Might be a good time to alert your accountant, so they can add that as a new account in your bookkeeping system.

Will You Save Money If You Use An Accountant As Your Auditor?

I’m sure you’re wondering, will you save money if you combine your accountant and auditor? I would say yes. There are a few ways you can say it will save you money:

1) They can give you a lower bundle price than separating the services.
2) They can save time in the audit as they know the books already.
3) You will spend less of your own time re-explaining the situation 2 times.

But, you also need to remember, for a Hong Kong company audit, you need a Hong Kong local accredited CPA. Hong Kong, as we have found out from these blogs in the past, is not the cheapest. Check out cost of living in Hong Kong article for examples. So of course those costs will reflected in your pricing.

You can use an accountant anywhere in the world. you may save money on the accounting side if you outsource or have your own staff do it. Then you only use a local Hong Kong CPA to check over the books and submit the auditor’s report.

Doing that may save money as a total bundle price – but dollar for dollar – the coordination and back and forth of your own time may drag you down a bit.

It comes down to how well organized you can be.

What To Look For In An Accountant for your Hong Kong Books

So we discussed the differences, now what should you look for in an accountant. I’ve seen some people I have worked with who use an American based accountant to do it.

You can use an accountant based anywhere in the world.

While we can provide this service and would love to work with you on your case. Yet to be clear, your accountant can be someone you find on Upwork. You pay to have someone do your transactions entry in Xero or Quickbooks. Also we’re a Certified Quickbooks Advisor in Hong Kong, so look for that from others you may hire.

Some tips in looking for your accountant:

  • Multi-currency experience.

    The beauty of Hong Kong for your global business is the multi-currency accounts. But for accountants, that is an added complexity. Ask your accountant if he or she has ever done bookkeeping for someone who has a wide range of currencies, and multi-currency bank accounts.

  • Do you have multiple entities in other countries?

    Do you also have a USA company or mainland Chinese company? Maybe you have an outsourcing center in Philippines. Who is doing the accounting there? What is the relationship of those companies to this company? Will you have those books done by this same accountant, or will you have a separate bookkeeper for that country? This is something the accountant you are looking to hire will need to know.

  • Do you have a lot of transactions?

    Are you an online based business with a lot of Paypal and merchant account transactions? Especially in B2C, you will have a lot of small purchases. Do you expect your accountant to have experience with these e-commerce payment systems? Many accountants are not familiar with this and you should keep on top of this before it gets out of hand.

  • Do you expect them to be “online” based or “offline” based?

    As mentioned in point 3, many accountants still haven’t fully embraced the internet and computers. Don’t laugh! At least in Hong Kong, many still are getting a grasp of keeping on top of their email inbox! In your communication with the potential accountant, see what types of communication methods they prefer.

  • Can they work direct with your online banking systems?

    When doing the transaction entry, can they work direct with your online banking systems? Again, technology. I imagine if you’re reading this blog post – then you are tech savvy. More than many of the accountants you may find out there! I am not trying to make a jab. Spoken from experience, do you expect the accountant to be able to login to your online banking with their own logins? Will you be OK with sending them a bunch of PDFs? Heck, maybe some will even want you to mail them the physical paper statements!

This is just a small list. Of course you have to trust them! And you have to agree with the way to communicate. Don’t get into the deal to only get frustrated with them later on when they are slow to respond to your emails. The only way I can reach a lot of accountants is to call them and schedule an appointment at their office in Hong Kong!

The Traditional Flow of Accountant And Auditor in HK

So let’s put this into context. You have a new Hong Kong limited company, and it’s B2B import export trading. You opened the company and then got approved for an HSBC Hong Kong bank account.

Your agency got you to sign up for their bookkeeping service, and you may send them your bank statements. You don’t have too many transactions, so you just send it to them monthly when you get the statements.

They enter the transactions into their accounting software. Many of them do not use online based accounting software and it will be locally stored on their computers in their office. A lot of times it isn’t even on a computer but instead written down on paper! Yes, this blog post is being written in the year 2016!

After about a year, you fly into Hong Kong to do some banking updates, maybe go to a trade show or 2, and check in with your accountant. You hand them a stack of receipts and your paper statements that the bank has been sending you. If you elect to pay the extra fee for the paper statements rather than e-statements, or you can print them out.

They prepare the books, and the accountant may have a few questions about some transactions in your business. You also want to make sure that your accountant understands all parts of your business, and also any kind of shareholder loans or special cash accounts, etc. If they are good, they will give you some ideas on how to better maximize your tax preparation, and other tips to optimize your company financials.

The first year you have a few extra months to file your audit, so let’s say you wait until the 18 months past. The accountant can also act as the auditor (If they are an accredited HK CPA) and they will prepare the auditor report and profit tax return. They will present it to you and show you your tax liability. You’ll then accept it by signing off, and then submitting everything to the Hong Kong IRD (Internal Revenue Department)

Then you go about your normal business life for the next 12 months, until you need to repeat the process above.

Moving to More Online Based Accounting Flow

So, we’re all lovers of the internet age. We are reading this guide online, off our mobile phone, listening to a podcast while in an airport in Dubai.

The internet is good.

So we work with an accountant who is more online based. We find one online, not based in Hong Kong, and work out a monthly payment plan. Maybe they offer packages. You signup, and get a renewing credit card transaction agreement going.

Talking to an account rep on email, they tell you to pick an online accounting software of your choice. Xero, Quickbooks, or the many others. You will also need to get a plan that works with multiple currencies, so they are normally a bit more than the basic software. You’ll get setup and link your online banking (HSBC HK supports Quickbooks), Paypal, and other systems. This can be tricky, and hopefully the accounting agency can work with you to make sure it all syncs up.

Once the initial setup is going, you have them enter the transactions manually that may not come from Paypal and online merchant accounts, such things as petty cash. You’ll also probably have times you need to explain certain transactions so they are classified correctly.

The year goes by, and you need to prepare for your HK audit.

Your Hong Kong company secretary will email you that you received a profit tax return from the HK IRD. You’ll have a few months to prepare your books and prepare the auditor’s report. This can be done with the referral of the company secretary, or you can use another accountant, CPA – auditor. Up to you.

The auditor will check the books, and ensure that you have properly accounted for revenues and outflows and he/she is willing to sign off that the books are legitimate. This is the risk of their certification and relationship with the HKICPA – Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. If later the books seem “Cooked” – I’m sure the HK tax department will question the auditor on why they didn’t find this issue at the audit step.

Once you agree with all the books, the auditor report, you’ll need to sign and submit the profit and tax return. Write the check, and you’re done.

How Much Does This Cost? Comparison

So let’s think about how this all comes together. There are a few different things you need (recommended to get)

  • Accounting software.

    In today’s online world, and the fact that you’re reading this blog post off your computer monitor instead of a printed newspaper, you need software to balance things. Most choose Xero or Quickbooks. Maybe also better to ask your bookkeeper what they are familiar with. Cost – 20 to 40 US dollars a month. If you have an international business, you’ll need the more expensive multi-currency account options.

  • Bookkeeper.

    You can outsource this, with a HK accounting firm, with your own staff, or you can do it yourself! It is best to have someone on call in case there are questions or issues that arise later. Plus when there is a transaction you are not sure how to classify, the bookkeeper and accounting specialist is there to help out.Cost. Depends on how much activity you have. Let’s say from the $150 USD to $400 USD a month. Again, you can always opt to do your own bookkeeping, or have someone in your organization do it.

  • Audit.

    Yes, this is where people wonder how much will it cost. And online you won’t find anywhere that has a standard table of prices for a Hong Kong auditor’s report. Price depends on the amount of transactions, how many revenue streams, how good your books are kept, and how familiar the auditor is with your type of business.Cost – Depends on how many transactions, how active, etc etc. But I know you want a range. Low is 900 US dollars and high is up to $2,500 USD. The higher range is when you’re in the millions of dollars in revenue and it shouldn’t be as big of a cost as a percent of your profits. The lower range I have found is harder for the smaller businesses still finding their traction.

  • Signing and mailing the profit tax return

    This will need to be filled out and signed by you, or one of the directors.Cost. The courier fees from Hong Kong and back. This needs to be mailed to your Hong Kong address, and if you’re living and working overseas, it will need to be signed by you. Or you can always take a trip to Hong Kong for this process. I always recommend meeting your company secretary, accountant and auditor yearly. Make sure you are comfortable with everything. Check in with the year in the past, talk about the future year.

Remember – Accountant Can Be Anywhere, CPA For Audit Must Be in Hong Kong

So we have drove this topic home for you. You can do your bookkeeping and accounting data entry from anywhere in the world. This person should have experience balancing company books, general ledgers, and online accounting software.

You, as the overachiever entrepreneur, may want to learn to do this yourself. I respect that. Heck, I remember learning it on Sunday afternoons back in 2004 with my first e-commerce business! Taking a Quickbooks training seminar in NYC and trying my best to classify everything. It is a good skill to have, to understand the inflows and outflows of your business.

Yet I can imagine it may not be your favorite task to do. Find someone in your company, or a trusted accounting firm to take care of it for you.

But, as skilled and knowledgeable about this as you are – you cannot do your own audit. A Hong Kong licensed CPA must do it. And, I know it is frustrating – the price is not black and white. Budget around $1,500 USD for it, a bit more if you’re in the multi-millions in US dollar revenue.

Have the books as “Clean” and prepared as possible for the auditor. The price will be lower than if it is just a big pile of financial statements.

How About Your Experience?

How has your experience been dealing with accountants and auditors? Of course I’m more focused on Hong Kong today, but even if its in America or other places- any tips for dealing with these consultants?

I’d love to hear it, as well as other readers – so please leave your comments below!

Also, our company offers bookkeeping services and audit reports – we’d love to work with you!

New Tax Laws for Foreigners in China

This post is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/china-global-tax/

China is the world’s largest manufacturer and it has the second largest economy next to the United States. For this reason, China plays an important role in the global economy. Unsurprisingly, many expats relocate to China for business purposes. China’s financial capital is very attractive that many expats move in for incredible opportunities. From a survey conducted by HSBC, an expat in China earns $170,970 average gross personal income per annum, compared to the global average expat income of $99,900. Interesting, right? However, taxation in China is very complex that many expats find it difficult to comprehend. Just recently, a draft amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law was proposed and expats will surely be affected when the basket of changes take effect. What’s in the draft law? And what are the new tax laws coming for expats in china? Read on to learn more.

China’s Draft Amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law

1. Revision on determining tax residency status. Foreign nationals who have physical presence in China for at least 183 days would become liable for Individual Income Tax (IIT), unlike before when non-residents have one full year year before he/she be subject to IIT. Its purpose is basically to protect national tax rights and interests. Whether the income is sourced inside China or not, the tax residency status will be based on how long an individual resided in the country.

2. New tax system, rates, taxable income brackets

Current IIT Law Draft Amendment
Categories Tax Rates Categories Tax Rates
Income from wages and salaries 3%-45% 7 brackets of progressive tax rates
Comprehensive
income
– 3%-45%
7 brackets of progressive
tax rates
– Adjusting the taxable
income brackets of lower
tax rates (i.e., 3%, 10%,
20% and 25%)
– Taxable income brackets
of higher tax rates
unchanged (i.e., 30%,
35% and 45%)
Income derived from
remuneration for personal services
20%- 40%
3 brackets of progressive
tax rates
Income derived from
remuneration for manuscripts
20%
Income derived from royalties 20%
Income derived from
production and business
operations by individual
industrial and commercial households
5%-35%
5 brackets of progressive
tax rates
Business operation
income
5%-35%
5 brackets of progressive
tax rates
– The minimum threshold
applicable to 35% tax rate
increased to RMB
500,000
Income derived from
contractual or leasing
operations of enterprises or institutions
5%-35%
5 brackets of progressive
tax rates
Category removed with relevant income
incorporated into comprehensive income or
business operation income respectively
Income from interest,
dividends and bonuses
20%
Unchanged
Income from lease of property
Income from transfer of
property
Contingent income
Other income

Source: PwC Global

3. Anti-avoidance Rule. Anti-tax avoidance rule was introduced in the draft law – wherein authorities are strengthening tax collection especially to individuals having cross border transactions and tax plans. Its main purpose is to avoid multinationals to transfer or move profits to affiliates in low-tax havens and to tighten the IIT’s overall application and enforcement.

4. Additional special expense deductions including children’s education, major illness medical expenses, continued education and housing loan interest and rent. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of income subject to income tax therefore raising the taxpayers’ income and boosting household consumption.

5. Tougher stance on foreign companies. Foreign companies should pay special attention to changes affecting the timing of the tax levy on foreign employees, foreign labor costs, contract profitability, and budgeting requirements, as well as the rippling effects they have on withholding and tax equalizations.

6. New Tax Brackets that would benefit middle and low-income groups.

Current Bracket (RMB) Proposed Bracket (RMB) IIT Rate Effect
< 1,500 <3,000 3% Widened
1,500 – 4,500 3,000 – 12,000 10% Widened
4,500 – 9,000 12,000 – 25,000 20% Widened
9,000 – 35,000 25,000 – 35,000 25% Narrowed
35,000 – 55,000 35,000 – 55,000 30% Unchanged
55,000 – 80,000 55,000 – 80,000 35% Unchanged
> 80,000 > 80,000 45% Unchanged

Source: China Briefing

Apparently, high-income earners don’t really benefit so much from this amendment. So, basically, if an expat in China earns USD170,970 average gross personal income per annum or around 95,000RMB per month, no matter where that income was sourced and regardless of where the payment is made, he/she would be subject to 45% IIT tax.

