Licensing & Permits


As many multinational companies quickly discover when seeking to enter the China market, one of the key differences between business in China and other leading jurisdictions is the rigid framework of mandatory operating licenses and permits implicated across various sectors of China’s economy. In fact, even simple and routine business activities in China (particularly in the Internet and telecoms sectors) often trigger an array of potential operating license implications. Considering that many such licenses are subject to strict foreign investment restrictions, being able to accurately assess and manage operating license and permit needs can have a major impact on business structuring matters and the ability to avoid regulatory penalties in the local market.

At DaHui, we leverage our extensive regulatory knowledge and working experience with China’s key governmental authorities in order to provide tailored and accurate, across-the-board assistance with operating license/permit needs. For clients entering China for the first time, as well as those undertaking new operations or lines of business in China, we perform deep-dive diagnoses of our clients’ China plans in order to assess exactly which local operating license and permit requirements will be triggered by their planned business activities. We commonly assist our clients with all aspects of their license/permit applications, and we have helped some of the world’s first movers in the China market in obtaining operating licenses never before granted to international (non-domestic) applicants. Where certain license/permit challenges prove insurmountable or likely to impose significant hardships on our clients, we are adept at proposing prevailing market solutions and/or alternative business structuring proposals commonly used to navigating around such requirements. Above all else, we serve as creative problem solvers: not only assessing the licenses and permits implicated by planned operations in China, but also providing solutions to overcome those implications.

Our services in this area include:

  • Accurate and thorough diagnoses of proposed China business operations, in order to identify implicated operating licenses/permits
  • Assistance with all Chinese license/permit regimes (Internet and telecoms operating licenses, publishing and broadcasting permits, payment licenses, industry-specific licenses/permits, etc.)
  • Preparation of persuasive license/permit applications, including both routine applications for common operating licenses/permits and frontier, precedent-setting applications for newly liberalized sectors of China’s economy
  • Advice on prevailing market solutions and alternative business models used to avoid operating license/permit requirements
  • Advice on contractual partnerships, joint ventures (including FITE JVs), variable interest entities (VIEs), and other common structuring solutions that can lawfully work around operating license/permit requirements
  • Operating license/permit protection strategies, including advice on mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructurings in a manner that retains valuable existing licenses/permits

Relevant Experience


Advised Airbnb China on restrictions and requirements on obtaining and maintaining licenses for its local business in strictly regulated sectors in China.

Apyx Medical

Represented Apyx Medical (f.k.a. Bovie Medical), an advanced medical and energy technology company listed on NASDAQ (APYX), in its establishment of a joint venture with a local partner to manufacture, research, develop and sell electrosurgery generators in China.


Represented CBS in the spin-off sale of one of its subsidiaries holding a rare, key license (for publication of a/v programs) to Pinduoduo, the third-largest e-commerce business in China, as well in CBS's general licensing activities in China.


Advised Cirium (f.k.a. Flight Global), a world-leading data and aviation analytics solution provider, on struturing, licensing and contracts, as well as on regulatory requirements concerning storage, maintenance, trade and publishing of sensitive data, for its expansion in the China market.


Advised Cloudflare on multiple aspects of offering services such as DNS and CDN directly within the restrictive local Internet and telecoms sectors, including via tailored structuring of its products and optimal contractual partnership models.

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