FESCO in China: Empowering Businesses with HR Solutions

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China is an increasingly attractive destination for foreign companies looking to expand their businesses. However, many businesses face challenges due to a lack of understanding of local regulations and requirements. As a result, they often seek assistance to enter the market. This is where a Foreign Enterprise Service Company (FESCO) can play a crucial role in providing valuable support, ensuring a seamless and successful entry into the Chinese market. FESCO (Foreign Enterprise Service Corporation) China is a leading human resource and professional employment organization (PEO) in China. 

This article provides comprehensive information about FESCO, including its definition, its target audience, the main services it offers, the advantages and disadvantages of using FESCO, and how it can support HR services. It aims to present a coherent overview of FESCO, its role, and the benefits it brings to businesses in managing their human resources effectively.

What is FESCO?

FESCO (Foreign Enterprise Service Corporation) China is a leading human resource and professional employment organization (PEO) in China. Established in 1979, FESCO has played a significant role in supporting both foreign and domestic businesses operating in China. It encompasses various human resources (HR) firms in China. These companies are authorized legal entities that specialize in employing employees for clients. With the necessary registrations and approvals, FESCOs possess the authority to lawfully employ both local and foreign workers in China. 

Contrary to common perception, FESCO in China is not a singular entity, but rather a general term used by numerous local HR companies throughout China. In each city, there are multiple “FESCO” organizations that may be subsidiaries or affiliates of companies from different regions, some with partial state ownership, and others entirely privately owned.

Fesco in China

Who Can Use FESCO in China?

FESCO services in China are advantageous for both foreign and local companies. Representative offices, which cannot directly hire employees, rely on FESCOs to manage recruitment and administrative duties. Additionally, established entities like Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprises (WFOEs) may also find value in leveraging FESCO services for tasks such as recruitment, payroll management, and resolution of labor disputes. The flexibility and expertise offered by FESCOs make them a valuable resource for businesses of various types and sizes operating in China.

What are the Main Services that FESCO in China Offers?

FESCO in China provides a diverse range of essential services to support businesses and investors. These include:

1. Employee Deployment: FESCO assists in the lawful recruitment and deployment of both local and foreign employees to client companies, ensuring compliance with Chinese labor laws.

2. Payroll and Benefits Management: FESCO handles payroll processing, tax calculations, and benefits administration for dispatched employees, guaranteeing adherence to local regulations.

3. Work Permit and Visa Assistance: FESCO offers support in obtaining work permits and visas for foreign employees, streamlining the immigration process while complying with relevant regulations.

4. HR Consulting and Guidance: FESCO provides valuable human resources consulting and advice, helping businesses navigate complex Chinese labor laws and regulations.

5. Compliance and Risk Mitigation: FESCO in China aids businesses in mitigating compliance risks by ensuring adherence to labor laws, regulations, and local employment practices.

6. Social Insurance Administration: FESCO manages social insurance contributions, including pension, medical, and unemployment insurance, on behalf of client companies and their employees.

7. Legal and Administrative Services: FESCO extends support in legal matters and administrative tasks such as contract management and employee documentation.

It is worth noting that the specific services offered by FESCO in China may vary based on individual companies and their expertise.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a FESCO in China

Using a FESCO (Foreign Enterprise Service Company) in China offers both advantages and disadvantages.


1. Compliance Expertise: FESCOs possess in-depth knowledge of Chinese labor laws and regulations, ensuring businesses remain compliant and minimizing legal risks. They provide guidance on HR matters, helping navigate complex requirements.

2. Streamlined Hiring Process: FESCOs handle recruitment, onboarding, and administrative tasks, simplifying the hiring process for businesses. This allows companies to focus on core operations while entrusting HR responsibilities to the FESCO.

3. Flexibility and Scalability: FESCOs offer flexibility in managing workforce size and composition, enabling quick adjustments to align with business needs. This makes it easier to scale up or down as required.

4. Efficient Payroll and Benefits Management: FESCOs take care of payroll processing, tax calculations, and benefits administration, relieving businesses of administrative burdens and ensuring accurate and timely compensation for employees.


1. Additional Costs: Engaging a FESCO entails service fees and potential markups on employee salaries, which can increase overall operational costs for businesses.

2. Reduced Control: Businesses may have less direct control over HR decisions and processes when relying on a FESCO, limiting customization and flexibility in managing employees. This can potentially impact company culture and operations.

3. Language and Communication Challenges: Language barriers and communication difficulties may arise, particularly if the FESCO lacks proficient English-speaking staff. This can hinder effective requirement communication and issue resolution.

4. Dependency on Third-Party: Businesses become reliant on the FESCO for critical HR functions. If there are any issues or conflicts with FESCO’s services, it can cause disruptions and potential legal complications.

Before engaging a FESCO in China, businesses should thoroughly assess their specific needs, associated costs, and the reputation of the FESCO provider. Conducting proper research and due diligence ensures the selection of a reputable and reliable FESCO that aligns with the company’s requirements and long-term objectives. There is typically minimal possibility for negotiation in the basic labor contracts used by FESCOs. Although these agreements are frequently poorly worded and are generally “take it or leave it” agreements, acquiring staff members through a FESCO can occasionally be less dangerous than recruiting them directly.

How a FESCO in China Can Support the Human Resources?

