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.
Green Oasis School is committed to delivering a British Curriculum that recognises and celebrates different cultures from around the world. Our Guiding Statements include:
-Green Oasis School’s commitment to internationalism and intercultural understanding is explicitly embedded in the Guiding Statements.
-GOS believes strongly in educating our students to appreciate, understand and respect all peoples both from within China and abroad.
Part of this education is to celebrate and acknowledge different festivals from around the world, so on Wednesday 7th Nov. staff, students and parents celebrated the Indian ‘Festival of Lights’.
This festival is held each year in India and other parts of the, it is celebrated with feasting, gifts, and the lighting of lamps.
Here at GOS we celebrated by creating a Rangoli art piece for our reception area. This beautiful peacock was made with coloured rice and flour. Rangoli patterns are created in courtyards and foyers during festivals and often are regarded as bringing luck for the year ahead.Students, staff, parents and alumni helped to create a beautiful peacock complete with lanterns and candles.
Students and staff were encouraged to come dressed in traditional Indian costumes, and as the pictures below show our Year 1 students embraced this with delight with many of the girls coming dressed in Indian attire.
Staff and students were also treated to Indian sweets at lunchtime made of crushed cashew nuts. These proved to be a great hit with both adults and children!
With people in the world traveling more than ever before and more of us living outside our own countries, GOS is proud to be able to celebrate with our community a little part of another culture, to educate and delight our students and our community.
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Chinese Name: Green Oasis School Shenzhen 深圳市福田区城市绿洲学校
Place Address: No 4030, Shennan Middle Road, Tianmian, Futian District, Shenzhen 广东省深圳市福田区田面村深南中路4030号
As part of our work in PSHE, looking at our dream school, we have focussed on the food we eat at lunch time. We have spoken with many people – students, the caterers, teachers and the Principal as well as our parents.
The reason we were doing this was to find out if we could improve the quality of food in the canteen.
We also wanted to make sure that we had enough nutrition in our lunch so we have enough energy to learn in the afternoon.
We began by discussing the problems we saw in the lunchroom and then split into groups – one looked at nutrition, one our favourite foods, one our least favourite foods and one looking at potential menus.
We created questions for a survey. We considered the different methods of cooking – when Ms Anne did not know exactly what was in the back kitchen, we asked to go and look (we enjoyed that).
We then went to speak to the Principal about meals in her previous school (they sounded delicious) and her ideas for a rotating menu.
We then spent lunchtime gathering evidence – so much evidence. After that, we discussed biased data and collation. Collating data simply means putting it into groups and working out what we have between us.
We got a lot of answers for this – some were ingredients and some were meals.The top 5 answers were:
Ms Anne said no to all of the sugar and fast food☹ So we kept looking till we found something that did not contain sugar.
We took this information and gave it to the menu group. We then looked at the least favourite foods.These were so many that we could not come up with a top 5.Included were vegetables, sweet things, and carbohydrates.
We also looked at textures to make sure that our food was exciting.The most popular was cold – not many people liked wet.
When we looked at the menus, we considered that many of us like food from other countries。We knew that there were a few problems for us.
Problem number 1: The catering
We need food that can be prepared off-site, brought at school and served to us.
Problem number 2: the choice
Currently we have a choice of four mains, two sets of vegetables, bread or potatoes and a sweet item.The Principal and Ms Anne suggested that we cut down the number of choices so that the money would go further and we could have better quality and selections. We considered an option of a meat main or the vegetarian version and also a spicy option and a non-spicy option.
We made these suggestions and gave it to the menu group. These are what they came up with:
We are going to meet with the caterers to try and help them make food that we like.We will not change things quickly but we are hoping that they will listen.
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Chinese Name: Green Oasis School Shenzhen 深圳市福田区城市绿洲学校
Place Address: No 4030, Shennan Middle Road, Tianmian, Futian District, Shenzhen 广东省深圳市福田区田面村深南中路4030号
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!
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, 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.
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:
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)
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.
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.
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!
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
Income from wages and salaries
3%-45% 7 brackets of progressive tax rates
7 brackets of progressive
– 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
3 brackets of progressive
Income derived from
remuneration for manuscripts
Income derived from royalties
Income derived from
production and business
operations by individual
industrial and commercial households
5 brackets of progressive
5 brackets of progressive
– The minimum threshold
applicable to 35% tax rate
increased to RMB
Income derived from
contractual or leasing
operations of enterprises or institutions
5 brackets of progressive
Category removed with relevant income
incorporated into comprehensive income or
business operation income respectively
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.