China is indeed a booming economy with unending opportunities. The proposed tax reform simply relieves the tax burden of small and medium sized enterprises as well as middle and low-income individuals while optimizing the business environment through higher consumption.

Disclaimer: if you’re an expat in China, it’s best to consult a taxation specialist in China to help you more understand the country’s upcoming overall tax amendment that is expected to take effect on January 2019.

Shen Wai International School (SWIS): The school of choice for IB continuum education

Rae Johnstone 

Established in 2011, Shen Wai International School (SWIS) is one of the fastest growing international schools in Shenzhen.  Next year the students who attended the school in its founding year will be the first graduating class, having completed the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP) and Diploma Program (DP).

SWIS is purposely built to be an IB continuum school, which means that everything from the staff to the building itself are designed with that goal in mind. Staff are employed from all over the world; what they have in common is that they all have valuable experience teaching the IB program.

For such a young school, SWIS has achieved an incredible amount.  They have world-recognised accreditations from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and to add to this prestigious list they have recently been granted accreditation with the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) and the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS). These international achievements are representative of how far the school has come in such a short period of time.

Being the only government invested, non-profit international school in Shenzhen, SWIS accepts students from the expatriate community as well as children who are permanent residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. This leads to an eclectic group of students who come together to build a community in which they can learn and grow together as well as forming life-long friendships.

Shen Wai International School follows the IB mission statement of aiming to ‘develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.’ This is followed through the range of student-led projects at SWIS, particularly throughout the Middle Years and Diploma Programs.

The Middle Years Program has a real-life approach to learning, founded in the cross-curricular units which make up the core of the program. Students are taught to become independent, organised and creative, with a focus on critical thinking and reflective learning. In Grade 8 students work together on a community project, designed to give back to the community they are part of – locally, regionally or globally. Following this students plan, design and carry out a personal project which is also based on the Service learning area of the IB program. This enables students to become more internationally-minded and aware of their role as global citizens.

After School Activities (ASA) play a significant role at SWIS, providing students with the opportunity to take part in activities and projects external to lessons. One example of an ASA project at SWIS is fund-raising and support of QianZhou Primary School. As well as donating money to the school, SWIS students have also taught children at the school, helped to build a new playground and have visited in their own time to help out. This has provided invaluable support to a school which has very few students and even less facilities.

During Grades 11 and 12 students take the IB Diploma Program at SWIS. Here the focus changes, as students now need to prepare for university and the wider world. Students choose topics within six courses: Studies in Language and Literature; Language Acquisition; Sciences; The Arts; Mathematics; Individuals and Societies. For the Diploma Program, assessment of the courses is through external examination as well as teacher assessment. Across and alongside each course, students study the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS); In addition, they have an extended essay to write on a topic of their choosing. TOK provides the glue to make connections between all disciplines and develops students into enquiring and reflective global citizens. CAS provides students with the opportunity for non-academic pursuits, often extending outside of school hours, and can be connected to ASA projects. The extended essay gives students an idea of university-level research and preparation for college assignments.

Learning at SWIS doesn’t just take place on the state-of-the-art campus. Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBC) is an integral part of the curriculum throughout the PYP, MYP and DP, and includes educational trips to Hong Kong and Cambodia as well as other parts of mainland China. Here the students have the chance to experience other cultures and ways of life, and they can see how they fit into the global community.

Why choose SWIS? Shen Wai International School is purpose-built to be an IB continuum school. It is ideal for expat families new or returning to Shenzhen, as students become incredibly internationally-minded. This is demonstrated through how they see the world and the service projects they come up with both within and beyond school life. Small class sizes, experienced staff and a balanced program of academia, sports and other activities simply add to the attraction of attending SWIS.

If you would like to find out more information about Shen Wai International School (SWIS), simply visit their website www.swis.cn and book a school tour.

Chinese and Pinyin Name: 深圳外国语学校国际部(SWIS)
Place Address: Shen Wai international School, No. 29, Baishi 3rd Road, Nanshan, Shenzhen, China 518053 中国深圳市南山区白石三道29号, 深圳外国语学校国际部 邮编:518053
Place Phone: 86 (755) 86541981/86541963
Past Events of Shen Wai international School:

Shen Wai International School (SWIS) Student Publishes Report on Dachong Reconstruction

SWIS学生Huang Siyi发表大冲改造前后调查报告

Huang Siyi goes to Dachong Village for field work

Huang Siyi goes to Dachong Village for field work

Huang Siyi, a Grade 11 student from Shen Wai International School, recently published a report titled “The inspiration that Dachong Village renewal can give to areas with high density in developing countries.”

Urban village renewal is a key part in city development, and the reconstruction of the Dachong urban village in Nanshan District is one such urban upgrade undertaken in Shenzhen.

An intern at the Shenzhen Real Estate Research Center Urban Renewal and Old Village Reconstruction Group, the 17-year-old described the whole renewal process of the urban village in her report from five different perspectives: business, commercial office, residence, transportation, greening and public facilities. She examined rights confirmation, people-oriented renewal plans, and the close cooperation between the government and project developer as the three criteria for measuring the outcomes. Huang also mentioned Mexico City, Mumbai and Sao Paulo as other examples of the global phenomenon of densely populated urban areas that are resource-inefficient.

During three months of observation and research from April to early July, Huang concluded that the city should be developed continuously alongside population growth, and project developers and the government should play their respective roles. She also stated in the report that supporting facilities and humanistic care are significant, and culture should be integrated with communities during the renewal process.

Her report was then selected and published on the official WeChat account of Shenzhen Real Estate Research Center for its exemplary information.

Explaining that choosing the best information to be included in her research was her biggest difficulty as we live in a society of ubiquitous information, Huang said, “I have a deeper understanding of urban planning after finishing this report. Urban planning is concerned with the comprehensive consideration of many areas and it impacts the future of the city.”

dav

Born and raised in Shenzhen, Huang said she became interested in urban planning through listening to her parents when she was a little girl. By attending lectures, reading books and doing internships, Huang wishes to learn more about urban planning.

Her dream is to be a great urban planner, like her parents. She hopes she will be able to use her knowledge to improve the health and well-being of people in the city.

“I want build a city that finds a balance between the economic and the environmental,” she said.

Chinese and Pinyin Name: 深圳外国语学校国际部(SWIS)
Place Address: Shen Wai international School, No. 29, Baishi 3rd Road, Nanshan, Shenzhen, China 518053 中国深圳市南山区白石三道29号, 深圳外国语学校国际部 邮编:518053
Place Phone: 86 (755) 86541981/86541963
Past Events of Shen Wai international School:

How To Lose Your Staff in Asia (and Globally)

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/makingstaffhappy/

Coming to Asia to do business? Hiring staff in Asia?

Then today we will teach you how to lose them as soon as possible. How to get them to quit and tell everyone you are a horrible boss.

Well, sure you shouldn’t do these things – but we want to get the point across by learning what you should NOT do.

Hope this is fun as well as informative.

Lose Your Temper and Yell

I worked on Wall Street for almost 5 years. I know all about high-pressure situations and getting yelled at. As a trading assistant on a junk bond desk, I was often on the receiving side of the yelling. They told me it was good for me to get toughened up.

Also I was in a fraternity in college. As a pledge (trying to join the fraternity) there was “light” hazing. I don’t want to make it seem like those newspaper article horror stories – but there was some sessions that were challenging.

They also said that was to toughen me up.

So when I came over to China and hired my staff in Asia, I was still in this mentality. I was still in the New York mode, fast paced, aggressive.

There were those “China times” when I started to lose my mind. Bank account transfer issues, miscommunication with factories, and countless other headaches. Just some things that a foreigner will face when getting accustomed to China business.

I lost my cool often.

That definitely didn’t make things better. Maybe even when I was on Wall Street that wasn’t the correct way to behave, but it seemed to work.

Not in China. The Chinese staff will see you as an unpredictable and “weak” minded person. And this is a big difference I have seen in business personalities between East and West. Chinese managers do not show emotion to their staff. Or to anyone.

If you look a Chinese boss, most of the time you’ll see they are calm and cool in the office. Never raise their voice, never show anger or even much happiness. It is kind of this calm overtone.

Chinese staff respect that more. This person is in control of themselves and their mind. Maybe it’s the Zen / Buddhist mindset culture. But a leader is more cool and calm in China.

Whereas a lot of leaders in the West (of course can’t say all) are more vocal and “flamboyant”.

Won’t say which is right. But back to this point, if you want to have your Chinese staff, as well as other staff in Asia, lose respect for you – lose your temper. They will get annoyed (whether they say it to your face or not). Especially when you complain about issues doing business in China. They may agree with you that it is cumbersome to do business here, but they don’t like to hear you complain about it over and more.

Take it from me, I’ve learned a lot from my own staff in Asia over the years.

Don’t Care About Their Family Life

I don’t have too much management experience in America in a corporate setting, so this may be true there too. But in Asia, to be a good manager means you care about the team and their personal / family life.

Especially if you’re a Western manager here, they will feel so happy that you even care about them / their family! But once you start to show a little bit of interest, they will share out in the open. You can do this in the workplace or at a company outing. Yet however you do it, even if it is a little small to you – means a lot to the staff.

If you’re in China, some examples are to ask about their hometown. Is their family living with them in the city (assuming your office is in a “big city”) or they are in their hometown “village”. This is a common question because a lot of Chinese moved to the big cities only in the last generation or two. A lot of the “older” family members didn’t have interest/desire to leave their hometown. It can go into some fascinating stories about their complex family structure. Then you can show some interest in their hometown, what kind of food comes from there, what their favorite hometown dish is.

While it might not be a smart idea to ask about their dating life. Yet if you have staff with their own family, it would be cool to know a bit about the family. Do their parents live with them? Will they go to hometown for Chinese New Year? As a new parent myself, I would love to hear how they are raising their children and what is important to them.

You can get creative here, and keep in mind China is a vast landmass! There are so many provinces with various cultures. You’ll start to learn that your staff all come from different backgrounds.

A little tip here, some managers try to hire staff all from the same province. Its not as big of a deal nowadays, but having a team that is all from similar backgrounds can make them work better together. They might have their own dialect (local language), as well as trust each other more than “other Chinese” people. Could be a fun topic to discuss with your Chinese senior management, maybe they’re already doing that and you didn’t know!

Main summary here – “care” about the Chinese culture. Care about where your staff has come from. Appreciate the hardships they have been through to get to the big city and build their career in your company!

Play The Blame Game

This is a tricky one that took me years to master – or well, maybe understand as I’m still a student of Chinese management myself!

Problems and mistakes happen, in life, and especially in a company. Let’s take website design as an example. Your company designs websites, and you are working on a new client’s request. After you make some tweaks, you show the client.

Client sees an obvious mistake in the design and becomes upset. You talk to the client and say you will resolve it. Getting off the phone, you go into the staff area and talk to the staff assigned to this project.

Going up to their desk, you put the paper down and say “this design had X on it, but they wanted Y”. You’re doing this in a public setting, with other staff able to hear (and most likely everyone’s listening to every word). The team member, let’s call him Rocky, gets defensive.

He’ll immediately deny it was his fault. Getting embarrassed as well, and maybe a bit aggressive, he will fight to the bitter end that it wasn’t his fault.

I remember when this happened to me quite a few times, I was so confused. As a Westerner, I’m used to going straight up to someone and saying “this is a problem”. They are quick to say “sorry, my mistake” and fix it. Or maybe it wasn’t their fault and they’d have a counter-argument. But it was pretty painless.

We’re talking about pretty minor issues here, not major company threatening ones.

So when I deal with Chinese staff now in a problem situation, I try my best to make it look like I am not blaming them. I try to be as indirect as possible and show the project and re-iterate what is wrong and not finger point.

I know, you may be saying – but if it is their fault, they should admiit to it.

I think it boils down to culture. And face. Especially if you do it in the room with everone else there, they will defend. They will treat this as a form of demotion. Even if you didn’t demote them, but in the “face score” in the company. Its hard for me to write down in words, but there just seems to be an invisible point system for “face” in the Chinese office.

Heck, maybe there is something similar like this in the Western workplace.

So the summary of this point, don’t blame and to solve the issue, just make it as non-“offensive” as possible. I know, it goes against the way you work, and the way your mind thinks. Just think and plan out the conversation before having it.

Be a Weak Leader

This one is a tough one for me to describe. My style is to be more of an open and level playing field kind of leader. But it is a dangerous act to play in the Chinese workplace.

We covered this a bit in the “Yell At Your Staff” point above, but it is worthy of its own section. On top of being “calm and cool headed”, you also need to show vision and clarity in the company direction and decision making.

If you look wishy washy, or you ask the staff to make decisions, it will not be a good outcome. They want the boss, the leader, to make the decisions.

