Ease of Doing Business Rank: 31
The People’s Public of China is the second largest country in Asia. It is the world’s third largest country and spans the northern and southern hemispheres along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
Mongolia lies to the north, Korea, Japan and Taiwan lie to the east, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan lie to the west, and Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Laos lie to the south.
The official languages of China are Standard Mandarin and Cantonese. Most people speak Mandarin and it is most used in education and media. However, many regional languages exist including Shanghainese, Fuzhou, and Cantonese.
The 2019 population estimate for China is approximately 1.42 billion. Most of its citizens live on the east coast and Shanghai is the largest city followed by Beijing, Tianjin, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.
The top industries in China are agriculture, construction, mining, manufacturing, electricity, water, gas, and the service industry which includes transport, storage and post, wholesale and retail trades, hotel and catering services, financial services, and real estate.
The World University Rankings ranks Tsinghua University in Beijing the top institution in Asia. Peking University and the University of Science and Technology of China rank in the top 100.
China ranked 10th globally in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings which measures student scholastic performance for math, science, and reading.
The most common business entities in China are Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise, Joint Venture, State Owned Enterprise, Private Enterprise, and Individually Owned (Sole Trader) entities. The most common entity for a foreign business is a wholly foreign owned enterprise.
The People’s Republic of China offers some tax credits and incentives for foreign business, but especially in particular industries. For instance, those working on agriculture, forestry, animal-husbandry, and fishery projects may qualify for a 50% exemption for all years the project operates.
They also offer tax holidays for specified basic infrastructure projects, environmental protection projects, and energy/water conservation projects as well as tech, software, integrated circuit production, and energy savings service industry incentives which sometimes target regions specifically.
The largest Central Business Districts in China lie in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau, Chongqing, and Taipei.
Shenzhen is the principle center of trade and international finance and light industry. Shanghai is the principle center for heavy industry and domestic banking.
China’s size and age mean the country has countless worthy historical and tourist attractions. The most well-known is The Great Wall of China in Beijing, the world’s longest wall and the only manmade structure visible from space.
Equally impressive is The Terracotta Army in Xi’an. This 2,000 year-old archaeological funerary site features hundreds of detailed life-size warriors. The Forbidden City in Beijing is one of the 53 World Heritage sites in China and was the Imperial Palace for 24 emperors. It features stunning ancient Chinese architecture, golden roofs, and over 8,000 rooms.
China also has many sites of stunning natural beauty including the Li River in Guilin, the Yellow Mountains near Shanghai, and West Lake in Hangzhou. It is also home to unique wildlife such as the Giant Pandas in Chengdu.
China is one of the world’s four ancient civilizations, and during its ancient era only prehistoric evidence and legends record its history. The first written records appeared during the Shang Dynasty, over 3,000 years ago.
The country evolved from a centralized feudal system to an imperial dynasty which lasted for over 2,000 years. During the Qin and Han Dynasties (221BC –220 AD) rulers created many institutions and laid the foundation for government. They eventually united the country under an emperor instead of a ruling clan.
The imperial era collapsed in 1911 after the Xinhai Revolution, which led to the Republic of China era from 1912 until 1949.
The Chinese Civil War followed and Mao Zedong and his communist forces took control and founded the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Since then China remains under Communist rule.
The Chinese government formally recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Protestantism, Islam, and Catholicism; however the Chinese Catholic Church is not affiliated with Rome.
China has very diverse religious affiliations beyond the officially-recognized religions including folk religion, Muslim, Hindu, Judaism, and more. As of 2018, the largest portion of the population practiced folk religion (21.9%), followed by Buddhism (18.2%), and Christianity (5.1%).
According to the Forbes’ 2019 Best Countries for Business rankings, China rates 49 globally. “Chinese leaders have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the “dominant” role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time.
The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom rates China 100th globally and states, “China remains ‘mostly unfree.’ Nontransparent state-owned enterprises dominate the financial sector and many basic industries. The official ideology of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’ has chilled liberalization, heightened reliance on mercantilism, raised bureaucratic hurdles to trade and investment, weakened the rule of law, and strengthened resistance from vested interests that impede more dynamic economic development.”