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Shenzhen Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprise ( FICE )

Update Date:2019-12-2 9:34:09     Views:834

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A Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprise, more commonly know as FICE (in some cases even further shortened to Foreign Invested Enterprise or "FIE") is fast becoming a common investment vehicle for Mainland China based foreign business. Reason being; The FICE is a genetically enhanced, characteristics enriched form of a WFOE, but in contrary to the WOFE, under the business model of a FICE foreign invested commercial enterprises are allowed to trade within Mainland China.


Therefore Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprises are the only corporate models that non-PRC investors can use to sell their products in China. Because a WFOE is not permitted to carry out sales activities in China Mainland, many foreign investors now set their business model unread a FICE to conduct trading activities in China, as well as export and import their goods for distribution to and in China.


Different types of Shenzhen FICE
As we already know, a China FICE is the optimum way for a foreign company to distribute its products in China. However, there are three (3) main types of China FICE which are featured as follows:

1. Shenzhen Wholesale FICE
China Wholesale FICEmay conduct commodity wholesale; commission-based agency activities; import and export of commodities; warehousing services; marketing services; product installation and after-sales services; indirectly engage in retail activities via franchisees.

2. Shenzhen Retail FICE
China Retail FICE may conduct commodity retailing activities; import merchandise; source and export Chinese products; conduct TV and telemarketing, mail order sales, Internet sales and vending machine sales. If applying to open a shop at the same time as applying to establish the retail China FICE, a proposed shop must conform to the urban development plan and the commercial development plan of the city where it is situated.If applying to open a shop after the establishment of the retail China FICE, then in addition to meeting the above requirement, the enterprise must also have undergone annual inspection on time and passed, and have received all of its registered capital from its investors.

3. Shenzhen Manufacturing FICE
China Manufacturing FICE can manufacture and/or produce it’s own products and sell them wholesale in China, or export them. Another distinct characteristics and outstanding feature is that It actually can combine elements of a Retail and Wholesale FICE. Though, certain restrictions do apply.


Shenzhen FICE Key Feature
A Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprise (FICE) is a Limited liability company set up for either wholesale or manufacturing.One of the most exciting characteristics is that a FICE can also act as an: Agency, Retail Business, or in special circumstances be extended into a Franchise Business. (although the latter feature is still causing some headaches since the general used "Chinese franchise model" still carries a lot of challenges for Chinese law-makers)A FICE is an independent economic entity, bearing legal liability independently.The incorporation procedure of a FICE differs little from the incorporation procedure of a WOFE, except to the point and as a rare feature that a FICE needs to obtain pre-approval from Chinese import and export authorities.


Shenzhen FICE Characteristics - Scope of Business
The Administration of Foreign Investment in Commercial Fields abolished the extant regional restrictions on foreign investors. This is perhaps the most outstanding feature which allowed to catapult the FICE popularity level straight up. They also expanded business scopes, and the requirement for registered capital was largely reduced. These measures began only in recent years and after China had joined the World Trade Organization WTO in 2004.

With China aggressively working their own economy to become the world’s largest economy and a rising Chinese middle class, Macroeconomic trends surrounding the new breed of Chinese consumer can be summed up and characterised in one word "Potential". China alone contains a health chunk of the world’s population and in boosting their own consumption and graving for more foreign and brand products they are already avid consumers. Thus, China is fast becoming an enticing marketplace for any foreign Company and the means to get a foot in the door is by means of a Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprise.

FICE Advantages
A Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprise (FICE) is incorporated through the Foreign Economic Relations & Trade Commission in the city or province of incorporation. A FICE is a limited liability company that is similar in most respects to a WOFE. However, unlike a WOFE a FICE can open branch offices anywhere in China, and its activities are restricted to:

1. Wholesale activities and Retail activities

2. Manufacturing + Wholesale and Retail activities

Foreign-Invested Commercial Enterprise is a foreign company, which does not necessarily concentrate on production in China but on import and export.A FICE is a Wholly Owned by Foreign Enterprise (WOFE) with import and export rights. and just alike, a FICE could be completely financed by a foreign investment and a Chinese partner is not required.Unlike a WFOE, a FICE may be a Joint Venture with a Chinese partner. Exceptions are products like books, sugar, salt, oil etc. For these products a Joint Venture with a Chinese Partner is required.The Foreign-Invested Commercial Enterprise has quickly become the de facto model for both WFOE & JV who wish to sell on China Mainland.In general a FICE has no rights for tax advantages and is being taxed like a Chinese invested company. This means tax planning at the pre-incorporation stage must be part of the investment structuring process.


Contact us

For further queries, please do not hesitate to contact ATAHK at anytime, anywhere by simply calling China hotline at 86-755-82143422, 86-755-82143512, or emailing to

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