Business travel in China (Shanghai, Beijing)

[I’m not sure where to post this question; sorry it doesn’t directly relate to Taiwan.]

For those Americans who have done business in China:

A business associate (from my prior job in the US) has asked if I’d be interested in traveling to China (from Taiwan) to visit several of his company’s suppliers and customers. is company doesn’t have an office in China.

I read that in order to obtain a business visa, one must have an invitation letter fom an affiliated office in China. Is this really necessary, and if so, would I need to receive a letter from every company I intend to visit?

Also, if I state that my purpose for entering China is travel, but I visit several companies to discuss business with them, will I be caught and executed without trial?


In the past you definately needed a letter of invitation in order to get a Visa to the mainland. But today, invitiation letters aren’t always required.
I got a one year multi entry business visa to the mainland in Hong Kong with no questions asked. But I’ve heard that getting a visa in Hong Kong is easier than other places.

At the very least, from Taiwan you can easily obtain a tourist visa. And nobody will care if you are talking to companies about future business prospects on a tourist visa.

Actually, the Taiwan government is much more nazi-like about visas than the mainland is. Although the commies are still running things in China, they don’t bother foreigners much.

You can get a travel Visa from HK the same day to travel into China.

Lots of expats working in China don’t have working Visas; they use travel visas similar to alot of expats here in TW to skip local taxes. But they have to skip out once every couple of months to for a visa run.