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China café

Getting work permits for foreign staff is becoming trickier—and impossible if you rely on the post

By Mark Kitto   May 2010

Our coffee shop is in its fifth year. Business has been good, better than expected. We only set it up to keep ourselves in noodles. It has given us fried rice with extra prawns.

This year, at last, someone else is starting a coffee shop in the village—two more in fact. Both are backed by the local government. I’m not worried by competition, as we could use an alternative for our customers when they can’t get a seat in our place. The problem is the local government wants me to manage the new shops and to pay them a fee…

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