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.
Head of School Mr Chris Lynn and Educational Consultant Mr Andrew Hunter greeted all students and parents in the school atrium.
校长Mr Chris Lynn 及校监 Mr Andrew Hunter 在学校中庭内向学生及家长表示欢迎。
“Yes, this is an exciting day. We are all gathered here for the very first time, for the first day in the life of this amazing new Merchiston International School. Wherever you go in your future academic lives and your careers, you will be able to look back and remember that you were here for that first day.” Said Mr Chris Lynn, the Head of MIS.
“这是激动人心的一天。我们第一次集聚在这里，见证深圳曼彻斯通城堡学校的启程。无论将来你们的学业和职业生涯将你们带到何方，你们都将记住这一天，在曼彻斯通的第一天。” 深圳曼彻斯通城堡学校校长Mr Chris Lynn说。
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.
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
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.
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…
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.
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.”
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:
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
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)
List of Restricted Industries
Foreign Exchange Dealers
Gambling and Casino
Jewel, Gems, and Precious Metals 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 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!
Something that is often associated with China – and with Shenzhen in particular – is tailor-made clothes. Many people visit Shenzhen from Hong Kong and further afield specifically to get top quality and reasonably priced clothes made to fit. One of the best tailors to be found in Shenzhen is Calvin’s Tailor Shop.
Situated in Commercial City, Luohu, on the 5th floor, Calvin’s is easy to find as it’s not far from the escalators. Here Calvin will greet you in English or Chinese, depending on your preferred language. This sets him apart from many other tailors in Luohu as he will understand everything anyone, whether Chinese or foreign, would want.
Calvin comes from a family of tailors going back three generations. Originally from Shanghai, he has worked as a tailor for 25 years and has had the same shop in Commercial City since 1999. He will guarantee anything he makes for you; however, his clothes are made to such detail that customers rarely – if ever – need a second fitting.
You have different options when choosing how your clothes will be made. You can either bring an item of clothing you want copied or a picture of the item of clothing you want and Calvin will reproduce it. Alternatively, if you’re not sure exactly what style you want Calvin can make items based on designs he has in store. He understands which styles and fabrics will suit which body types and skin colours and is an expert at recommending the perfect cut.
What sets Calvin apart from the numerous tailors you can find in Shenzhen is not just the outstanding service and attention to detail. Calvin also provides personal service to travellers: he will visit you in your hotel to take your measurements and show you a selection of fabric to choose from, and then your handmade clothing will be delivered to your hotel 24 hours later. Perfect if you are making a whistle-stop visit to Shenzhen, and amazing considering the usual turnaround time is one week. Don’t despair if you live elsewhere, or if you don’t have the time to wait in Shenzhen for 24 hours, as Calvin can arrange to have your clothes delivered anywhere in the world purely for the cost of the delivery.
Calvin’s business has grown since he first started fixing hems and sewing buttons when he was only 17. He now has 18 reliable staff working for him, many of whom have been working for him for over 20 years. This means you don’t need to worry that Calvin will be too busy to give you personal service, and you can expect the same professional service and standard no matter how many items you want made.
Men’s suits and shirts are Calvin’s favourite things to make as this is what he started with all those years ago. Men’s shirts usually cost around RMB 200 and suits vary in price depending on the quality of the fabric, ranging from RMB 750 up to RMB 2,500 for imported fabric from Italy or England. Ladies’ suits are also a specialty of Calvin’s with prices from RMB 650 to RMB 1,200. Calvin can also personalise your clothes by embroidering your name or initials on the cuffs of your shirts or inside the jacket to add that extra touch.
Whether you want a high-end suit or a one-off outfit for a special occasion, Calvin’s Tailor Shop is the ideal place to get perfectly-fitting quality clothes at a reasonable price.
Business Hours: Open 7 days a week 10am-8.30pm
Place Name: Calvin’s Tailor Shop
Place Address: No.5049 5/F,Luohu Commercial City Shenzhen (Luohu metro station, exit C) 深圳罗湖商业城5楼5049号 罗湖地铁站C出口
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.
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.
If that is your biggest concern, China Southern Airlines can provide a solution! The Shenzhen-Singapore flight departs daily on 22:10, so just grab your bags on Friday night and enjoy every second in a passionate land, then return to Shenzhen at 06:55 in the morning. Then take a shower and go straight ahead to your work two hours later on Monday.
