How to Set up AI Company in China: A Comprehensive Guide for Foreigners


AI is at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, transforming industries and economies worldwide. As AI continues to advance, setting up an AI company in China offers unique opportunities and challenges. While the United States and other Western countries are rapidly developing their AI technologies, China is also accelerating its efforts, becoming a significant player in the global AI field. China’s vast market size, emerging industrial changes, strong government support for innovation, and a growing pool of AI research and development talent are attracting global AI enterprises to quickly capture the Chinese market. However, establishing an AI company in China requires understanding and complying with a series of complex registration processes and legal regulations. So, how do you set up an AI company in China? From choosing an appropriate company name and registered address to establishing a comprehensive business scope and arranging a robust shareholder structure, each step requires careful planning. This article aims to provide comprehensive guidance for foreign investors to ensure their AI business can successfully launch and operate in China.

Selection of Company Name and Registered Address to Set Up AI Company in China

First, we need to consider the naming of the company. Now, AI companies have become one of the most popular choices for foreign investors setting up companies in China. When you set up an AI company in China, the primary task is to determine the company’s registered address. The choice of the registered address is crucial as it not only affects the company’s tax policies but also involves the convenience of daily operations.

Next is the selection of the company name. In China, company names must comply with certain regulations and be approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation. It is recommended to choose a name that reflects the company’s core business, such as “XYZ AI Technology Co., Ltd.” Such a name can not only pass the review quickly but also leave a deep impression on customers and partners.

Establishment of Business Scope to Set Up AI Company in China

Setting up the business scope is a key step when you set up an AI company in China. The business scope of an AI company needs to cover its main business activities while complying with Chinese laws and regulations. Common business scopes for AI companies include:

  1. Research, development, sales, and technical services of artificial intelligence technology
  2. Software development and technical consulting
  3. Data processing and storage services
  4. Import and export business

An appropriate business scope can help the company better conduct its business and avoid legal risks. For example, if the company plans to engage in import and export business, it must be clearly stated in the business scope. This will allow the company to legally conduct international trade and enjoy related tax incentives.

Set up AI company in China

Arrangement of Shareholder Structure to Set Up AI Company in China

The arrangement of the shareholder structure is another important aspect when you set up an AI company in China. The best approach is to use the parent company abroad as the sole shareholder or to have multiple companies jointly invest. This not only simplifies the registration process but also ensures the stability of corporate governance.

For example, a French AI company wishing to set up a WFOE in China can choose the French parent company as the sole shareholder. This model can fully leverage the resources and technical advantages of the parent company, ensuring the new company’s competitiveness in the Chinese market.

Case Analysis: Successful Registration of a French AI Company in China

Suppose a French AI company specializing in intelligent robotics decides to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in China. First, the company chooses Shanghai as its registration location because Shanghai has a good environment for technological innovation and comprehensive policy support. Next, they choose the name “XYZ AI Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.”, which passes the review of the State Administration for Market Regulation.

In terms of business scope, the company establishes “research, development, sales, and technical services of artificial intelligence technology, software development and technical consulting, data processing and storage services, import and export business.” This comprehensive business scope ensures that the company can engage in multiple fields and enjoy related policy benefits.

Finally, with the French parent company as the sole shareholder, the company registration is successfully completed. Within a few months, the company successfully enters the Chinese market, using its advanced AI technology to gain a large number of customers.

Operation and Management to Set Up AI Company in China

Talent Recruitment

Finding the right talent is crucial for operating an AI company in China. China has many top technology universities and research institutions that train a large number of excellent AI professionals. Here are some recruitment suggestions:

  1. Collaborate with Universities: Collaborate with well-known universities through university-enterprise cooperation projects and campus recruitment to attract outstanding graduates.
  2. Attend Industry Exhibitions: Participate in AI and technology exhibitions to showcase the company’s technology and products and attract industry professionals.
  3. Use Recruitment Platforms: Use major domestic recruitment platforms to post job vacancies, covering a wide range and achieving significant results.

