A company which wants to do business with you, should pay you flights, hotels and reimburse your time for coming to China in advance! (just as an example, the last office i worked at, invited some well known architects as consultants, paid 25k British Pounds for one week for 5 ppl)
At least that's what i know from working with Chinese companies. I have worked 4 years on projects in Shanghai, Chongqing and other cities (urban design) in an office in Germany and four years in a Chinese Company (architecture) in Kunming. We always had Chinese students and architects working in the office, who would know of "strange" Chinese customs and of course the language.
if you are a small company, why did they choose you? if you haven't been internationally published and accredited in your field it is very unlikely that some random business knocks at your door and offers the million dollar contract.
Never brought cigars anywhere, but maybe a local special wine, beer, beer glasses or (with architects popular) stationary products. never worth more than 50 Euros or so.
a serious company will send you their portfolio, contacts and won't be flakey.
don't waste your time and money coming here and spend it on a, as mentioned earlier, representative or a Chinese employee. if you want to access the Chinese market, you will need to hire some Chinese people anyway. Else it's impossible, in my opinion. Someone who can have a look at your contracts should be useful as well.
Thanks. Yes, they asked me which Chinese Consulate to write down, and when I suggested HK, they said that other ppl have been rejected their Z-Visa there. When I applied for Z-Visa years ago, there were also stories about ppl being rejected in HK, but I had no problems getting the Z-Visa, so now I am not sure if I should risk it. If they reject the Z-Visa, the whole process has to start again.
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1.5 hours of entertainment. Acrobats, Clowns, Dancers, fast pace and a very good show. very pleasant surprise and i can only recommend it.
Go see it!