This is why when you try to do business with a Chinese company, you need to wait for the CEO to sign off on almost everything. It is hierarchal and subordinates are not expected to make big decisions.

Again, this is a mind shift from your Western way of thinking and modern management training. At least for me, I enjoy having my team involved in the decision making process, and I don’t mind to admit I was wrong.

But in the Chinese workplace, if I am admitting I made a mistake, the team will see this as weakness. Just like the “blame” point earlier, if the boss admits fault – then the staff in Asia will question his or her experience and vision.

Tricky one here – and a reason a lot of Westerners don’t end up being the daily operations manager in a Chinese company. Most of the time a you need a local manager or a Chinese partner in the company who manages the staff in Asia. Things like this are so hard to describe – it’s a lot of indirect power measuring and balancing.

Take Positive Steps To Improve Daily

I’m no saint here, I have made many of the mistakes listed above. But the key is to be aware of them. To catch yourself making these mistakes and working towards improving.

Mediations is my favorite thing to do now to ground myself and act better under pressure. Especially away from your home country in China or other parts of Asia – we need to realize this is a foreign place. Respect the land and the people. Take a deep breath.

Or, if you really can’t handle it – hire an office manager and go back to your home country. No shame in that, many great business people have done it.

Neat HK: A Solution for the Hong Kong Banking Nightmare?

Looking for a Hong Kong online business bank account that you can connect your Paypal and Stripe / Braintree merchant account to? Wouldn’t that be amazing, without the utter nightmare Hong Kong business owners are going through now begging these archaic banks to allow them to deposit their money.

Here at Global From Asia – we know the pain our entrepreneur and hard-working global business owners have been going through. As digital nomads and e-commerce sellers and FBA business owners, we feel the pain ourselves. This is why our clients for our corporate services enjoy working with us – we understand you.

And we know the biggest pain point for almost 2 years now has been – such a basic need – a business bank account solution in Hong Kong.

One with credit cards – for you and your staff. One that can link to your Paypal and Stripe.

We’ve been testing so many and talking to so many – and today we’re talking about one we’ve been following for years.

Neat.HK Business Banking for Online Business Owners

So I am focusing today on their business banking product – Neat Business Account. I know exactly what you guys are looking for – and here is a list of their features:

* Unique Account / IBAN number – you will have your own dedicated account number with Standard Chartered. This isn’t like some other solutions where you have a sub-account and need to put in your TT (telegraphic transfer) banking notes your sub-account number. This is a dedicated account number ONLY FOR YOU And your business. I’m not sure the technical way they got this – but this is the amazing part – that allows you to do the following

* Connect /Verify your Paypal Hong Kong – we have a Paypal Hong Kong guide that gets a lot of attention on how to verify your Paypal. You need a “unique” or dedicated IBAN number. This Neat Hong Kong business solution give you that – unlike other online / virtual banking solutions I have come across.

* Connect / Verify your Stripe HK or Braintree merchant account – similar to Paypal, you need a unique bank account in your company name in order to get Stripe and any other merchant account setup. Don’t worry – this will work here too. We have a full list of merchant account comparison here that is popular as well.

* Issue Company credit cards – You can order credit cards! Yes – finally – you can see a company credit card in your company name here in HK without having to sign your life away and deposit your life savings! Seriously, readers know it is hard to get a Hong Kong credit card.

* Deposit paper checks – many ask how to deposit checks (yes, Hong Kong does still use quite a bit of paper checks). This works too. You need to go to Standard Chartered Bank – in person – and deposit. Can’t do it at the ATM.

* English, Online Banking – and of course, it has online banking. Well, that is actually something we need to write as a bullet point, as some banks we are forced to work with in our partner corporate services agency, don’t have online banking. Or it takes forever to get issued. And the banking is in English.

I think this has huge potential, and I may finally be able to rest well at night when we get new clients for a Hong Kong company (read our Hong Kong registration guide here) setup and – yes – their request to get a local HK bank.

Big Plus – Don’t Need To Come To Hong Kong To Apply

Here is the big – big one – that I know our readers at Global From Asia will love – you can apply and get approved online. So now, once we get this moving smoother – we can help clients open a HK company and HK bank account without needing to fly here.

Can you say…

Game changer!?!

Wow, Hong Kong may be back open for business. It’s been a rocky road since March 2016 but we may be out of the ice age and entering normal business climate.

How I Came Across Neat

I met David Rosa, the founder of Neat.hk a couple years ago when they were in their early stages. He visited me in my TST office and we chatted about the struggles of banking in Hong Kong and Asia in general. I had been doing my podcast already for a couple years then and was helping clients open up companies and banking. I explained the utter nightmare it was to beg a bank like HSBC to please let us deposit money with them.

At that time Neat was focused on the consumer banking side (individual accounts) but he said once that was going he’d work on their business banking solution and let me know.

I also have gotten to know others on his team, and he had been merging with other local Hong Kong fintech startups I had been following.

It’s true – Global From Asia is a great blog and media source for Fintech in Hong Kong and Asia. So I am always getting startups trying to solve this nightmare banking issue find me and send me their new products and solutions.

It is my biggest pleasure to be able to blog about this and give everyone hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I really hope this disrupts these archaic banks who destroy small business owners livelihood.

Let’s give power back to the SME and let’s leverage online banking – who needs to visit a corporate banking branch anyway?

Can You Trust This New Fintech Startup?

As I have been telling clients about this new banking solution – some are still a bit nervous. A startup holding your funds is a big ask, not as simple as a social media app where you share what you ate for dinner.

True, I always have to disclose you need to use any financial solution at your own risk. But they are recognized in Hong Kong as an accredited Fintech company and work inside Cyberport. I should get him on the podcast as well.

Ready to go and get this new Hong Kong Business Banking solution? How To Signup?

So I probably have you on the edge of your seat (I hope!) and I have you excited to apply.

If you are starving and about to die of starvation as you have a HK company already and just need a freaking bank account – you can browse over to Neat Business Account and get on their waiting list. I do have a special code that can help you get expedited but am not allowing to link it publicly so if you’re a client of our corporate services division (Unipro) then talk to our client services department to get that going.

Don’t have a HK company yet and now feel more confident you can get a HK company and bank account together – then let’s work together. Check out our HKVIP package and let’s do some business together.

This may have just re-opened the doors to doing business in Hong Kong for online business owners. That plus the corporate tax rate has been dropped to 8.25% (from 16.5%) for SMEs with less than 2 million HKD in revenue. Ice age in HK may be past us, let’s hope and we will keep you updated as this progresses.

Ears On The Ground

Here are some messages we have been hearing on the web that we believe is helpful

have you succeeded with HSBC ? [Surprise] A lot of variables will come into play, especially fiscal residency and company’s “establishment” location. Generally speaking, will be harder for countries like me France to apply in today’s banking conditions. Anyways, NEAT business is good although they are launching and still developping. However pay attention -> they have merchant limits as they are NOT a bank, they can only hold funds under a 2million HKD limit. This means, if you generate large amounts of revenue, you won’t be able to store all of your funds with NEAT, you will need like a traditional bank account for savings for example. I currently work it out this way : 1/ I use sendwyre to do as much as I can with supplier payments and other online payments then send the remaining to NEAT 2/ I use NEAT for other purposes like the mastercard to purchase stuff online, also will do HK based transactions or other operational stuff I may need on a week to week basis. 3/ I have a traditional bank account I was able to open after almost a year of issues and 3 banks denied. This one is not being used right now and I unfortunately pay fees to keep it opened. However the aim is to keep this bank account in order to have a back up plan in case NEAT goes bad + it allows me to grow my business where when I will cross the 2million HKD in balance on NEAT, I start sending over to my bank. Remember -> you may have sometimes over 2million HKD for just couple weeks , in that case NEAT won’t accept your funds. So long term wise, you need a traditional bank too and play around those limits.mobile online forum

Input from Neat, March 2018

Here’s an update from Andre in our GFA Community Wechat group who has this update on the Neat bank situation for HK:

“Ok guys so answers from neat: still no multi currency accounts, cannot currently deposit cash, to withdraw cash standard neat charge of 2.5% is charged, the main partner bank is standard chartered. So currently it’s best just for users purely doing online business.”Andre

Can I wire in USD or other foreign currencies?

Yes, you can wire incoming currencies no problem.

Can we transfer money to EU banks?

For wiring out, you can only send money within HK. But you can use a cross border payment company such as Aurelia Pay.

Check our blog on cross border payment companies.

What’s the account limits?

2,000,000 HKD (a bit over $250,000 US dollar) as of March 2018.

A question from a Client

“I have a question, we set up the neat account and everything went smoothly and the account is open and active now.however, it shows the account only accepts incoming wire.

Is there anyway you can help us with that? I tried looking for information on how to contact the bank directly but they only have a q & a with 15 questions.

the main reason we wanted an account was to pay our supplier in China to expedite the process of importing our product to USA. Can you please give me some information and also if you can let me know how we can open account with a better bank.”

We suggest using a cross-border payment service provider in the middle.

Information You’ll Need to Apply

Here is a copy/paste of their latest application form

This form collects information about your company so that we can complete the application without the need to travel and visit our office.

We will gather information about:

  • Your company
  • Directors
  • Shareholders
  • Ultimate Beneficial Owners (natural persons who ultimately own or control the company)

In order to complete the application you will need the following documents:

  • Valid Business Registration Certificate – example – (or equivalent for companies not incorporated in Hong Kong)” – example
  • Photo ID of Directors and Ultimate Beneficial Owners

Neat HK will also help you to generate a Board Resolution that authorise you or one of the directors to open an account with us on behalf of your company.  The form is pre-filled and requires just a signature.

NOTE: Please be as accurate as possible – this will speed up the review process and increase the chances of your application being successful.

P.S. You can save your application work at any time and come back to it later on. Just click on the “Save” button and input your email.


Input from Neat, March 2018

Here’s an update from Andre in our GFA Community Wechat group who has this update on the Neat bank situation for HK:

Ok guys so answers from neat: still no multi currency accounts, cannot currently deposit cash, to withdraw cash standard neat charge of 2.5% is charged, the main partner bank is standard chartered. So currently it’s best just for users purely doing online business.Andre

What is Neat HK?

Neat is a mobile current account that makes everything accessible and at ease. It only takes 10 minutes of your time to have a Neat account. You do not have to worry with your local and international purchase, with over 50 currencies available with Neat, they got you covered!

With Neat, you can manage your money anywhere, receive salary and make payments, and send money to your friends.

There is also an available Neat Card for free. It is a prepaid MasterCard issued by ePaylinks. Browse the following incurring fee before you avail a Neat card.

What are the fees needed to acquire Neat HK?

There are no reflected monthly or annual fees and for acquiring a Neat Prepaid Mastercard. However, a lost or stolen card of Neat HK will cost HK $50 for a card replacement.

Each ATM withdrawal with a minimum fee of HK $25 will have an incurring fee of $25. Transaction refund is for HK$4. Those merchants in Hong Kong who are under an international brand is included with 1.5% fee in HKD Transaction Foreign Merchant. When you inquire for your balance on an ATM, there is a fee of HK $4.

Also, a consecutive six months of inactivity will be charged HK$12.5 a month. Unless, the balance is zero.

How to get the Neat HK application?

Neat application is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can just download the app at their respective app stores.

How to get a Neat HK Card?

To have a Neat HK Card, complete the registration process on the Neat Application. The only requirement you need is a passport or a Hong Kong Identity Card.

Is there a Business Account offered by Neat HK?

Yes, there is a current business account offered. There are number of benefits for your business when you use Neat HK for your business!

  • An increase in productivity will be achieved with Neat Business HK. They offer you tools that can help you operate your business efficiently. The dashboard can give you the insight and control of the progress of your business finances.
  • Just like the personal subscription, business account is a quick setup. You have the access of your bank account anywhere and anytime.
  • The offered business account is timely. There are integrated features that automatically organize admin tasks. This feature will help you focus more on your business.
  • You will be assigned with a dedicated Hong Kong bank account number. Neat supports many e-commerce platforms. This allows you to receive payments and manage disbursements.
  • More so, business accounts offers a feature that can easily pay invoices and employees.
  • There is an expense card available to enable your employees make purchase online and offline, and withdraw cash at ATMs.
  • Now, lost receipts are not a problem anymore. Its feature has an ability to add pictures of receipt.

This business account is still developing. There are two features to be added on its update: powerful reporting and automated accounting.

How to apply for Business Account?

Neat Business Application

You have to fill out the Neat Business Application, information about your company are collected. The catch is, you do not have to travel to Hong Kong to apply for a business account. Filling out this application will only take you 10 to 15 minutes. If you have some things to do, you can save the application any time and finish it later.

Informations regarding the company, the ultimate beneficial owners, shareholders, and directors. The said ultimate beneficial owners are those who naturally owns or controls the company.

The following documents are needed to complete the business application:

  • Valid Business Registration Certificate (see example)
  • Passport of Directors and Ultimate Beneficial Owners

Neat also helps you produce a Board Resolution that will authorize you or one of the company directors to open a business account in behalf of the company. The form will be pre-filled and it will only require a signature.

Before you plan to fill up a business account application with Neat HK, please check whether your company meets the compliance requirements.