Legal Compliance

Operating an AI company in China must comply with relevant laws and regulations to ensure legal operation. Here are some key legal compliance matters:

  1. Intellectual Property Protection: Protecting intellectual property is very important in China. AI companies should promptly apply for patents, trademarks, and copyrights to protect their technology and brand.
  2. Data Protection: According to the Cybersecurity Law and the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, companies need to take measures to protect user data and ensure data security and privacy.
  3. Tax Compliance: According to Chinese tax laws, companies must file and pay taxes on time to avoid legal risks.

Market Marketing

Promoting AI technology and products in the Chinese market requires effective marketing strategies. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Brand Building: Establish a strong brand image through media publicity and social media marketing to increase brand awareness.
  2. Partners: Find local partners, including distributors, channels, and technical partners, to expand the market together.
  3. Customer Relations: Establish and maintain good customer relations by providing high-quality after-sales service and technical support to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Intellectual Property Registration to Set Up AI Company in China

After setting up an AI company in China, protecting intellectual property is especially important. AI companies rely on technological innovation, and intellectual property is crucial to safeguard these innovative results from illegal use. Below we will discuss how to quickly and effectively register intellectual property in China, and the services provided by GWBMA.

Importance of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property includes patents, trademarks, and copyrights. For AI companies, protecting their technology and brand is crucial:

  1. Patents: Protect the company’s innovative inventions in AI technology, preventing competitors from copying or imitating.
  2. Trademarks: Protect the company’s brand identity, preventing others from counterfeiting or using similar marks, which could damage the company’s reputation.
  3. Copyrights: Protect the company’s creative results in software, data algorithms, etc., ensuring their legal rights.

GWBMA’s Intellectual Property Registration Services to Set Up AI Company in China

GWBMA provides comprehensive intellectual property registration services, helping AI companies quickly protect their innovative results in China. GWBMA’s advantages include:

  1. Fast Processing: GWBMA has a professional team and extensive experience, capable of quickly handling company registration, patent registration, trademark registration, and copyright registration.
  2. Online Application: GWBMA offers online application services, allowing clients to conveniently submit applications and track progress without cumbersome paperwork.
  3. One-Stop Service: From company registration to intellectual property protection, GWBMA offers a one-stop solution, saving time and effort.

Best Timing for Intellectual Property Registration to Set Up AI Company in China

Choosing the right time to register intellectual property when setting up an AI company in China is crucial. Here are two optimal solutions:

  1. Pre-registration: Register intellectual property in advance through the parent company. This approach protects core technologies and brands before the AI company is established, avoiding potential infringement risks.
  2. Immediate Registration after Establishment: Begin intellectual property registration immediately after the AI company is established. This ensures that the new company quickly gains legal protection in the Chinese market, preventing technology and brand infringement.

Case Analysis: Utilizing GWBMA for Rapid Intellectual Property Registration in China

Suppose a German AI company specializing in machine learning technology plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in China. They choose to use GWBMA’s services for rapid intellectual property registration:

  1. Pre-registration: Before establishing the company in China, the German parent company applies for core technology patents and trademarks through GWBMA. This ensures that technology and brands are legally protected before the company is set up.
  2. Immediate Registration after Establishment: After the new company is established in China, they immediately apply for copyrights for new software and further patent registrations through GWBMA. This step ensures that all innovative results of the new company are comprehensively protected.

Through this approach, the company gains legal protection in the Chinese market and enhances its competitiveness, avoiding potential legal disputes.


Setting up an AI company in China requires comprehensive planning and meticulous management. From selecting the company name and registered address, establishing the business scope, arranging the shareholder structure, to operating and managing, and finally protecting intellectual property, each step needs to be carefully considered. By attracting top talent, complying with laws and regulations, formulating effective marketing strategies, and utilizing GWBMA’s fast and convenient intellectual property registration services, foreign investors can effectively protect their technology and brand, ensuring their competitive advantage in the Chinese market. Whether pre-registering intellectual property or immediately registering after company establishment, both are wise choices. GWBMA’s one-stop service will provide comprehensive support for AI companies, ensuring their smooth operation and rapid growth in China.

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