Reasons to choose China Southern Airlines:
1. Safety First
Up till now, China Southern Airlines has retained the best safety record in China. Passengers’ safety will always be our best concern.
2. Great Deals
Round-trip ticket (tax excluded) for individual traveler is 400 RMB only.
Great deals sale from 2249 RMB, including one tax-included round-trip ticket and two night’s hotel price, best designed for round-trip individual traveler who wish to stay in Singapore for two to fourteen days.
3. Transfer Advantages
China Southern Airlines operates its flight network covering 55 waypoints. There are 164 flights connecting to Shenzhen and Singapore in total.
4. Make the best of your day off
This trip connects Friday nights with Sunday/Monday morning. Time is money, thus every seconds of the weekend is effectively spent up.
Singapore’s nightlife is more than bustling. It has the night safari where kids and adults have chances to explore the other side of wild animals. You can take a gourmet car and experience the wild with the company of animals.
4. RECOMMENDATION OF BARS
In the list of world’s 50 best bars 2017, six of Singapore bars are nominated.
“Manhattan” in The Regent Singapore hotel is the best bar in Asia. The interior design imitates the impression of the New York City in its 19th century. On the menu, to everybody’s surprise, cocktails are classified by periods of time. Each cocktail has its own story.
“Tippling Club” is also listed among the best bars. Auras of lights and stylish decorations make here a place full of elegancy. All of the delicacies are created by talented chefs and bartenders. Guests will never get bored because these “artists” always come up with new dishes and cocktails.
If you like electronic music and glamorous lights. “Attica” of Clarke Quay is the most famous place among all. For fans of DJ music, “Club Kyo” will be the best place.
A fancy romantic date can be held at the “CÉ LA VI”. This bar is at the top of Marina Bay of Sand located at the big SkyPark. Just get a drink, take a walk and enjoy the fascinating CBD skyline.
5. SEEKING FOR LOCAL FOOD AT MIDNIGHT
Has the chicken rice or the chili crab left you a deep impression? It is time to satisfy your stomach. Come to Geylang Street, Orchard Road or Satay Street in Lau Pa Sat! You will find out more about the tastes of Asia.
Singapore is the first to hold Formula 1 at night. Come and experience the passion in this competition.
This year, China Southern Airlines Shenzhen Branch connects Shenzhen with Singapore, adding the new destination to its grand map of Southeast Asia flight routes. The existing flights include destinations to HO Chi Ming City, Ha Noi, Bangkok, Phuket, Bali Island, Phnom Penh and Jakarta. Come and find out which trip is your favorite!
Order your ticket now by scanning:
Chinese Name: 中国南方航空股份有限公司深圳分公司
Place Address: Civil Aciation Building,No.2006 Nanshan road ShenZhen P.R.China
The Wyndham Grand is a well-known international 5-star hotel. Open in Futian CBD, since January 2015, the Wyndham Grand never ceases to impress, and this summer is no exception. To celebrate the FIFA 2018 World Cup beginning on 14th June, the Wyndham Grand is hosting a summer barbeque buffet with free-flow craft beer for the bargain price of RMB188 per person.
Situated in the picturesque outdoor garden of Vintage Bar on the ground floor, the barbeque buffet offer will begin on 13th June and run until 15th July when the World Cup ends. Matches will be shown live on televisions in the only outdoor hotel garden in Shenzhen. What better way to enjoy the game than with unlimited glasses of ice-cold craft beer and a never-ending plate of tasty barbeque food?
As well as free-flow craft beer or soft drinks, there is a delightful range of barbeque foods cooked fresh to order. Shrimp, squid, oyster and Japanese mackerel are the seafood delicacies you can sample, along with a variety of beef, lamb, chicken and pork barbeque dishes, all seasoned deliciously. If vegetables are more your style, try the barbeque corn-on-the-cob or roasted garlic eggplant. All of these dishes will be cooked as you order them to ensure the freshness of the food and that they are prepared to your requirements.
Before and between the matches there will be the opportunity to play games and win prizes. For every match you can predict who you think will win and each entry will have the chance to win a voucher for RMB500 that can be spent in any of the Wyndham Grand’s bars or restaurants. Whoever predicts the winner of the final will be in with a chance to win RMB3000 voucher plus free-flow beer at Vintage Bar until the end of 2018! A fantastic prize, by any standard. In addition, there will be smaller prizes on offer for customers who score a goal in the Wyndham Grand mini-goal.