List of Restricted Nationalities

  • Afghanistan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Guyana
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Yemen

List of Restricted Industries

  • Adult related
  • Antique Dealers
  • Arms Dealers
  • Auctioneers
  • Cryptocurrency Dealers
  • Defence System
  • Foreign Exchange Dealers
  • Gambling and Casino
  • Jewel, Gems, and Precious Metals Dealers
  • Nuclear Power
  • Pawn Shops
  • Plane Dealers
  • Products and Services Illegal under Hong Kong Law
  • Pyramid Selling Schemes
  • Stock Securities Companies

If you think you meet the compliance requirements, start filling out the application.

What are the features of Neat Business?

Neat Business is yet only dedicated to Hong Kong dollars current account and a local bank account number. However, the company plans to offer a multi-currency account wherein it will support a multi-currency account.

Payments made from anywhere around the world will be received to the business account. Any outgoing payments from local third-party banks in Hong Kong are also supported. However, the outgoing payments to international banks is still about to be offered.

It is also planned that Neat HK and Xero Cloud accounting should be integrated. This is to enhance online banking through seamless accounting and account reconciliation.

Why choose Neat?

Neat is a highly secured mobile currency account that you can fully trust, either you will use it for your business or for your personal use.

You can manage, operate, and send your money anywhere in the world.

Neat may be developed at Hong Kong, but you do not have to go to their office to acquire an account and a card. More so, there are no requirements needed for personal use. Receive payments and send money to your friends

Neat HK is a revolutionized and patented account opening process. .

Get your mobile app at the Apple Store or Google Play!

Shenzhen’s 40th Anniversary Light Show

Shenzhen Special Economic Zone established the 40th anniversary of the light show. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. It developed from a small fishing village to metropolis. The show was held near civic center and lotus park. We are so lucky to celebrate the success with this energetic city. Happy birthday Shenzhen!

Full version on Tencent: https://v.qq.com/x/page/i07069nqjd7.html

 

Buying a Hong Kong Owned Chinese Company Out of the Box

We have heard a lot about buying a shelf company in Hong Kong, this is common talk in the blogosphere. But have we heard about buying a Hong Kong company that has a Chinese WFOE (Wholly foreign owned entity) with it?

Today, we will dig into this, why you would consider it, and what you need to do

Getting More and More People Approaching Me To Buy / Sell Their HK/ China Business

As the Global From Asia blog gets out there more and more, we get emails from people for all kinds of things. One has been people who are looking to buy or sell their businesses here in Hong Kong and China. It is a pretty complex process, and there are a few different case studies we can cover in future blogs.

One I received recently is interesting. The client has a couple of Hong Kong company businesses that each own their own Chinese WFOE company, all setup and operating. He would be open to selling and transferring it to a new buyer.

He sees that there is more and more discussions about buying companies here. Getting plugged in fast with the China market for those who still haven’t tapped in yet.

Why Buy a HK / WFOE Combo?

So as part of the sale, it would not include the customers or supplier database. It would be the structures set up with their licenses and banking accounts. So you’re not buying this business for the customer assets or any IP – but instead to:

  • Save time. Getting banks in HK has become slow and tedious. China is also, and has been like this for quite some time.
  • Business in a box. All the banking arrangements are setup, and the licenses you need for an import / export company are ready to go.
  • Aged company. These are older businesses. Having some years already put away for the company history always helps out. Use it when applying for financing or other “intimate” business relationships.
  • Get all the licenses you need, right away. Many people want to do business in China, but aren’t sure if they are getting all the licenses and paperwork they need. This will make sure you have it all, used for years that way.

How Would a Transfer of a Hong Kong Company with a Chinese WFOE work?

Ok, so you’re interested in this and still with me here – great!

Because the Chinese company is 100% owned by the Hong Kong company – all the activity would happen at the Hong Kong level. You would become the new owner and director of the HK limited company. Then you would automatically own the Chinese subsidiary because it is owned by the HK parent company.

There would be transferring of bank account signers on the Hong Kong side as well as the Chinese side, and that would do in person.

There would also be some updating of the legal representative in the WFOE side, which the seller can help you with.

So, you will then be the owner of an optimized and functional trading company. That is, without the months of headaches and the current issues with banking.

How Much For What You Will Get

You’re now asking yourself, ok, how much? The price won’t be less than if you started one from scratch – but this shouldn’t be the reason you’re doing this. This is to get an operational and functional import and export business without the headaches.

This is for trading and manufacturing WFOES with full import-export rights. This means you can use it for VAT rebate facilities and even domestic sales.

The price is negotiable for how much involvement you need from the seller, and we will take serious inquiries if you contact us.

The price range is starting at $200,000 US dollars to $350,000 USD. The range is dependent on your specific terms and requirements.

Sound Feasible?

I’d love to hear your feedback and comments on buying a full on HK/China trading company operation. This is for serious business owners who are doing serious business in their home countries and want to plug right into the Hong Kong and China market fast and seamlessly.

Will keep people posted on the progress, in the meantime please leave comments or questions about this in the comment section below.

Differences in Corporate Tax vs Personal Tax for International Entrepreneurs

This post is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/internationalbusinesstax/

Taxes, yay! We all love taxes, right?

Well, I can’t imagine anyone jumping up and down saying “me, me, I love taxes”. But I do feel quite a few people want to have a deeper understanding of how taxes work. This is especially true when doing international business.

First, it is a dynamic and complex specialty. I am not a tax lawyer and my tips and opinions you should verify with your tax professional before implementing.

Ok, done with the disclosure. Read on to learn more about differences between corporate taxes and personal taxes.

What Is Company (Corporate) Tax?

First, let’s define what is tax for a company. The most easy way to envision this is picture a company as your baby. You gave birth to a new life, and this company has a new identity. Thus you need to report to the government about its “health” and its taxes, just like a baby will as he or she grows older.

You as the parent (shareholder and director) will be responsible for its upbringing. You need to now make sure this baby company is filing its paperwork and paying its taxes.

Following along now?

So, where you choose to give birth to this company (register or incorporate) is where you will be reporting taxes for it.

People like Hong Kong because it has a low corporate tax rate of 16.5%, and if you qualify 0% on offshore status. But let’s keep it simple and say 16.5%.

At the end of the year, your company earns $100,000 US dollars. You will need to pay 16.5% taxes on that, or $16,500 US dollars, and the company keeps the rest.

So that takes care of the company (corporate) tax. You also need to make sure you play salary tax on employees, government fees, keep the bookkeeping in order, and do the tax audit. But we’re focused on taxes today.

Now we need to talk about your taxes, as an individual.

What is Personal Tax?

Now we have finished the taxes for the company. But there is you, the “parent” of this baby company. Are you taking money out from this baby company to pay for your living costs? Or will you keep the money in the baby company’s bank account so that the company can grow faster and use that money to invest.

This is something that is tricky and we need to think about. I always like to re-invest money back into the company, but at the same time, we as the “parents” of a company need to make a living.

So, now its time to take money out of the company. And the money we take we need to pay taxes on, as a human being, as an individual.

We can take the money out as a salary or as a dividend.

If you take it out as a salary, you would hire yourself by the company and issue yourself an employment contract to work for the company. You would then need to pay salary tax on that income.

If you take it out as a dividend, it is easier. The main difference with a dividend is that you need to divide out by the percent shares you own. So if the company is 50% yours and 50% another partner, then you need to split the dividend by the percentage breakdown.

So, for example, let’s look at that $100,000 USD profit we mentioned earlier. Say you decide to issue $50,000 USD as a dividend, and keep $50,000 USD in the company for re-investing in growth. That $50,000 USD dividend would have to be an equal split between the owners at $25,000 and $25,000.

So maybe one of the owners doesn’t want to take the dividend, and the other needs the cash to pay his or her bills. Then it might make more sense to hire one of the owners to run the company and to take a salary.

This gets tricky at the personal tax level, let’s go through some things to consider next.

Where Is Your Citizenship?

What passport are you holding? Are you an American? If an American, your life just got more complicated as an international business owner.

Americans can get exempt from taxes up to a certain point if they qualify. But you will always need to file. So you’ll need to report that you have a Hong Kong company. You will need to report that earned income in the company that you will take out as a salary or dividend. Talk to your USA accountant about how you will treat this. There is different tax rules for salary vs dividend.

And if you’re an American residing somewhere else, you may also be subject to paying taxes in that country as well.

Other passport holders, let’s look now at a second criteria.

What Is Your Country of Residence?

Where you are a resident also comes into account when dealing with personal tax. If you’re a German living in Thailand, just because you live there doesn’t make you a resident. Are you on a tourist visa, which governments consider…being a tourist! Or are you on a work permit, which is the assumption that you are working in Thailand and earning an income and paying taxes.

Most places in the world where you have a passport and citizenship (except USA, see FATCA infographic). If you are a bona fide resident of another country, then you are exempt from paying taxes in your home country.

So the dividend or salary you took from your Hong Kong company, you would need to pay taxes in the country you are a resident.

The main point is, you need to pay taxes somewhere in the world. Either your “place of birth” or where you hold your passport and citizenship, or if you can qualify as a resident somewhere else.

Think About It On a Larger Scale – Multi-National Corporations

You are a bit confused. I like to step back and think about it from a big company perspective to give it the complete picture. Let’s say that a massive company has a company in Hong Kong. They have shareholders and directors and it is thousands of different people involved.

Let’s go point by point:

They would have income in their company. Same as you.

Costs, yup. Same as you – marketing, software, payroll, contractors, etc.

Directors – May have a few more than the typical small to medium sized business. This could be the C level executives or the Hong Kong company General Manager.

Shareholders – Quite a few, could be a publicly traded company. It may be 100% owned by a company in another country.

Like anywhere, this multi-national company has income and expenses. The company can try to adjust that in various countries where they have their different entities setup. This is transfer pricing. It can also transfer price by invoicing other companies in its network.

At the end of the day, they will need to report their yearly books to the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department. The company will pay taxes based on how much it earned in the Hong Kong company.

How about the directors and shareholders of this large company? Most likely the shareholders don’t expect to live off the dividends of the company. Instead want to keep the earnings in the company to reinvest in growing the company even bigger. These shareholders are most likely hands off. They want to see their investment make a long-term return on investment. The directors, let’s say there is a CEO and a COO, will get a salary and bonus. The shareholder’s board of directors approve the salary for the directors. Lots of times there may be stock options and bonus of cash payments based on performance of this executive team.

But in a large company, the owners do not live and depend on the dividends coming out of the business.

So, just like you – the company is to make money. But it is more clear that in a larger company there is a clear separation of shareholders and directors. Yet, smaller businesses the shareholders are the same as the directors. The directors need to earn a living and also optimize their taxes.

But how does one pay this dividend and/or salary to the director is a **Personal** tax event, not the same as corporate tax event.

Worth Noting – Do All Shareholders & Directors Agree on the Payout Structure?

Since we’re on this topic it’s worth sharing. Many times people get into business partnerships and they didn’t first discuss the money! How much of the money remains in the company versus how much will the company pay out as a dividend (or salary) to the shareholders.

**Discussing this with your business partners before the company is set up is critical**. This is a critical element. When you have this discussion you will find out if all other business owners in this venture are on the same page as you.

Based on my own experience, I have been in business ventures where my partners needed to take the cash out of the business ASAP. They needed this income to pay the bills. Whereas I was more focused on reinvesting this profit back into the business to grow it.

This difference in viewpoint and goals caused a lot of tension, as one may imagine. Each side has a fair argument. My partners in the deal said that if they don’t see the money coming out of the business they’ll lose focus. They want to benefit them in the short term to help focus on building this company. I much prefer the other side of doubling down the profits to quadrupling the investment of profits.

Which do you prefer? This should definitely be a topic you discuss with your partners as soon as possible. You should cover it in your shareholder’s agreement. Or at least noted as a mutual understanding document somewhere – a piece of paper or back of an envelope on the plane ride!

Big Companies – Keeping Their Corporate Profits Overseas

It is always a hot topic in American news. Massive comglomorates who make tons of money “offshore” or in international markets. These companies keep this millions (or billions) of dollars earned in these foreign companies. Then rather than sending the cash back up to the US company, the invest it overseas to delay the American taxs.

Again, we’re separating our personal taxes from company taxes. Remember, it is like a separate person. So Apple is earning tons of money in China on iPhones and other products. The company earns this cash from sales in China, but their headquarters is in California wants the tax money. The US government would love for them to wire transfer those billions to their USA bank account. This would then create a huge bump in revenue in their USA company, which translates to tax liabilities.

How This Applies To A Small Business Owners

Don’t have businesses setup around the globe? So you don’t have the leisure to decide where to report your billions of dollars of earnings, poor you! And poor me! There are things you can learn from this though. If your company makes money, it doesn’t mean you as the shareholder or the director are making money – at least in the short term. If your company is reinvesting the profit and not sending you the cash, you can wait. At least for that tax year – then you will not be liable for those taxes – as an individual.

Make sense? Again, it is critical that you separate your personal tax from your company tax situation. Company may earn a profit this year. But if it doesn’t send the money to the shareholders, or pay out as salary to the directors, then those individuals won’t be paying personal taxes on it that year.

