China business: 5 tips to help your foreign-invested company recover faster from COVID-19

As China moves through its COVID-19 economic recovery phrase, restrictive measures to prevent coronavirus clusters in the workplace are gradually being rescinded. Nonetheless, many companies continue to struggle to get back on their feet. At Horizons, we are successfully helping companies implement corporate solutions based on our four pillars COVID-19 crisis service strategy that helps clients emerge with strong foundations and a high level of preparedness for the post-COVID-19 time to come (you can read fully about the strategy here).

In relation to our COVID-19 crisis service strategy, what follows is five key tips to help your China-based foreign-invested company recover faster and how Horizons can assist you in getting past COVID-19.

1. Upskill and retain talent

For enterprises weathering the COVID-19 storm, one’s company may face difficulties in offering monetary incentives to retain and develop talent among employees. Upskilling your key employees (the process of learning new skills or teaching workers new skills) with training programmes can be offered as an alternative incentive while ensuring the company is ready to excel post-COVID-19. Horizons can assess if you qualify for free online training programmes.

2. Expand into high technology 

As the market is disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis and enterprises grapple with “the new normal”, enterprises can utilise the occasion to develop new products and services within new sectors or markets. With streamlined procedures to expedite the identification of new and high technology enterprises and rental reduction in business incubators, this could be a good time to expand or establish a high technology enterprise in China. Horizons can offer specialised advice on investment in the high technology sector.

3. Resolve contractual liabilities 

Many China-based enterprises, specifically manufacturers, may be facing contractual liabilities due to the temporary suspension of work during the Chinese Spring Festival holiday. Therefore, companies can contact the relevant chamber of commerce to get assistance in obtaining a force majeure certificate, which can support them in their appeal for relief in contractual liabilities. Horizons can provide a comprehensive review of your contractual liabilities and assist in negotiations with your contract counterparty.  

4. Reduce your taxes as an enterprise engaged in the manufacturing of pandemic prevention products 

Cash-flow is one of the main concerns facing companies during the pandemic period. With reduced revenues, minimising expenditure is key. Tax reduction and exemptions may offer some relief, particularly for companies engaged in the manufacturing of pandemic prevention products. Whether your company is engaged in this sector or not, Horizons can assess your cash-flow and provide practical solutions for saving on expenditures.  

5. Fast-track your custom clearance

Manufacturers engaged in processing trade may wish to accelerate the importation of raw materials. As companies can apply to extend the processing trade account (ledgers) write-off period, manufacturers may import the raw material first, and then carry out the necessary customs procedures. Horizons can assess if this can be applied to your company.  

It is crucial that enterprises in China implement practical, substantive solutions to recover business quickly, as well as be prepared for post-COVID-19 action. To do so will require a not just comprehensive understanding of the recent governmental Measures, but professional expertise and guidance through this extraordinary period. 

To receive additional information on these items and more in-depth approaches for actionable corporate solutions, please contact one of our crisis management leads below by calling or emailing them directly.

APAC Region
Ms LI Hua Jing
Mobile: +86 13166299232

Ms Lucia NETTI
Landline: +39 011 19711641 Mobile: +39 391 1283498

Mobile: +1 917 945 8511

If you have questions or concerns related to China foreign investment or related corporate matters, please contact Horizons at +86 21 5356 3400 or

Horizons Corporate Advisory helps clients solve complex problems, thrive and be inherently responsible in their business activities worldwide. The countries and regions we operate in include Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Macau SAR, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland (French and German-speaking cantons), Turkey, the United Kingdom (England and Wales), the United States of America and Zambia.