As anyone who lives and works in China knows, obtaining visas is becoming a bigger and bigger problem here. So much so that some, like the Australian foreign minister, are warning that this could harm future trade and business. In a recent interview, Stephen Smith told reporters in Hong Kong: “It is important that the Chinese authorities understand the potential practical, on-the-ground difficulties that this is causing.” Whether this is part of the overall pre-Olympic tightening that may begin to dissipate when the last athlete leaves Beijing, we won’t know until later. In the meantime, individuals and businesses alike need to understand the new restrictions and how to best deal with them.

To this end, Jason Inch, a Shanghai-based consultant and co-author of the soon to be released “Supertrends of Future China,” did us all a favor by putting together in one place some of the most current thoughts on the visa issue. Last week, Jason commented on his blog, China Supertrends, about a recent panel discussion and networking event in Shanghai which was sponsored by Beijing-based China Entrepreneurs and whose theme was “The State of Entrepreneurship in China.” I had the pleasure of serving on the panel along with Taiwan entrepreneur Raymond Chang, who is bringing a new take to home television shopping in Shandong; and Rocky Lee, an American lawyer with DLA Piper who heads its Asia Venture Capital and Private Equity practice.

We did not have time or the occasion that evening to discuss the visa issue and how it impacts entrepreneurs in China, so Jason provided a nice summary in his post. He referenced the changes you should know about and how this might affect your personal and business travel plans; a timely post on the subject from Dan Harris of China Law Blog; as well as several posts from China Herald.

I won’t repeat all of the advice, wisdom and observations contained in these sources, but merely refer you to them.

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