Foreign Invested Enterprise: A Comprehensive Analysis In Depth

A foreign-invested enterprise (FIE) is a commercial enterprise that allows an organization to invest financially in a project or business. It works in foreign jurisdictions. FIE is mainly used while doing business in China. But It is also used in other Asian countries and foreign jurisdictions.

It is a legal way to allow foreign investors to participate in the Chinese economy. Let’s analyze and learn about Foreign Invested Enterprises deeply.

What is Foreign Invested Enterprise(FIE)

Foreign Invested Enterprises (FIE) is a program where a foreign organization can invest in a business. This investment can be partly and wholly. The parent or investor organization can have full or part ownership, profits, and other company rights. It relies upon the Foreign Invested Enterprise. The Practice of FIE is mainly famous in China, and the Government of China has strict rules and regulations.

These rules decide how much profit an organization gets from FIE and what kind of control (wholly or partly) a parent organization can have on the enterprise. In China, many entities are working as Foreign Invested Enterprises. It includes the following:

  •  Equity Joint Ventures(EJV)
  •  Cooperative Joint Ventures(CJVs)
  • Foreign Invested Partnerships (FIPSs)
  • Foreign-invested venture capital enterprises (FIVCEs)
  • Foreign-invested investment companies (FIICs)
  • Wholly-Owned Foreign Enterprises (WFOEs)
  • Foreign Invested Limited Share Companies (FICLSs)

Usually, these enterprises work on a model where several investors worldwide invest in different start-ups and businesses in which there is no chance of growth or profit.

The government of China recently updated its foreign investment laws in the country, and the new guidelines could benefit businesses looking to expand into China.

Updated Foreign Investment Law In China:

updated fie law
  • On January 1st, 2020, China’s government revised all its foreign investment rules. With this new constitution, China wants more foreign investment and invites global investors. 
  • These new rules also include the US government’s demands during trade talks with China.
  • The new legal changes in China on foreign investment make this process more independent, encourage investment in all industries, and make setting up FIE for investors easy. 
  • China’s government has also implemented laws for the safety of foreign intellectual property rights and trade secrets, the same as the request of the US government. Investments are now secured with next-level transparency.


Different Types Of Foreign Invested Entreprises (FIE) :

There are 4 types of FIEs, each with different rules and regulations. To Establish FIE in China, you should know Foreign-invested Entreprises types to understand which suits you more. These four types are:

  • Equity Joint Venture
  • Foreign Invested Companies Limited by Shares
  • Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise
  • Cooperative Joint Ventures

Equity Joint Venture:

An equity joint venture consists of one person who has limited responsibility. In China, these structures are under the People’s Republic of China law regarding foreign equity projects and implementing the rules and regulations of the Joint venture.

This type of FIE is established between Chinese and foreign parties, followed by the approval of the Ministry of Commerce. 

Foreign Invested Companies Limited by Shares:

The only type of Foreign Invested Enterprise in which the shares of FIEs can be listed on the local stock exchange market, such as(the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange).

Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise:

Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise was initially introduced by the Government Of China. The Main Motive behind this type of FIE is to motivate and encourage manufacturing businesses that focus on exporting goods. 

In this way, they also encourage the use of the latest technology. In this type, the invested enterprise is a form of LLC, in which foreign investors control the whole business. 

Cooperative Joint Ventures:

Cooperative Joint Ventures, or CJVs, are the type of Invested Enterprise that can be set up in two different ways. In the first one, the Foreign investor bears the profit and loses directly without establishing any legal entity. In the second way, you have to establish a legal entity 

to do business. In this type of CJV, the liabilities and controls are limited. Laws will also decide to know about the profits and controls.

When Should A Business Need To Set Up FIE:


If you want to set up your business presence in China, then you should use a Foreign Invested Enterprise FIE. An FIE will give you a legal presence in China with different benefits. An FIE will also be essential if you are considering acquiring shares in a company established in China.

In Simple words, If you want to establish your own business or invest in the growing industry of China, then you will need to establish a Foreign-invested Enterprise. Setting Up an FIE at the right time will benefit your business.

However, you should be aware of that when you should not use Foreign Invested Enterprise.

When Foreign Invested Enterprise Not Required:

You can still set up FIE to do business in China. Your business model depends significantly on whether you need to set up an Invested Enterprise. If you only want market research, financial planning, Or product landscaping. This can be done by setting up only the China Representative Office (RO).

As an RO, your activities will be limited as your main goal is not setting up a full-fledged business in China.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

A corporation can take part in a foreign economy through the legal structure known as a foreign invested enterprise (FIE). The phrase "foreign invested enterprise (FIE)" typically refers to businesses that operate in Asian nations, particularly China.

When foreign businesses engage in domestic ones, they are attempting to actively participate in both their ongoing daily operations and important strategic expansion. A foreign investment would be made, for instance, if an American company invested in an Indian business.

When a firm acquires majority ownership in a company in another nation, this is referred to as foreign direct investment (FDI). With FDI, foreign businesses are actively involved in regular operations in the host nation.


This article defines FIE(Foreign Invested Enterprise) as the most common and legal way to do business in China and other Asian countries. International businesses and investors should use this legal method to set up business in China or partly. Investing in a start-up or growing business in China.

You can set up a business in China in various conditions, and every set-up has different requirements. For Fulfilling these requirements, there are different types of FIEs. Before setting up an invested Enterprise, you should know whether your business model needs FIE.


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