Hope this helps. The laws and the places in the world where you are a resident or citizen may make this a different situation. So please ask a licensed accountant in your country where you file your taxes as an individual.

Focus On Building Your Business – Not Tax Shelters

I want to end today’s guide with a reminder. A lot of tax specialists always stress that the business exists to get customers and earn profit. It is not about spending all your time trying to avoid taxes.

Think of Google or Apple. They started in garages in California with a few people. I can’t imagine Larry Page or Steve Jobs sitting in their garage discussing how to setup offshore corporations. They’re not focused to avoid paying taxes on the small or non-existent revenue they were making.

That was all setup later, but expensive CPAs and corporate lawyers.

So if you’re reading this and at the early stage of your business, please save your brainpower. Put that energy on building your product and getting customers.

If you’re already past the early and middle stages of your business and want to get more advanced, sure, let’s talk!

How was this guide, please let us know by sharing your comments or questions below!

Features to Look For In Your Hong Kong Bank

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/hkbankfeatures/

Which Hong Kong Bank Features To Look For When Selecting a Bank Account

As the global banking system has gotten more selective and difficult, more and more people are contacting me when they got rejection letters. A lot of times this is HSBC HK as everyone goes there first.

Are you one of these people getting the rejection letters? Or maybe your account closed?

You have a Hong Kong company setup, but without a bank account, how can someone do business? Crazy right.

So the scramble for bank account alternatives to HSBC comes up.

Today I’m going to go through the various features you want in a bank account, and give some other banks to look at.

Multi-Currency Account

Because we are global business people, we need to handle multiple currencies. The thing people love about Hong Kong is the ability to hold so many currencies. Many countries force clients to convert into their home country currency such as US dollars or Chinese Yuan.

But having a multi-currency bank account in Hong Kong is a feature you need to request when applying.

And there are a few small differences:

  • Multi-currency savings
  • Multi-currency checking

The line between savings and checking accounts have blurred over the years. But the main difference is a checking (also called “current”) is that you can access it from an ATM account. Sure, there are some ATMs that let you choose between checking or savings. But when you’re traveling internationally or not at your home bank, you don’t have that choice always.

But multi-currency is a key feature in a bank account, and let’s use this as top criteria in selecting top bank accounts to apply for here.

Online Banking

Yes, I’m typing this in in the year 2015 and still there are many banks with none or limited online banking. I hate to say it, I have to say a decent amount of Hong Kong banks that leave a lot of room for improvement for online banking. HSBC has the best for online banking, and that is still nowhere near as convenient as international and American banks.

But besides HSBC, which banks have good online banking?

First, let’s define good online banking.

  • Able to view your account balance and activity
  • Able to send payments and international bank transfers (wires)
  • Email alerts on various types of account activity (incoming deposit, outgoing wire, bill payment)
  • Multiple user login, with various account level access to allow your bookkeeper access and not able to send outbound transfers.
  • Download / Export transactions as a CSV file or Excel.

Think these are the core functions of online banking. Other things I would classify as “nice to have”, but these you need to use online banking.

Visa / Mastercard Debit Card

Custom Headline

Have you seen bank cards that you are not able to use when buying things online or at shops?

Yes, those exist.

They are only valid at the banking ATMs inside Hong Kong, either in their network or other Hong Kong banks. They will not work outside of China, even in Mainland China.

This is a big problem for global business people like us right?

We need a bank account that gives us a Visa or MasterCard “backed” debit card. So we can use them at ATMs around the world. But not just the basic function as getting cash from an ATM, but also the ability to make simple daily business purchases when out and about.

While this may seem like a basic function, we may need to ask for this feature when applying to a bank. And they may not have the option! Or, they will charge a one time, or monthly fee to have this functional debit card.

Reasonable Monthly Fees

No one is a fan of bank fees.

Yet around the world, bank fees have been creeping up more and more. I predict it is due to low interest rates. As higher overhead costs the banks need to follow with international regulations.

So these costs get passed down to the user, us, in the form of monthly fees or all kinds of crazy transaction fees.

So our alternative Hong Kong bank account needs to have reasonable bank fees.

What is reasonable? Well, let’s baseline it to HSBC HK, which is 50 HKD (approximately $6.50 USD) per month. The bank can waive this fee if you maintain a monthly average balance of 50,000 HKD ($6,500 USD) as of writing today’s guide.

I’ve seen monthly fees as high as 300 HKD ($40 USD) from certain HK banks. You can avoid it by having a minimum balance of 200,000 HKD (approximately $25,500 USD).

So we need to be cautious of bank fees when selecting a bank account.

Custom HeadlineLow / No Application Fee

In all my years with Hong Kong business, I have not seen application fees for banks. But lately I have seen them pop up more and more.

The banks require you to pay the fee upfront and non-refundable even if you get rejected. The justification for these fees is that nowadays there is more and more “red tape” or paperwork due to FATCA regulations for all clients. This is a lot more paper that you need to fill out, mailed around, and warehoused for years.

Who is going to pay for that?

Banks seem to want to pass this down to clients.

So let’s be weary of these new application fees for Hong Kong banks. These are popping up all the time, so keep your ears open when going to your bank account opening interview.

Also, I may miss some of these over the years and months, so if you can leave a comment to help me and others out, that would be amazing!

Decent Customer Service

Customer service, that is decent.

I’m not going to get into cultural differences and customer service in today’s article. But I will just say, that we want to have basic and polite service when dealing with our banking needs.

I’ve been in bank account application interviews and the account representative is…not engaged with the client. They say that this is the way things are, and that if they don’t like it they can apply somewhere else. This comes out a bit rougher when typed out today, they say it in a more soft tone.

But because bank accounts have gotten more “exclusive” to get, the bankers feel that we should be happy they are talking to us and considering our applications.

Let’s vet out banks who have poor customer service. I’m hoping today’s guide can keep up to date with other people’s experiences.

What Is Your Hong Kong Banking Plan?

Hope this helped you out. Hong Kong is a great place to do business. Once you get the bank account! While the banking solutions on the market today may have some things left to be desired, it is much better compared to other options in Asia.

What is your next step?

The team at Global From Asia is offering a full service banking application service. We understand your current business and banking requirements and work alongside you. As the banks around the globe get more challenging to apply for and get approved for, it is more of a headache than ever! We have worked with many clients to get the banking application and approval process streamlined and would love to work with you!

Apply now for the banking application service.

Getting To Know Shenzhen

Shenzhen is in the top ten cities for international tourism on the Euromonitor top 100 city destinations ranking list staying at #9. It is a new and energetic city which soon became travelers’ best-in-class embodiment of their values and interests. Economic, political environment, public transportation and etc. have been intensively improved over the past few years.

If you want to get to know more do check out Nico’s video about “Getting To Know Shenzhen’ or read her article at  GETTING TO KNOW SHENZHEN

 

ISNS Scholarships: The Opportunity of a Lifetime

The International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen campus
The International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen campus

The International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen, is an exceptional school. Established in 2002, ISNS has grown from only 118 students to over 800, all of whom graduate and get accepted into top universities around the world. The graduating class of 2018 includes students who have acquired scholarships at such institutes as the University of Ottowa, York University and Queen’s University in Canada, and School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, Seton Hall University and the prominent institutions Stanford University, Northwestern University and University of California, Berkeley in the United States. Cumulatively, the ISNS class of 2018 has obtained over US$554,000 in scholarship offers up to April this year, which is testament to the outstanding academic achievements of the students.

In order to give back to the community which plays such an important role in the life of the school, ISNS has decided to continue their scholarship program for the upcoming academic year. There will be five scholarships available: four will be available to prospective IB Diploma Program (DP) students, and one will be available to a current student for the Diploma Program. Successful applicants will receive a full-ride and full-tuition scholarship at ISNS for the two years of the course, providing academic standards are maintained during the first year of study. This is a wonderful opportunity for both existing students and those considering a change of school for Grades 11 and 12, or for students new to Shenzhen.  

ISNS is renowned for being the first full continuum International Baccalaureate school in Shenzhen. Throughout Grades 1 to 5 (the Primary Years Program or PYP) and Grades 6 to 10 (the Middle Years Program or MYP),it provides a unique combination of the New Brunswick curriculum from Canada and the world-recognised IB framework. Students completing the Diploma Program also have the opportunity to complete a New Brunswick Diploma as part of their studies. The key difference between a regular IB school and ISNS is that New Brunswick curriculum topics are used as the focal point for the IB units of enquiry, thereby expanding the areas covered to include provision towards the NB diploma.

The scholarships and bursaries provided by ISNS this year have been increased to an incredible total of RMB3,000,000. The school fosters a culture of inclusivity and cultural diversity, and by providing this service they ensure that their program is available to as many students as possible.

One of the fantastic aspects of ISNS is that all educational visits outside of the school are included in the tuition fees – or, in this case, within the scholarship funding. Every year groups from Grade 6 to Grade 12 take part in Service as Action and CAS trips (MYP & DP) or Education Outside of the Classroom (PYP) residential trips outside of Shenzhen. Destinations include Foshan and Yunnan Province in China as well as places which are further afield, such as Indonesia and Japan. These trips give students the opportunity to learn outside the school environment and help them to become true world citizens.

The students also plan and carry out a project to help the local or wider community as part of the ‘Service’ aspect of the IB framework. In Shenzhen students have worked with Captivating International, a charity based in Hong Kong and Shenzhen who support poor families and girls in rural China, and the Sunshine Academy which cares for and educates abandoned Chinese children. One project by Grade 11 students involved the students visiting Cambodia and building a house to help deprived local families. Other projects have included helping farmers in rural areas of China and discovering the culture and communities in different regions of China and South-East Asia.

In addition to the excursions away from Shenzhen, students also have the opportunity to take part in activities both within and after school. An extensive Arts program includes more than 23 different arts activities such as choir, dance and visual performances; sports choices are just as wide ranging, with the school participating in various inter-school events organised by Shenzhen International Schools Athletic Conference (SISAC). These events and activities are complemented by the state-of-the-art facilities at the ISNS campus in Nanshan, including a 200-metre outdoor track, a fitness centre, a 300-seat auditorium, libraries, fully-equipped science laboratories, art and music centres, wireless connectivity in all classrooms and interactive learning resources.

This year the International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen, will celebrate the significant milestone of its 100th graduating student. ISNS wants to give back to the students and give parents and wider families the opportunity to become part of the school community. Scholarships for academics, athletics, most-improved, all-rounder, and demonstration of the IB learner profile provide the perfect chance to join ISNS and grow to be one of their successful alumni.

For more information about the scholarships visit the scholarship and bursary section of the ISNS website or call the Admissions office. Alternatively, email the ISNS Admissions team at admissions@isnsz.com.

Applications close on 31st May 2018, so get your applications in quickly for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Chinese Name: 深圳南山国际学校
Place Address: International School of Nanshan Shenzhen -11 Longyuan Road, Taoyuan Sub-District, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518055
深圳市南山区桃源街道龙苑路11号
Place Phone: +86 (755) 26661000

Using a Hong Kong Company for Your Chinese Factory

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/hkcompanyforchina/

Tired of sourcing from factories and want to setup your own manufacturing operation? Searching for the best corporate structure for a new Chinese factory?

Look no further, today we will dig into Hong Kong being a great place to open your factory under.

How To Open A Factory?

I remember when I first visited a factory in China. I became shocked to think it isn’t as complicated as I had thought. There are three main factors:

  •  Big Open Space

    Need a big building with lots of open space to set up the operations.

  •  Machines

    You’ll need the equipment to prepare the materials. This can be all sorts of machines but let’s stick to the most common: plastic injection machine. These are the most common in a Chinese factory. They will take the manufacturing mould, and then inject the plastic inside and pop out a bunch of the plastic parts. Significant size and definitely a big upfront investment.

  •  Labor

    You’ll need people to put together the plastic parts once they came out of the machines. Debur, check for any defects, assemble. Check the quality. Package. You get the idea.

Of course there is a lot more skill and magic to the process, but these are the main pieces of the puzzle you’ll be dealing with.

Is Hong Kong A Good Place For Your Factory Business?

A lot of people ask me when they’re searching on Alibaba should they pick companies that are in Mainland China or Hong Kong. Yet I don’t know any factories still located in Hong Kong – they are all in China. What is in Hong Kong is the sales office, or even just a virtual office for the parent company.

That’s not to say having your factory established in Hong Kong as a business entity isn’t viable. It is something common. It can be with anyone, Americans, Europeans, Local Hong Kong people, or Mainland Chinese who open the HK limited company. It will not be too easy for the general public to know the nationality of the owners (though there are ways to do company research in Hong Kong). Once you’re a Hong Kong company, you can then open a Mainland Chinese WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Entity) that will be where the factory operates from.

You can have a local Chinese partner in the factory with you, and you can both own the shares in Hong Kong. Once that is setup, you will then be “foreign” to the Chinese government even if half the company is Mainland Chinese owned. So you’ll open a Chinese subsidiary that is the fully owned by Hong Kong company. Have the IP owned by the HK parent company, and now you have the benefits of HK’s English legal system while able to operate inside China.