Director of Food and Beverage from the Wyndham Grand, Shenzhen, Roy Huang has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years and joined this hotel about 2 years ago. He shared with us his aim is to have the best outdoor bar in Futian CBD, and he understands that the key element is staff. To that end, all new staff have at least two whole day’s training in the first month before they are assigned to the appropriate position to provide quality service. All employees also have training once a month to ensure the highest standards are maintained. This process is obviously working as there has been an excellent retention of staff since opening.
The Vintage Bar and attached open-air garden is a stylish setting, suitable for any event. The Wyndham Grand is in an ideal location in central Futian, easy to get to by metro (Gangxia station) or by taxi. A warm welcome will greet you as you enter the foyer and on your left you will see the distinctive sign of Vintage Bar. A list of match dates and times will be on display in the entrance to the bar, so you can keep track of who is playing when. Due to the time difference between here and Russia, some of the matches will be on well past midnight; however, Vintage Bar – and the barbeque – will stay open until the last match finishes each night.
Whether you enjoy football (or soccer, as some people call it) or not, the Wyndham Grand World Cup Combo offer is one not to be missed. Bring your friends, play some games, win some prizes, and enjoy 5-star food and drink in an exclusive setting, all at the same time and for the great price of RMB188+10%+6% per person. . What more could you ask for?
For reservations or enquiries call 0755 82998888 ext.8550.
Everyone loves a relaxing spa day, and what better place to enjoy such a day than Queen Spa in Luohu, Shenzhen. The name itself is completely appropriate, although perhaps it should be called ‘The Queen of Spas’ instead.
The reputation of Queen Spa precedes it, and I had high expectations which were not only met but exceeded. The best ways of getting there are either by taxi or by metro. By taxi it costs about RMB30 from central Futian and takes around 15 minutes to get there, depending on traffic of course. Alternatively you can get the metro to XiangXiCun station on line 9, leave by exit C, walk straight to the corner, turn left and Queen Spa will be on your left. There are also free shuttle buses to and from Luohu and Huanggang borders, every 15 or 25 minutes respectively. The Luohu shuttle buses run from 7am to 11pm near the taxi rank on the first floor by door 6. At Huanggang the shuttle buses run 24 hours to match the border hours; once you’ve arrived through the border cross the footbridge, turn right and head down towards the buses to find the shuttle.
As you walk through the entrance, you will be greeted by security guards who will point you towards the sweeping staircase down to the reception area. A chorus of ‘欢迎光临!’ ‘Huān yíng guāng lín!’ (Welcome!) rings out as you descend the stairs and a member of staff will escort you to a seat.
If you’re a foreigner you will need to show your passport, or at least a photo of it. This is not common practice in Shenzhen spas; however, at Queen Spa they have been told by the government to request ID from all visitors. Once they’ve taken note of your passport details the staff will give you a wristband with a number on it. This will be your locker number as well as your ticket to all the treats Queen Spa has to offer.
You will then be asked to enter the changing rooms – women’s changing rooms are on the left as you come down the entrance stairs, men’s are on the right. An attendant will check your wristband number and escort you to your locker where you will be given a towel and shower slippers, and asked if you would like a shower. In this section of the spa are showers, toilets, a jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room and several treatments such as aroma oil bubble baths, back rubs and body scrubs. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothbrushes, combs, cotton buds and various other amenities are provided for your use, so you don’t need to bring anything with you. Chinese guests will usually walk around the changing area in just a towel or naked, but if you prefer to wear a swim suit to use the jacuzzi, sauna or steam room, that’s absolutely fine.
An extra layer of security with the lockers is that they have to be opened with a pass held by one of the attendants as well as your wristband. There are always many attendants around, so you will never have to wait more than a few seconds for your locker to be opened.
Once you’ve finished your treatments and use of the facilities in this section, you will then be given pyjamas to wear for the rest of your visit. These are really comfortable and they actually have sizes to fit Westerners. You can also have a robe to wear over your pyjamas if you wish, and you keep your shower shoes for the duration of your visit. Feel free to bring your phone, book or e-reader with you; everything else can be left in your locker. You are, of course, welcome to return to your locker whenever you wish; however, once you’re comfortable in the lounge area you probably won’t want to move.
