Hangzhou, China: The Investor’s Guide
December 12, 2023
Doing Business in Hangzhou

Doing Business in Hangzhou

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Found at the heart of China, Hangzhou stands out as a hub for technology and digital infrastructure. With its affluent population and strategic location on the Grand Canal of China, Hangzhou has long been considered an excellent opportunity for foreign investors seeking to harness the growth of a Chinese domestic economy.

Recent contributions to Hangzhou’s strongly growing economic climate have been attributed to the advancements of the region’s digital technology sector which has attracted major global companies to set up shop in the city. Foreign investors and enterprises looking to do the same must consider the world-renowned innovation zones in Hangzhou, which offer an optimal and incentivized environment for enterprises developing the future of industry and technology.

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General Information on Hangzhou

Home to over 11 million inhabitants, Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang, China, and is the second biggest in the Yangtze Delta, only ranking behind Shanghai. Hangzhou has a strong GDP of RMB 1.8 trillion and has been widely considered one of China’s most prosperous cities for the last millennium. The city is established as the core of the surrounding Hangzhou metropolitan area, which exists as the fourth largest in China.

Despite being a smaller city than Shanghai, Hangzhou boasts an array of benefits that create an enticing business environment for both domestic and foreign businesses and investors. Hangzhou offers a host of attractive government tax incentives, cheaper office set-up costs than Shanghai, and an established network of local IT providers.

Hangzhou is a city renowned for its commitment to economic growth and according to the Global Financial Centers Index, Hangzhou is among the top 100 world financial centers. Beyond its financial status, the area is a global powerhouse for scientific research and is ranked as the world’s 16th best for scientific output.

Doing Business in Hangzhou

The attractive economic landscape of Hangzhou continues to attract investors seeking to take advantage of the thriving local industrial and digital scene. Recent, strong performances of Hangzhou’s key industries have driven the city’s GDP current growth rate of nearly 4%.

According to the World Bank, Hangzhou’s permanent resident per capita GDP of US $22,600 is on par with those of high-income countries, which comes as no surprise with the city being located in East China’s most affluent region.

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Major Industries in Hangzhou

The growth of Hangzhou’s economy is predominantly spurred by the expansion of the digital economy, with many technology and e-commerce companies choosing to open hubs in the region. Hangzhou is home to the 10th most Fortune Global 500 headquarters of any city across the globe, including the major tech company Alibaba, which was founded in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou’s financial service industry also offers a growing contribution to the city’s GDP, with recent advancements in the financial technology sector helping Hangzhou reside in China’s top five financially competitive cities.

Notable performance of the manufacturing industry in Hangzhou takes place in the city’s national industrial parks, where fiber optics and telecommunication companies develop next-gen products. Prominent technology companies like Alibaba and New H3C are major contributors to Hangzhou’s reputation as one of China’s main seven centers for integrated circuit design.

Is Hangzhou a Good Place to Do Business?

Forward-thinking introductions of business policies and incentives by the Chinese government have created a prosperous business climate for those looking to do business in Hangzhou.

To foster technological innovation, the introduction of recent high-quality economic policies has included increased financial incentives to venture capital firms, as well as a technology achievement transformation fund.

These promotions of economic growth continue to develop Hangzhou’s thriving ecosystem for both domestic and foreign enterprises seeking to trade in the region.

Where to Invest in Hangzhou

Enterprise and industry across Hangzhou are divided into seventeen development zones, ranging from technological development to digital health hubs. The earlier mentioned government business policies and incentives are geared to attract tomorrow’s enterprises and promote innovation across its major industries. Here’s an overview of two of Hangzhou’s most advanced development zones.

Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone

Since 1993, the Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone has grown to become a focal point of technological development and innovation in China. Located in center of the Yangtze River Delta economic circle, this development zone is convenient located near the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport and only about 150 km away from Shanghai’s city center.

The zone primarily focuses on the development of five major industries to boost the area’s diverse digital offerings, these include:

  • Textile and chemical fiber
  • Electronic engineering
  • Light industry and food
  • Biological medicine
  • High tech chemical industry

Hangzhou High-tech Industry Development Zone (Binjiang)

The Hangzhou High-tech Industry Development Zone is home to over two-thirds of Hangzhou’s resident technology companies and is therefore considered as one of the most attractive areas for domestic and foreign investors.

Dynamic business incentives in the area provide talent-fostering programs and venture capital aid and are utilized by global powerhouses like Alibaba and Mitsubishi. The Zone has grown to be a world-renowned name for technological enterprise, and for this reason, it attracts high quality talent to contribute to the future of technology.

Is Hangzhou a Good Place to Invest?

At the heart of the Zhejiang province, Hangzhou offers investors a rich combination of strategic advantages, innovation and cultural heritage. Evident in both the city’s historically strong GDP growth, and continuously updated business incentives, the area is an optimal location for anyone seeking to take advantage of prosperous local industries.

Located at the southern end of the Grand Canal of China, Hangzhou attracts investors keen to tap into a strategic gateway of China’s economic dynamism. The city embodies China’s economic prowess and undivided commitment to development and technological innovation, with an excellent blend of business policy and international trade relations.

Company Registration in Hangzhou

Registering a company in Hangzhou, China involves several steps but offers tremendous opportunities in one of the country’s most vibrant business hubs. Hangzhou, renowned for its technological innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, provides an ideal landscape for startups and established businesses alike. To register a business in China, one must adhere to the applicable regulatory requirements and navigate local administrative procedures.

Firstly, determining the business structure is crucial, whether it’s a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE), Joint Venture (JV), or Representative Office. Each structure has distinct legal implications and ownership models. Next, selecting an appropriate company name is highly important, as it must comply with Chinese naming conventions and not conflict with existing trademarks or businesses.

The subsequent steps involve preparing necessary documentation, which includes a business scope, articles of association, and identification papers for shareholders and directors. Opening a corporate bank account, obtaining a business license, tax registration, and fulfilling other industry-specific permits are integral parts of the process. Engaging with legal counsel or a local partner, like MSA, who is well-versed in China’s business laws can streamline this intricate procedure.

Closing Considerations

Hangzhou’s appeal as a business destination lies in its dynamic economy, proximity to Shanghai, and robust support for technology and innovation. Home to Alibaba and a burgeoning tech scene, it fosters an environment conducive to growth and collaboration. The city’s infrastructure, investment incentives, and government support for startups and foreign businesses make it an attractive choice. Additionally, Hangzhou’s quality of life, cultural richness, and access to skilled talent further contribute to its allure for entrepreneurs and corporations seeking to establish a presence in China.

Ultimately, while registering a company in Hangzhou demands navigating bureaucratic processes, the city’s thriving business ecosystem and favorable policies make it a strategic choice for those looking to tap into China’s vast market and innovation-driven economy.

Get in touch with MSA today and let us assist you with all your business needs in Hangzhou and across the rest of China.

Disclaimer: all articles and its related content are the property of MSA Consulting Company Limited and may not be reproduced either in part or in full without prior consent.
Doing Business in Hangzhou

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