My latest column from the Shanghai Star Business Journal is now online at China Supertrends. The post is called “Starting a Business in China: Things foreigners need to know” and contains some of the interesting takeaways from a seminar I attended last month in Shanghai hosted by China Entrepreneurs, a networking and entrepreneur support organization based in Beijing.

Entrepreneurs in China are in difficulty in the run-up to the Olympics: Their business or tourist visas are no longer being renewed and they are having to switch to Z-visas, as noted in this article in Forbes recently. This is a problem because until now the regulations were relatively simple and the process of application was easy. Not so anymore, as visas in China have become much harder to get, more expensive, more time-consuming. Echoing a comment I’ve heard numerous people say in the last few weeks, at the time when China should be opening its doors to foreigners visiting China for the Olympics, it has instead made it that much harder to visit and, for some, live and work here, by imposing a sudden raft of new visa restrictions.

For the latest news on visas in China, this list and commentary from is very useful, as well as the most comprehensive discussion I have found on all the visa issues, official and unofficial, at the Beijinger forum.

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