While any company could be the foreign owner of a WFOE in China, Hong Kong is a good choice as it is so close and so common. Hong Kong banks, and other banks and legal entities will be familiar with how to file the documentation. Thus the WFOE won’t have as much of a headache as having it owned by a company elsewhere.

Make sense?

What Things You’ll Need For a Hong Kong Parent of a Chinese Factory

So what are you going to need for this Chinese factory owned by an HK limited company?

It depends, will you have a physical office in Hong Kong? To do sales, meeting clients, trade shows, etc? Or will you work close with a serviced office in HK that will help with the mail from the governments and banks.

I’m going to assume you’ll be living and working in the Chinese factory, and that will be your base. You won’t need the overhead of a Hong Kong office and will instead invest in Mainland China operations.

Thus, you won’t need many things in the Hong Kong company, most operations will happen in Mainland China.

But you’ll definitely need:

  • Hong Kong Bank – Goes without saying. Any company operating needs to have a bank account. You’ll use this to receive money from customers, and send in money to Mainland China for the production and the rent and staff costs.
  • Hong Kong Credit Card – To keep your life a bit more simple, you’ll need a credit card to put the expenses on. You’ll be traveling to trade shows, clients, and having certain online software packages.
  • Paypal. If you’re selling B2B (manufacturing orders) then I don’t recommend having clients paying you by Paypal. But you may like to have this to buy things online and for small sales. This could also come in handy buying things online if you don’t get a credit card.
  • RMB (Chinese Yuan) Currency Option – Make sure you tell the bank you’ll need a RMB currency account. This will come in handy for managing the risk in currency fluctuations. Plus you can save time at the Chinese bank when you send over Chinese Yuan instead of USD or other foreign currency. It’s much easier to convert to RMB in Hong Kong than it is in Mainland Chinese banks. You can test for yourself, and you can thank me later 🙂

So Here’s How Operations Will Go

So now you did it, you setup a Hong Kong company and then a Chinese WFOE subsidiary. Good job! That took at least 4 months, but more likely 6 months. You may have done some operations already, but now you’re fully legal to do it.

You’ll rent a big space in the outskirts of Shenzhen or in Dongguan. You have your sales team there – and the internet speeds are reasonable for dealing with foreign clients. You have orders coming in. Once the money is in Hong Kong, you can either wire the money on demand to China. A lot of companies work out a monthly invoice for costs of operations and production.

Once you send the money to your Chinese bank from your Hong Kong bank, you order the raw materials and get the factory workers trained up to handle the production. You may need to hire more staff or scale down when production is low. I hope you have a core manufacturing team in place with good experienced factory management.

You process the order. You finish mass production and then send remaining funds to your Hong Kong parent company’s bank from the client. You need to get more cash over to China to finish the deal and get it to the port, FOB Shenzhen.

You will keep some money in China, but you hold your money and IP in the parent company in Hong Kong.

This is the basic idea. Sure the factory can be over in Shanghai, or deeper into Mainland China as well. Where you choose the factory location should base on the type of product and industry you’re in. There are cities who specialize in certain areas.

So What Do You Think? Hong Kong Perfect For Your Factory?

Hope this guide was helpful for you! Where are you opening up your own factory. Often the order of events is a USA import and export company grows bigger and bigger. Getting more clients and specializing more, they want to go even more direct. Since they know their product so well and their customers too, they can invest in a factory themselves.

Sure, this will have more fixed costs and more risky, but you’ll have full control. The trickiest part is to managing the staff and the quality control. All that complaining you did to those factories you bought from before will now be your headache! Its not always the factory owner who does the bad quality on purpose. It takes good management skills to keep things in order and deliver top quality.

So I’d love to hear your experiences and tips about Chinese factories from a Hong Kong company. Please leave comments and questions below!

Shen Wai International School Hosts IB Regional Workshop

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Asia Pacific Regional Workshop was held in Shen Wai International School (SWIS) from the 20th to the 22nd of April. This is the first time the IB chose Shenzhen as a host city.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers a continuum of international education from Primary Years Programme (PYP) to the Diploma Programme (DP). The programmes encourage both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development. The IB offers an education for students from the ages of 3 to 19, comprising of four programmes that focus on teaching students to think critically and independently, and how to inquire with care and logic. The IB prepares students to succeed in a world where facts and fiction merge in the news, and where asking the right questions is a crucial skill that will allow them to flourish long after they’ve left our programmes. There are around 5,000 schools in over 150 countries around the world that implement the IB programme(s). The IB DP is widely recognized by most universities around the world.

These 3-day interactive workshops include Introduction to the IB Programme Standards, PYP and MYP Curriculum Model, the role of the coordinator and librarian, concept-based Learning; living and learning globally, and investigating inquiry. IB teachers from Asia Pacific regions including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan attended the workshops with great enthusiasm. They live and breathe the IB’s philosophy of being lifelong learners.

As a host school, SWIS treated such an event with great priority. More than one month prior to the event, a committee which included School Director, Ally Wu and Deputy School Director, Mingshan Li, formed to prepare for the event. They looked into the venues for the workshops, equipment required, lunch and snack menus, which included special dietary requests for some of the attendees, bus pickups and drop-offs, and on spot troubleshooting.  From the IB organization meetings to the end of the workshop, all the committee members had been on standby and responded promptly to all requests. Their work was highly commended by the IB officials.

The fact that the IB chose Shenzhen, as a host city, is evidence of the high standards upheld in International education here in Shenzhen. Moving forward, SWIS would like to see more and more international education conferences, forums and workshops taking place in Shenzhen, so the world can know more about Shenzhen as a reputable city in regards to education and continue its journey towards the international arena.

Chinese Name: 深圳外国语学校国际部(SWIS)
Place Address: Shen Wai international School, No. 29, Baishi 3rd Road, Nanshan, Shenzhen, China 518053 中国深圳市南山区白石三道29号, 深圳外国语学校国际部 邮编:518053
Place Phone: 86 (755) 86541981/86541963

Rugby vs American Football

They’re both called ‘olive ball’ here in China. But what are the differences between rugby and American football? 

在中国它们通通被称为『橄榄球』,但是究竟英式橄榄球RUGBY和美式橄榄球(又称为美式足球)究竟有什么区别呢?

Most people will point out that American football players are covered in armor whereas rugby players simply wear a mouthpiece. Both are full contact sports which require intense ball carrying and tackling but there are many differences that make each sport quite unique. 

人们通常都会指出,美式橄榄球运动员通常全副武装,而英式橄榄球运动员仅仅一个牙套就够了。实际上这两项运动都是完全的接触性运动,需要有密集的传球和铲球。但二者又大径不同使得这两项运动都独一无二。

First off, rugby is older and American football evolved from rugby’s core. So basics like tackling and scoring are similar. American football terms such as touchdown and field goal came directly from rugby in the 19th Century.

首先,英式橄榄球历史更源远一些,美式橄榄球后根据英式橄榄球的核心发展而来,所以他们的基本规则和得分是十分相似的。例如美式橄榄球中的触地得分和射门得分则早在十九世纪由英式橄榄球规则当中直接演变而来。

Here are the key differences:

Rugby is played by 15 per side. That’s 30 players on the pitch with only one referee. Players stay on the pitch the entire match playing offense and defense until they are taken out of the game. Once a player is substituted he cannot rejoin the match.

以下是英式和美式之间的关键不同之处:

英式橄榄球每队由15名球员组成,场上一共只有三十名球员和一名裁判。在比赛结束之前,所有的球员都在场上进行防守和进攻,一旦球员被替换下场,他将不能重新参加该场比赛。

Football is 11 per side. Players are specialized and play only certain plays, can come in and out every play. 

美式橄榄球每队由11人组成,除了特定的比赛需要,场上可以随时替换或全部的球员。

Rugby players run forward and pass backwards to advance the ball. No blocking or running out of bounds is allowed.

Football players can run forward or pass over the defense to advance the ball. Blocking assists the runner and running out of bounds allows the offense to retain possession of the ball.

英式橄榄球球员通常是向前跑和向身位靠后的球员传球来推进战线,进攻方的其他球员不可以超过持球球员,也不可以冲撞和阻挡不持球的球员或者持球出界。

美式橄榄球的球员则可以向前跑或者通过穿越防守方传球来推进防线,进攻方球员可以帮助持球者冲撞防守方球员为其打开进攻空间,即便持球者跑出界,仍旧保持球权。

Rugby players can kick as an attack and retain possession.

Football players usually kick to surrender possession.

Rugby is nonstop with quick restarts.

Football is full of stoppages, timeouts, and long breaks for quarters and injuries.

英式橄榄球球员可以进攻踢球并保持球权。

而美式通常踢球后需交出球权。

英式橄榄球通常开赛后赛程紧凑,没有计时暂停,而美式则有很多暂停, 超时,或者四分之一赛时后和有受伤时都将暂停比赛计时。

Scoring by touching the ball down in the end zone in rugby is 5 points followed by a 2 point kick.

Scoring by crossing the goal line of the end zone in football is 6 points followed by a 1 point kick.

英式橄榄球的在对方得分区持球触地(达阵)得分5分,达阵后还可以踢射门一次,射中2分。

美式橄榄球可直接带球穿越得分线达阵,达阵得分6分,完成达阵得分后可踢射门得分1分。

A rugby penalty kick is 3 points and a drop goal taken during the play is also 3 points. Any player can kick.

An American football field goal is 3 points and is taken by the kicking specialist who usually does nothing else but this.

英式橄榄球罚踢得3分,或在比赛过程中直接射门同样得3分。场上任何球员都可踢射。但在美式中射门得分同样3分,但不同的说通常都会有特定的踢射球员,而这个人除了射门也只有射门而已。

Rugby tackles turn into rucks and play continues.

Football tackles end the play and everyone has a chance to reset before the next play.

英式橄榄球在比赛过程当中,如果持球者被扑搂(Tackle)摔倒,双方球员上来抢夺地上的球时形成RUCK,比赛继续。而在美式中,持球者被扑搂摔倒后,比赛暂停,而所有人都有机会在比赛继续时重新调整战略甚至是球员。

Rugby offers the defense many chances to win back the ball. After every tackle a ruck is formed where both teams try to force each other backwards to win the ball. Scrums and lineouts restart the match when the a foul has been committed or the ball has gone out of bounds. These both also allow the defense a chance to win the ball back. 

英式为防守方提供了很多赢回球权的机会。每次铲球后,两队都试图互相迫使对方后退以赢得球权。当出现犯规或者出界时,Scrum(俗称斗牛)和Lineout(列队争球)是最常见的两种重新回复比赛的形式。这两种方式都让防守方有机会赢回球权。

Play is restarted in American football by snapping the ball to the quarterback. Referees reset the ball after each play.

在美式当中,任何开球都必须首先传给四分卫。每次恢复比赛后由裁判重新设置开球。

Rugby players run around for 80 mins, tackle, kick, pass, and run. This means all sorts of body types are needed- tall skinny players, short round players, light quick players, etc. There is a position for everyone.

Football positions are specialized. A player who catches almost never will be asked to tackle. A passer will never have to kick, etc. There are positions that rarely have to run and most defenders never have to run with the ball, pass, catch, or kick.

在英式橄榄球80分钟左右的比赛中,所有球员都有可能需要完成扑搂,传球,射门,带球等动作,这就意味着无论你的体格如何,高矮胖瘦,英式橄榄球总有一个属于你的位置。

而美式就稍稍有些不同了,基本上来说每个人都有自己特定的位置和任务。例如接球者不会安排扑搂的动作,带球者可能永远不用踢射等等,例如这些特定的位置很少需要奔跑,并且大多数的防守者都不需要有带球跑,传球,接球或者踢射这些动作。

Rugby games are 80 mins long with a short halftime and a running clock.

Football games are 60 mins long with breaks for each quarter. The clock stops for numerous reasons and each team can call time outs.

英式橄榄球大约时长80分钟左右,中场休息非常短暂,而比赛开场后计时不会停止。

美式橄榄球赛时实际只有60分钟,比赛分四个赛节,每四分之一(15分钟)比赛休息一次。但总有诸多原因会暂停比赛计时,因此看球赛的人永远不知道这场比赛会进行多久。

Overall, rugby is for all-around athletes where teamwork and on-field decision making win or lose games.

Football is more of a chess match between two coaches who call plays executed by specialized players good at their positions.

总体来说,英式橄榄球是一个全能运动员的运动项目,团队合作和赛场决策都有可能赢得或输掉比赛。

美式橄榄球相对于来说更像两队教练之间的抉择,他们的球员则像是这场体能国际象棋赛中的棋子,球员的安排甚至决定了比赛的结果。

Come experience rugby in person here in Shenzhen. For more information please subscribe Shenzhen Dragons Rugby Club Wechat. 

欢迎大家加入我们体验一下英式橄榄球的魅力吧。有关更多信息请访问深圳龙队英式橄榄球俱乐部或关注我们的微信公众平台。

Place Phone:

+86 13823544352

Can You Get a Job from a Hong Kong Company Overseas?

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/workingoverseas/

Do you have a job from a Hong Kong company full time? But living in America most of the time?

When did this insanity start?

Life used to be so simple. We would all stay in our own countries, have our address in the same town as the company we worked in, and pay taxes to that city / state / country.

