There's one thing you really need to know if you ever plan to do business in China.
Choose your pen carefully.
Foreigners who want to do business in China without local partners often have to create an investment entity called a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise. To do that, you have to submit an application to the Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce.
And the application is a beast.
From the China Law Blog.
To form a WFOE in China, you typically need around 25 documents, 33 originals, 594 signatures (18 times the 33 originals) and 297 seals (9 times the 33 originals). Fun stuff, let me tell you.
All pages have to be A4 and nothing but A4.
But the really tricky part is getting the ink right.
China Law Blog explains:
All signatures must be made with a fine point rollerball pen using water-based ink, such as a Uniball, or a fountain pen. Do not use a thick ballpoint pen or a pen with oil-based ink. Sign in BLACK INK ONLY.
Use the wrong kind of pen or the wrong ink, even if it looks just the same, and the application will be rejected. All 594 signatures will have to be rewritten.
Black ink, I understand, although they apparently will reject blue-black or certain shades that aren't black enough. But the water-based requirement seems odd. Wouldn't that be the least secure way to sign a document?
Come to think of it, not sure that Uniballs would even meet that requirement. While the Vision Elites use a liquid ink, it's still not water-based.
Anyway, kind of extreme, don't you think?