The attendants will escort you out the other side of the changing area to a lift which will take you to the third floor. This is the main lounge area where you will spend most of your time whilst at Queen Spa. It is a vast room with rows of comfortable reclining chairs, each of which has its own TV with on-demand movies and TV shows. In the centre is a counter with a huge variety of soft drinks which you can help yourself to. There are also pastries and ice cream available for a small fee. Anything you wish to purchase will be added to your tab, which you will then pay for when you leave. In addition to free soft drinks, beyond the seating area is a fruit ‘shop’ where all the fruit is free.
On my visit I decided to go for a full body massage before making myself comfortable in the lounge area. A 90 minute aromatherapy massage is RMB269++; the minimum suggested tip on the receipt is 80rmb which makes the total including service charge and tip around RMB350. There are many other treatments available, such as different types of massage and salt scrubs, as well as a whole list of services when you’re relaxing in the lounge area watching movies. Another great service that Queen Spa offers for foreigners is that they have English-speaking staff available who wear a badge saying ‘English’. When I approached the desk for booking my massage, an English-speaking member of staff came over straight away to assist me. He also checked on me once I was in the massage room to make sure I knew what to do about adding the tip and signing the receipt at the end of the massage, and to see if I would like some water to drink.
After an hour and a half of massage I was fully relaxed and ready for some food. Queen Spa also caters for this with a full restaurant in the centre of the lounge floor. Once again, the English-speaking staff member came over to check I had an English menu, help me choose what to eat and to take my order. As I don’t eat meat and I prefer food that isn’t very spicy, he was very helpful in finding something I would enjoy. Unfortunately, my first choice wasn’t available so he came back and arranged a different meal for me that was adapted from menu items. I ended up eating udon noodles with vegetables and seafood in a tasty sauce – simple yet delicious.
Finally I found myself a reclining chair and made myself comfortable. There was quite a selection of movies and TV shows available to choose from, some of which were very recent releases. From your chair you can order drinks, fruit, food and a variety of treatments, all while charging your phone and watching what you like snuggled up in your pyjamas and a blanket. Bliss!
The entrance fee for Queen Spa is RMB108 for 24 hours; however, if you spend over RMB189 on treatments during your visit – which is easily done! – the entrance fee is waived. All prices are detailed in treatment menus and on clear posters which usually have English as well as Chinese. One thing to be aware of is that all fees are subject to 13% service charge, which is not included in the menu price. This is one of the few places in Shenzhen where tips are expected – suggested amounts for tips are written on the receipt which you have to sign for each service. Even with the added tax and tips, prices are still reasonable for the service you get. You even have the choice of paying in RMB or HKD, and can pay by cash, card or WeChat.
I spent a lovely relaxing day at Queen Spa. The total cost was RMB631 for an aromatherapy full body massage, foot scraping, ear cleaning, dinner, soft drinks and a movie, and I was at the spa for around six and a half hours. You definitely get your monies worth here and I would certainly recommend it to anyone visiting or living in Shenzhen. It’s a fantastic experience!
Selection of Treatment Prices
Rose, lavender, lemon or jasmine oil bubble bath RMB69 for 15 minutes
Back rub RMB79 for 30 minutes
Milk and honey body rub, rose bath salt rub or lavender bath salt rub RMB58 for 10 minutes
Chinese-style massage RMB189 for 90 minutes, RMB89 for an additional 45 minutes
Thai or Hong Kong-style massage RMB 229 for 90 minutes, RMB109 for an additional 45 minutes
Royal aromatherapy massage RMB289 for 90 minutes, RMB 129 for an additional 45 minutes
Express pedicure, foot sole skin scraping or between-toe skin cleaning RMB49 for around 20 minutes
Express manicure, ear cleaning or body exfoliation RMB79 for 30-35 minutes
Head, back, hand, leg or foot massage RMB79 for 45 minutes
Address and contact information
Chinese Name: 皇室假期美食水疗会
Address : B1/F-5F, Golden Metropolis Bldg, Chunfeng Lu, Luohu罗湖区春风路2040号金色都汇负1-5楼（金光华广场)
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!
When we were looking to relocate our new office, we found that WeWork is hiring in Shenzhen. WeWork has four Shenzhen job openings on their website at the time of this writing. With the dearth of co-working offices in Nanshan district we hope that WeWork brings the cool office concept to Futian first.
We are excited to have the gold standard in startup office space coming to Shenzhen. It could be very convenient for those border hoppers that work at WeWork Hong Kong and need a space for their sourcing expeditions in the Greater Bay Area. Will also be convenient for those China NakedHub customers that are now part of the WeWork family. We have not heard an official opening date yet. In the meantime check out the office resources below:
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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 email@example.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