Nowadays it seems so complex.

But it is awesome. And I get to hear great questions from readers like today’s post.

Let’s share the question here:

(Disclosure: we are not tax professionals, just making a conversation and thought process for your own situation and to ask your own tax professional before making decisions)

Today’s Question

The last two years or so I have been consulting for an American pump manufacturer. Helping them with supply chain and other issues in China, Hong Kong and even Vietnam and India (haven’t been to India physically though).They are now talking about hiring me full-time. It seems that for budget bucket reasons, they want to hire me via their 100%-owned Hong Kong trading company. I would be the first employee there. I really just have one big question set:

How much time would I need to spend in Hong Kong physically to be counted as an employee? And, of course, pay Hong Kong’s beautifully lower income tax rates. My wife and kid are now in California and I would want to spend time with them but if I could do that AND spend time in HK (for the lower taxes) that would be ideal. I am going to be going much more often too — so might as well place me as an employee over there.

Mike – I would really appreciate your time and thoughts on this. Let me know
(Reader’s name removed upon request)

Factors To Consider

As almost all advice, please do you own due diligence. I’m not a lawyer, and am sharing as best to my knowledge and research can provide. Disclaimer, don’t blame me if I am wrong!

Are You American?

I think first question is, are you a US citizen? Believe this will make things more complicated.

Especially if you are living and residing in California, the most expensive state in the United States. They will want your tax income. I believe you are still seen as a California resident, and have to declare this income to the state and pay taxes on it.

Tricky one, as it’s not a US based company.

Where Do You Spend Your Time? Where Do You Deliver The Work / Value?

So, where are you going to be most of the time? Still in California? If you are in USA more than 330 days a year, you fail the exemption status for foreign earned income.

If you are to be outside of America, especially California, for more than 330 days, as an American, this foreign earned income could be exempt from taxes.

But I can’t imagine the US tax department liking you getting paid offshore and sitting at your home office in California most of the time. Make sense?

The Hong Kong Company is Giving Your Proper Employment Contract

They intend to hire you full time, right? So then I would assume you would get an employment contract from them, in Hong Kong.

As an employee in Hong Kong, you would need to then get a Hong Kong ID card. That isn’t a bad thing, it has a lot of perks and advantages. But HK immigration will want the company to see if the company can hire someone in Hong Kong locally first. That is just normal immigration things, Hong Kong is seriously overcrowded and they are getting strict on who they allow to come into the region.

In Hong Kong, to get a job from a Hong Kong company, you’d need to get a proper employment contract as well as a HKID card.

Then, of course as an employee, you and the Hong Kong company hiring you would need to pay the associated taxes in Hong Kong. Which, you mentioned are much lower than in USA and most other parts of the world.

Hong Kong employment tax rates.

How Will The Hong Kong Company Pay You? HK Bank?

How will this company be paying your salary? I would assume you have to have, or setup, a personal bank account in Hong Kong. Then they would setup payroll and have the funds deposited to your bank account either every couple weeks or monthly.

Will you need to access these funds right away? Will you use these funds to pay for your cost of living in California, USA? If so, I would then imagine you’d have to wire transfer the money from Hong Kong into your American bank account.

That money would then be treated as income in America? You will put those transactions in your personal bank statement. At the end of the tax year you’d have to figure out how to classify that to your tax accountant.

But, to stress, you can’t hide your money in Hong Kong from the US tax authorities anyway. You were never supposed to, but nowadays it is impossible. So you’ll have to declare this income to the IRS and explain that it comes from Hong Kong and that you’re hired by a Hong Kong company.

If you are doing it this way, you’ll be paying monthly bank wiring fee, and then declaring taxes in America as, a sole proprietor? Not sure to be honest.

How Big Is This Company?

The next point to look at, how big is this company? And when I say company, I mean the entity registered in Hong Kong. Doesn’t matter if this company is a massive conglomerate registered in the UK. What matters is how big the company is in Hong Kong.

That means, how much revenue. How big is the “real office” (not a serviced address or virtual office). How many full time staff, located in Hong Kong, and a legal hiring with employment contracts are there. Also, there is a difference between how many local Hong Kong people have jobs as a percentage of how many foreigners have jobs.

Any company that has a lot of locals hired, and is doing a lot of payroll tax is contributing to the local economy. Governments love job creations – for their people.

So these kinds of figures will help in your case as a foreigner in a Hong Kong company.

This is a Local Hong Kong Limited Company (Not Offshore Elect)

I am assuming that this Hong Kong domestic company (as opposed to offshore elect) and paying the 16.5% corporate tax rate on earnings. If you think you can get the 0% offshore election option and you can still get a local job in the company, you’re a bit mistaken.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If you’re an offshore company, that means you have no local Hong Kong operations. One of those factors being a Hong Kong employee – which you are trying to become.

What’s Your Salary? Above or Below Market Value?

Another thing the Hong Kong government looks at, as well as any government, is it is a fair salary? That means is your salary what a local Hong Kong person would be in this same position? If you’re the director of the company trying to give yourself a lower salary to avoid taxes, may not work.

Other cases are if you give a lower salary to yourself or your foreign staff in exchange for support on the employment visa. Some people are willing to take a lower salary just to be able to stay legally in Hong Kong. But this will also raise flags and be problems.

You need to pay what the market will bear for someone in your exact position, in Hong Kong.

Has The Company Tried To Hire a Local?

Are you trying to use this salary and income as a way to immigrate to Hong Kong? There may be instances where the immigration department wants to see if the company has put out a job advertisement to place this position in the job market. That means, give a chance to the local Hong Kong market to get this job if they are capable and willing to accept that salary level.

You may say, why does that matter, the owner and director of the company picked me! Again, this depends on the case of how hard it would be for the company to find a local person to do the same role as you. Maybe you’re so special that no one else in Hong Kong can do this job? There are of course cases where that is true, especially in computer programming and technical roles. There is a big shortage of supply in the job market for this job speciality.

So if you’re working in a position that is in short supply in the Hong Kong job market, you’ll have a better chance of this Hong kong salary scheme you’re working on.

What’s Your Long Term Goal with this Job?

So you need to ask yourself, you’re living in California, you’re American. Your family is there too, you’ll be flying back and forth between the 2 continents. Where do you want to spend your time?

Do you want to immigrate to Hong Kong? Bring your wife and kids here, go through the education system here? Or is this just a temporary income stream at the current employer. You want to use it to get more cash, save some taxes, and build some international experience on your resume.

Nothing wrong with either case. But of course, if your long term plan is to relocate to Hong Kong, going through these hurdles will be more logical. If it is a short term play, you may re-consider all the paperwork and hassles your employer and you will have to go through.

Do You Need / Care About a Hong Kong ID?

Another thing, from the email I got – it seems there is no interest in getting a Hong Kong ID (HKID).

A HKID is a pretty valuable thing to have, wherever you are in the world.

As a local resident in Hong Kong, you will get access to the medical system. Sure, public hospitals are not as good as private – but if you’re in a bind, you can always rely on public hospitals taking care of you.

Related: We talk about Hong kong medical options and insurance plans here.

You’ll also be able to cross into Mainland China much easier. Take it from me, as someone without a HKID, my friends who have it zip past me on the borders. If you’re an international business person going between USA, Hong Kong, and Mainland China – you’ll like to get this ID card if you can.

What Do you Think? Get The Job contract in Hong Kong?

So that covers my points. What do you think?

There are other options for how you’re compensated. You can always be an independent contractor and get paid in cash / wire transfer. You’ll file with your US taxes as an independent contractor and your US tax accountant will be able to classify this.

Disclosure, I am not a tax specialist, and this article is a general guideline and free help for those curious on the topic.

Feedback, comments, and hate mail is welcome!

Amazon + Hong Kong – Match Made in Heaven

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/hongkongamazon/

Are you an e-commerce expert, or maybe just getting started out? You should get serious and check into leveraging the power of Hong Kong. For your global business, and Amazon USA sales and supplier center’s headquarters.

Today we’ll dig into why Hong Kong is such a great place to base your Amazon business.

Notice – This Is for Everyone Except US Citizens

This article is only applicable for those who are non US citizens. If you’re a USA citizen, Amazon will enforce that you use your US personal tax ID or a US company.

The rest of the world, you can choose where to establish your company and have your Amazon sales go. Just keep that in mind. When you are setting up your Amazon seller central account, it will ask if you, or anyone in the organization is American. If it is 10% or more owned by a US citizen, Amazon will tell you that you must have misunderstood the form. You’ll get sent back to the beginning of the setup process and open a US-based Amazon account.

Benefit 1 – Corporate Tax is 16.5%, And Can Also Apply For Offshore Status

So, as a global business owner, you can choose where you setup your business. In Hong Kong, even the “normal” corporate tax is at a global-low of 16.5%. There is an offshore elect option that you can file. (Plug- we can help you with offshore status) If you qualify you can get a 0% exemption.

So ya, Amazon sellers can enjoy this lower tax.

Benefit 2 – Still The Same as a USA Based Amazon Seller

If you’re selling on Amazon USA marketplace, they don’t make the sellers look any different, based in America or not. So you don’t have to worry at all about your sales and marketing being at a disadvantage because you’re not registered in US.

Many people don’t understand this and think they need to be American or they need a USA based company to sell on Amazon USA. Nope.

If you’re interested in digging in more, we have a good podcast with Wilson Blues on selling in Amazon USA from Mainland China. This applies to not just Mainland China, but Hong Kong and other places as well.

So if you’re European, you could just sell from your European company in Amazon USA. But the trend I see is a lot of European entrepreneurs re-structuring their businesses over to Hong Kong. For their Amazon businesses, as well as many business types in general. So why not just start fresh with your new Amazon business? 🙂

Amazon handles the payments to Hong Kong by Payoneer and will deposit it to your Hong Kong bank account.

Enjoy USD Accounts and Multi Currency Accounts

Here’s another big benefit- multi currency bank accounts. A ton of people. The Australian dollar currency volatility is crushing Australia business owners. They don’t have a choice to get a multi-currency account. (Not sure if that is true for all Australians, there must be some multi-currency banking somewhere in the country, no?) So they are getting destroyed when Amazon USA sends them their sales proceeds.

When they register in Hong Kong and get the bank account all setup, they can then get the payouts in USD. This means no more currency risk, and they can convert to any currency they so desire, when they are good and ready. Maybe you can pay in Chinese Yuan to your Chinese factory, or keep that in USD too.

Tons of entrepreneurs I work with are so happy they don’t need to deal with the currency of their home country. They are international business people, traveling the world. They don’t want to worry about the risks in the country they were born in having currency fluctuations.

In today’s world, we are free to do business anywhere we like, and Hong Kong allows us to choose the currencies we hold our cash in. Should be like that everywhere, by default. But until that day, Hong Kong is a good place for you to set up!

Easy to Buy from Chinese Factories

For decades business owners from around the world have benefited from Hong Kong when doing business in Mainland China. Counterintuitive I know, many of us think we should just go direct to Mainland China. But Hong Kong is where it’s at, and even Chinese factories have HK businesses with bank accounts.

So rather than wiring the money from your home country of Europe, Australia, etc, you can save money! Just doing a HSBC Hong Kong bank transfer to your supplier’s HSBC HK account. Free transfer, settles there in an instant.

Easier Legal Contracts

Like buying from Chinese factories, it is also easier to make business deals with them. Because they may have a HK company, a contract such as a sales contract, NDA, or even an invoice is easier to arbitrate if both companies are in the same country!

And even if the factory is only set up in Mainland China, there is a special relationship and understanding between HK and CN. It’s just closer, and the factory will respect you more. Plus they will see you are more serious and long term committed to Asia, China, and business on this side of the world.

As most buyers are still just using their home country’s business structure, you will stand out from the rest! Take this extra time and do it right – factory owners will take your business more serious!

Banks Are Fine With E-Commerce Business Models

We all worry these days about banks approving our accounts and keeping them in good standing. Don’t worry about the banks flagging you as a high risk business if you’re selling on Amazon USA. Banks in Hong Kong know this is a gold mine, because it is!

Come to your bank account interview and application day with your Amazon sales records. Show them the volume you have been generating and the revenue you have. Show the screenshots of the product listings and that you have your own brand.

I’ve helped a lot of Amazon seller clients who have set up their bank account with HSBC and not had a problem. Just be confident and transparent about your business model, Hong Kong is the right place for you to set up your global Amazon business.

It makes sense to do it here – buying from China, selling in USA. This is the trading business of the past, just now re-built for the new technology age.

What Do You Think? Will You Establish Your Amazon Empire in Hong Kong?

There you have it, brain dump of why Hong Kong is the right place for your Amazon USA sales business. As I meet these sellers on at least a weekly basis. I am confident to say that this is the right destination for your long term e-commerce business.

What are you thinking, do you have a company setup yet? A lot of clients started selling on Amazon through their personal accounts and it is getting bigger and bigger. Take that big step and make it formal. It will feel a lot better and REAL.

Or you already have a company setup in your home country for this Amazon business? Restructuring is a bit of a hassle, but you can get through it. Start the HK company and re-work everything around Hong Kong, step by step. The Amazon sales, the supplier orders, a new Paypal HK account.

