What has to be done to open an officially recognised representative office?
Again, given that international NGOs are not marked on Chinese administrative maps, there is no single, clearly established procedure or template. Some organisations have special agreements with national level partners — as in the case, for example, of the Ford Foundation and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; or some international volunteer organisations and the State Foreign Experts Bureau (waiguo zhuanjia ju). Several operational international NGOs (e.g., Save the Children, Plan International) have opted to register as an ‘enterprise’ with the Bureau of Industry and Commerce (gongshang ju). Although this may not seem an appropriate route, it confers useful official status, the right to open bank accounts in the organisation’s name, to write officially recognized receipts, and to officially hire Chinese national staff. To register in this way it will generally be necessary to enjoy the sponsorship of a Chinese partner, and it may also be helpful to have links with an intermediary,