The Federation Press

Investing in China

The law and practice of joint ventures


With China's rise as a new economic power, the economic and political relationship between Australia and China comes into a new area of development. China's need for capital, raw materials, high technology, and modern management skills has opened a range of opportunities for Australian industry and commerce.

However, before making a substantial investment, an Australian investor needs to decide on which business structure is the most suitable for making the investment, a business alliance or a subsidiary.

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different business vehicles?
  • Can the products of the new business be sold in the Chinese domestic market?
  • Can invested capital be repatriated back to Australia?
  • What are the tax implications in both China and Australia of setting up the new business?
  • If a business alliance is established, how does the investor retain control over the new business entity?
  • Does China have a sound political and legal environment which ensures the rights of a foreign investor and provides economic and legal certainty for the foreign investment activities?

This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of the above issues. While giving general treatments to all possible investment vehicles, as well as legal and cultural background of China, it focuses the study on the problems facing the establishment of joint ventures between Australian investors and Chinese participants in China. The book will make an excellent contribution to the mutual understanding between Australian and Chinese business people.


The author has ... written a useful guidebook for investors interested in China. Her main concern is to highlight China’s desirability as a destination for investment, but also to indicate the necessity of considering different cultural, social and legal systems in evaluating investment choices. Her work is easy to read and she provides a very useful table in her conclusion, which reiterates, in summary form, the conclusions she had reached about each of the business structures. Federation Press should be congratulated on the publication of this useful text. - International Trade & Business Law Annual, May 2003

This book is an important analysis of regulatory measures on the entry and operation of foreign investors into China. ... [T]here is particular focus on the use of joint ventures between foreign and local partners as a mechanism to effect foreign investment. This is a welcome emphasis ... There are also twin strategies employed by the author. Firstly, she undertakes a positive legal analysis of the law as it currently exists and its impact on foreign investors in China. But ... there is also an analysis of the practical issues that must be addressed by investors planning to enter the Chinese market. The methodology employed by the author in her analysis is notable and used to great effect. Throughout most of the text, she undertakes a comparative analysis between Australian and Chinese law to draw out both valuable similarities and differences. ... The focus on the practical impact of Chinese law may mean that the primary readers of this text will be prospective Australian (and other foreign) investors into China. ... Wei’s text is likely to remain a fundamental reference point. - Alternative Law Journal, Vol 27(3), June 2002

This book is an indispensable practical guide for any foreigner doing business in China. It is thorough, yet compact and clearly written; with extensive footnotes and bibliography for readers wanting further particulars beyond the main text. The author’s extensive experience as a legal adviser to the Chinese government and as a practising lawyer in China, combined with her thorough research on issues relevant to Australian investors in China, have resulted in this much-needed legal and business reference.... The author addresses the laws, regulations, culture and practices affecting foreign businesses (and particularly joint ventures) operating within a social and legal system undergoing rapid and complex change. China’s successful socio-development since 1949 has produced a unique cultural, legal and business infrastructure - which any sensible foreign investor needs to understand and utliise. This book is an excellent and practical contribution to that understanding. - Law Society of Tasmania newsletter, March 2001

This book is recommended to business stakeholders in China and their legal representatives as an informative overview of China’s business and legal environment and the likely issues involved in entering and operating in those environments. - Law Institute Journal (Victoria), November 2000

Table of Contents


An Overview of Foreign Direct Investment in China
China's unique situation
Policies and practices of foreign investment
China, an increasingly important target
For Australian foreign investment
Some practical aspects of doing business in China

The Chinese Legal System in Transition
The legal system in traditional China
The Chinese legal system in transition

The Protection of Intellectual Property
Trademark law
Patent law
Copyright law and computer software protection
Protection of technology transfer

Selecting an Appropriate Business Structure
Selecting business structures in Australia
Selecting business structures in China

Taxation Consequences of Different Business Structures
The forms of income and jurisdiction to tax
Taxation of profits by China
Taxation of profits by Australia

Management and Marketing
Management aspects
Marketing aspects

Profits and Capital: (Non-Taxation Aspects)
Remittance of profits
Repatriation of capital

Dispute Resolution
Choice of law


Bibliography/ Index

Of interest...