Any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below! And if you like this article and want to setup in Hong Kong, I’d love to work with you.

Hotels To Stay in Hong Kong (From Backpacker to Baller)

This article is originally found here: https://www.globalfromasia.com/hongkonghotels/

Welcome to Hong Kong! The first thing a new client asks us is – what is a good hotel to stay at in Hong Kong? With so many choices and price ranges, it is a difficult answer to say in 1 email! So we have taken parts from various posts and made today’s guide list a full range of options for different locations and price ranges.

Related: check our Hong Kong traveler guide for some highlights.

This guide will be ever evolving, and if you have places to suggest – please contact us or leave a comment below.

Also, if it is your first trip to Hong Kong – check out our complete (and free) Hong Kong Business Traveler’s Guide.

Where in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong isn’t the biggest place – so even if you pick a hotel far from the center it is possible to get there and back for meetings and conferences.

Going to Global Sources Trade Show

Many come to Hong Kong for the Global Sources Trade Show. This is a bit far from downtown, so you need to decide if you want to visit popular bars and restaurants at night or not.

While there are some nice hotels at the airport and near the Asia World Expo (where the Global Sources Show is) – most people stay at a hotel in Kowloon or Hong Kong island.

Why? Two reasons

  • There is a free bus or Airport Express for Global Sources Attendees. During the trade show season, they worked a deal to give you a free pass to the Asia World Expo from Kowloon or Hong Kong station. Just show your badge or registration papers and you’ll get a pass.
  •  There are more things to do at night – Just like any city, the airport is not downtown! Hong Kong is the same. So if you want to get some nightlife in and nice restaurants, it’s best to find a place in Central, Wan Chai, or TST districts (as well as quite a few other central hubs).

Going to the HKTDC Trade Show

There is another trade show happening in Hong Kong as well – the Hong Kong TDC show, or HKTDC for short. This is on the main island of Hong Kong, aka Hong Kong island, so you can just take a MTR to Wan Chai station and it’s about a 7 minute walk to the HK Exhibition Centre.

Many people go to both the Global Sources Show as well as the HKTDC show. Each are a few days long, and have just a little overlap.

So if you’re looking to do both, and want to reduce the commuting and have a hotel in the downtown area – look for places in Wanchai, Causeway Bay, Admiralty, or Central. Sheung Wan is another good one.

Always Check The Address On MTR Map

So a good rule of thumb is to ask the hotel what the nearest MTR station is. Then, find the MTR map and look at it.

Downtown is the blue line on the bottom of the map. That is where the “action” is. The bottom left is the main spot, with Central as the hub. If you’re near Central, you can also take the Airport Express right up to the Global Sources show, so it is easy to get there and to the HKTDC.

A newer MTR map will show you more stops on the blue line to the left (West) of Sheung Wan (and left of Central). These are “up and coming” districts with this new metro line expansion, so you may be able to get cheaper hotels and better value for money there.

Also, if it is far up north or far to the east – that is about a 45 minute to 1 hour MTR ride from downtown. I learned the hard way “back in the day”. Plus I have had clients in town who book a nice hotel there but it is just so far from everything. You’ll save money, but spend more time in taxis or more time in the subway.

What’s Your Budget?

Hong Kong is one of the most expensive places in the world! And no matter how much you spend, you will probably have a much more compact room than anywhere else in the world! Space is such a valuable asset here it is unbelievable.

So when someone asks me for a hotel recommendation, I would ask:

  • What is your budget?
  • What are your expectations?
  • What location do you want? Central? Or Willing to Travel more?

If you want a 5 star hotel in downtown, you’re talking around 500 US dollars per night. If you can deal with a 3 star in a downtown area, you can get by at $200 USD a night. Then there are the 1 – 2 star that you can find around 100 to 200 USD a night. If you’re willing to go to Kowloon side or even further into New Territories you can get better quality at a better rate.

Hong Kong is really all about location. And size of the room.

AirBnB + Hong Kong

AirBnB. An obvious one, but less choices here as the Hong Kong government is strict about businesses listing here – https://www.airbnb.com/s/Hong-Kong. Over and over again this topic comes up – Airbnb is technically not allowed in Hong Kong and the government has forbid people to use it. You can list there, but to list, you need to be a business with a license to sell a short term stay.

To legally list on Airbnb in Hong Kong as a person / individual, the listing has to be for at least a 1 month stay. That is what the government allows for personal to personal renting.

Yet I have friends from NY and other places who have still found amazing places to stay through it, as recent as a couple months ago right in Mid-Levels in Central. Check it out, and see if you find any apartments you can rent. The risk if there is a government crackdown at your apartment is that you would get your money back and have to find a new hotel. I haven’t heard reports about it – and so I wouldn’t worry too much renting on Airbnb for a short term stay, but listing is another matter.

Yes Inn

Backpacker Looking For Value For Money?

One I am safe to recommend is called Yes Inn. This is a hostel, pretty clean, and a bunch of my friends have stayed here. They have two locations on the Hong Kong Island side – Causeway Bay and Fortress Hill. There is also one on the Kowloon side in Mong Kok (check an MTR map to learn about specific districts). You can share a room with other travelers, or get your own private room. Below is a pricing table:

Standard mixed dorm suite HKD $179-419 (USD $22-56)
Private room suite HKD $199-459 (USD $25-59)

This seems to be the best value for a bootstrapping entrepreneur. They have a few locations in Hong Kong; the better location is in Causeway Bay, but there are also locations in Fortress Hill and Kowloon. Rates start at about 200 HKD a night (28 USD). Obviously check their website for the latest prices, but in my opinion the lowest cost for the value and location you can find! http://www.yesinn.com

Butterfly Hotel

Butterfly hotel is a bit more expensive. But again, you get what you pay for. Rates from 1,000 HKD to 2,000 HKD a night (140 to 280 USD), but you have your own room, there is wifi everywhere, and they have locations throughout Hong Kong. Check out the Butterfly hotel in Central here.
http://butterflyhk.com/eng/our-hotels/on-hollywood/index.php

King’s Inn

I think this is a mix between the two choices above, both in price and in service. The rate when I have stayed here is about 300 to 400 HKD (40 to 50 USD), and you’ll have your own room. But there is only one location right in Wan Chai. The website is a bit hard to use, but then again this is why the price is more reasonable.
http://www.kingshotelhk.com/hotel/location

Next I am nervous to even mention it here – but I think a guide about Hong Kong hotels wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning it:

Chungking Mansions is the building having about 80 low cost accommodations (guest houses) located on Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon district). I have stayed here at least 5 or 6 times, as well as countless numbers of my friends. You can get a room for as low as 100 HKD a night, though more realistically 200HKD. A lot of Indian restaurants that second as a hostel overnight – I have slept to the strong smell of curry at least a couple times there. An adventure to say the least. If you are looking for the lowest cost choice, take a trip over: 33-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong… but don’t say I didn’t warn you first!

The funny thing is – our office is across the street! Yet none of our clients have opted in to staying there!

Want To Stay Near The Global From Asia Office?

Coming to Hong Kong just for us! Wow, we are honored. So many clients ask us what are some good hotels nearby the office. Let’s list out a few. We also link them to booking.com search results, as you can put our company address (found at globalfromasia.com/contact/) and get search results by distance.

Holiday Inn TST District

A big brand and one many Americans know well, Holiday Inn. They have one Holiday Inn that is 1 block from my office: http://www.booking.com/hotel/hk/holidayinn.html and have had people stay there plenty of times.

How much is it? Of course it varies by season and supply demand, but I would tell you about the $200usd per night range.

Sheraton Hong Kong

And Sheraton is a block away from the office too. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=482

Prices here start at about $3,100 HKD a night (about $400 USD), and are high class.

Peninsula Hong Kong

Another 5 star hotel right around the corner from our office. Also has a great view of Victoria Harbour (for an extra 100usd/night fee on average). The rates here start at 4,000 HKD/night ($500usd) but it is an amazing experience.

http://hongkong.peninsula.com/en/default

Also, if you’re up to see Hong Kong from the sky, they have a helipad on the rooftop!

Intercontinental

This is a hotel I stayed in for about a week when doing a business deal with a European investor back in 2009 – 2010! It is a good hotel and also a bit more reasonable price than some of the other hotels with a room rate starting at $250 USD / night.

Still not for the backpacker’s budget, but for a business person who wants a good mix of class and value, this is an option. It is just a few more blocks away from MTRs, but still right on Victoria Harbour on the Kowloon side with some amazing views. I enjoyed working in the lobby with a massive 2 – 3 story tall window overlooking the harbor.

What Is Your Experience With Various Hong Kong Hotels?

Hope today’s guide on accommodation in Hong Kong is helpful! This could be a book – there are so many hotels and places to stay, this is only a brief overview to give you some ideas of price ranges, locations, and levels of service.

It is probably going to cost you around $150usd a night for a “normal” hotel room, can go as low as $50usd, and as high as $500 – or even more. As everything in Hong Kong, the sky is the limit!

Now it is your turn! Please share your experiences and recommendations in the comment section below. Let’s help each other out!

Cheers to our international business success!

Kidz With Heart Mini-Olympics

The Kidz With Heart event presented by Captivating International and Shenzhen Charity Federation was a resounding success. Celebrating its 10th year, Captivating International has grown from strength to strength, developing charity projects around the world. This successful organisation was started in 2008 as a Hong Kong Charity with partnership links to Australia and the US. From there, founders Andrew and Julie Colquhoun, took the idea of helping impoverished children from remote villages in China, and over the years this charity work has extended to include seven different provinces throughout China as well as Kenya and Nepal.

The first of two annual events, the 7th annual Kidz With Heart event held at Shekou International School’s Jingshan Villa campus on Saturday 17th March, had more than 175 children from 29 countries taking part in a fantastic day of sports. A range of different events comprised the mini Olympics for children aged from 5 to 11 years old, with each child taking part in seven activities. Basketball shoot, soccer shoot, long jump, bean-bag toss, 3-legged race, a limbo competition and archery were a few of the exciting events on offer. Children and adults alike cheered on the participants and everyone competing received a T-shirt, a medal and a goodie bag for their efforts, as well as a great sense of achievement. The winners of each event also had the chance to display their country’s flag on the winner’s podium while being presented with their gold, silver and bronze medals at the end of the event.

In addition to the brilliantly organised events, delicious food was also on offer. Trafalgar from Shui Wei, Futian, provided hot dogs, burgers, kebabs and fries; Artisans Pizza provided – yes, you guessed it – pizza and Maximo provided creamy gelato, all at reasonable prices. You had to be an early bird to sample the ice cream though as it sold out before 11.30am! What was even better is that each of these sponsors donated 60% of their sales from the event to Kidz with Heart, and considering the roaring trade they did this should be a substantial contribution to a really worthy cause. Next time, which will be at SWIS on 24th March, Trafalgar and Artisans Pizza will be back with more savoury delicacies, along with ice cream from Alexander’s. Make sure you bring an empty stomach and a full wallet to sample one of everything and contribute further to Kidz With Heart.

To accompany the great food, the first Kidz With Heart event this year was sponsored by a plethora of other companies, including Raffles Medical who also hosted a first aid station at the event. The silver sponsors were AMROSIA Global Sourcing and Inspection and KidKraft; while Five-Star Sports, GPA Global, QSI, JEC British Early Learning Centre, NVD New Vision Display and First Code Academy were all Bronze sponsors. Of course, none of this would be possible without a location, kindly provided by Shekou International School with China Merchants Shekou Holdings and Jingshan Management Group. The next event will be sponsored at gold level by WIK Development and Manufacturing Service, making it WIK Kidz With Heart, and will be sponsored at silver level by ISNS and AMROSIA Global Sourcing and Inspection. Bronze sponsors will be GPA Global, NVD New Vision Display, Five-Star Sports and JEC British Early Learning Centre.

The second-to-none organisational skills of the volunteers organised by Gary Ellis from Shenzhen College of International Education (SCIE) at this first event ensured that everything ran swimmingly. Special thanks to Tom Simpson and Jenny Wu from SCIE who were MCs for the day. The next event will have volunteers from Shen Wai International School (SWIS), International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) and The Academy, with Tim Mitchell and Chu Qi starring in the role of MC.

We haven’t got the final figures yet, but Kidz With Heart is hoping to raise around 350,000RMB over both weekends this year. All funds raised go to a range of charity projects run by Captivating International, with a focus on helping impoverished children in China reach out for a better tomorrow. These projects are the Healthy Village Program which provides health information, medical checks and basic healthcare supplies to remote villages; Greenhouses for impoverished families; Vocational High School Scholarships which sponsor girls to finish high school; My First Job Program, sponsoring girls who never had a chance to go to school to become a chef or home services worker; and Pig Project where two breeding pigs are given to a single-parent family or families with physical disabilities in remote villages.

This is such an important cause that it’s worth popping along just to eat pizza or a burger and cheer on the children competing – even if you don’t have children yourself! And if you missed it on 17th March don’t worry, the next one is 8am-1pm Saturday 24th March at Shen Wai International School, Shekou. Registration has closed for this event but make sure you put it in your diary for next year – kids only!