When conducting payroll and taxation operations in China, it is crucial to consider the regional HR laws and regulations. The taxation system undergoes frequent changes. In China, FESCO offers comprehensive services and solutions to support various back-end functions of businesses. Some of these services include:

Tax Administration

Navigating China’s intricate tax laws can be a daunting task for businesses. However, a reputable FESCO in China can offer extensive assistance in all aspects of tax administration, ensuring compliance and providing valuable expertise to alleviate the burden on businesses.

Individual Income Tax

In an effort to address the challenges arising from the rapidly rising cost of living in China, the country has recently implemented revisions to its individual income tax laws. The primary objective of these revisions is to simplify the tax rules and provide tax benefits to individuals who were struggling to cope with the increased expenses. Additionally, these changes aim to stimulate domestic spending within the country. As a result, many individuals are now experiencing a reduction in their individual income tax rates.

Here’s a table summarizing the individual income tax rates and corresponding quick deductions based on taxable income in China:

Taxable IncomeIncome Tax RateQuick Deduction (RMB)
Less than 36,0003%0
36,000 – 144,00010%2,520
144,000 – 300,00020%16,920
300,000 – 420,00025%31,920
420,000 – 660,00030%52,920
660,000 – 960,0003585,920
Greater than 960,00045%181,920

Please note that these rates and quick deductions are subject to change and may vary based on specific circumstances.

Special Deductions

In China, a FESCO can provide valuable assistance with special deductions for individuals. These special deductions help reduce the taxable income of employees and provide potential tax benefits. The FESCO can guide businesses and employees through the process of identifying and applying for eligible special deductions, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

China has recently implemented an increase in the standard deduction for both non-resident and resident taxpayers. Previously, the deduction stood at RMB 4,800  and RMB 3,500. However, the deduction has now been unified to RMB 5,000 per month, resulting in an annual deduction of RMB 60,000. This adjustment aims to simplify the tax system and provide taxpayers with a higher standard deduction, effectively reducing their taxable income.

Mandatory Contributions

FESCOs in China play a vital role in helping businesses with mandatory contributions. Here’s how FESCOs can provide assistance: 

Social Insurance

In China, FESCOs play a crucial role in managing the five key social insurance categories for employees. These categories include:

1. Pension Insurance: FESCOs oversee the collection and administration of pension insurance contributions. This insurance provides employees with financial support upon retirement, ensuring their long-term financial security.

2. Medical Insurance: FESCOs handle the management of medical insurance contributions. Medical insurance covers a range of healthcare expenses, including hospitalization, treatments, and medication, ensuring employees have access to necessary healthcare services.

3. Unemployment Insurance: FESCOs assist in the collection and administration of unemployment insurance contributions. This insurance provides a safety net for employees in case of involuntary job loss, offering financial support during the transition period.

4. Work-related Injury Insurance: FESCOs manage the collection and administration of work-related injury insurance contributions. This insurance provides coverage and compensation for employees who sustain injuries or suffer from occupational diseases during the course of their work.

5. Maternity Insurance: FESCOs facilitate the collection and management of maternity insurance contributions. Maternity insurance supports female employees during their maternity leave, covering medical expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth.

By ensuring compliance with regulations, accurately calculating contributions, and submitting them to the relevant authorities, FESCOs enable businesses to meet their social insurance obligations and provide necessary benefits to their employees.

The Housing Fund

Within the context of FESCO operations in China, the Housing Fund holds a significant role as part of employees’ benefits packages. FESCOs offer comprehensive assistance in managing the Housing Fund through the following steps:

  1.  Contribution Collection: FESCOs are in charge of collecting monthly payments from both employees and employers, making sure that money set aside for the Housing Fund is collected on time and correctly. Typically, the contribution amount is a portion of the employee’s salary.
  2. Fund Administration: The Housing Fund’s administrative components are carefully managed by FESCOs. This entails accurately calculating contribution amounts, keeping thorough records, and ensuring that the money is sent to the specified Housing Fund accounts in the proper manner.
  3. Facilitating Fund Utilisation: Employees who meet the eligibility requirements can use the Housing Fund with the help of FESCOs. This enables staff to access the designated money as needed and can include aid with home purchases, rent payments, or other financial housing needs.
  4. Compliance and Reporting: FESCOs are committed to upholding compliance with relevant regulations and reporting obligations concerning the Housing Fund. They diligently maintain proper documentation and ensure the submission of accurate reports to local authorities as per the specified regulatory requirements.

Visa Processing

FESCO in China plays a crucial role in supporting visa processing for businesses and individuals. They provide comprehensive assistance throughout the entire visa application process, from offering expert consultation on visa requirements and eligibility criteria to assisting with document preparation and submission.

How to Engage with FESCO in China

Engaging with FESCO China is a simple process that involves visiting their website to gather information and then reaching out to their team through the provided contact details. During the initial contact, it’s important to share relevant details about your business and specific requirements. FESCO China will schedule a consultation to better understand your needs and propose suitable services. After discussing the details, they will provide a proposal outlining the recommended services, timeline, and costs. Once both parties are in agreement, the partnership can be formalized by signing the necessary agreements or contracts. Stay updated with FESCO China’s website for the latest contact information and specific instructions.

Key Takeaways

FESCO in China is a significant human resources and professional employment organization (PEO) in China. Although many foreign investors believe that FESCO is a single entity, in reality, the word is used by dozens of local HR firms all around the country. These businesses are legitimate organizations with the typical purpose of recruiting workers for customers. The Chinese market and legal system can be very complicated, but FESCOs can help by taking on many of the difficult tasks and responsibilities. This allows companies to concentrate on their main objectives and expand in China.