I am a German citizen who is going to travel to China for six weeks on a Q2 visa for visiting my in-laws.
Am I likely to experience any problems if I do some remote work for my (Germany-based) company during my stay (maybe some 5 to 10 days scattered across the six weeks)?
A caveat might be that due to the internet restrictions in place in China, I might not be able to connect directly to our offices in Germany. Therefore, the variant that is most likely to actually work (in the technical sense) is for me to connect to our office in China (the same way Chinese colleagues who are employed in that Chinese office do) to get into the company's network. On the other hand, to an uninvolved outsider, this could look a lot more conspicuous, as if I were working for a China-based company.
The statements I could find by researching online were rather confusing, e.g.:
- Can I work in China with a Q1/Q2 Visa?:
- "(...) if you are working remotely for a company that isn’t based in China and not being paid into your Chinese bank account or studying online at a non Chinese university then you could do those."
- "The only visa you are allowed to work on in China is a work visa and nothing else. (...) You can just exist in China."
- Working for US company on US payroll remotely from China?:
- "The issue with a Q Visa is that no worked is allowed on this type of visa. Now, considering you're working for a U.S Company, the chances of this being an issue are pretty small. However, it gets tricky when you want to send money into China."
- Can I work remotely for a foreign company while staying in China on a tourist visa?:
- "Any type of work (paid or unpaid) in China requires that you hold a work permit and the related residence permit or a Chinese Green Card."
- And lastly, I found this noteworthy comment on another question: "in almost all countries, what most people consider work for their out-of-country employer (emails, documents, calls, meetings, writing code, writing words etc) is not considered work and therefore you can do it while you're a tourist."
and so on.
This is a bit confusing, as - while most answers seem to lean toward a total "no, not possible" - they also appear to focus on the issue of receiving money in China, or even transferring it to a Chinese bank account. That seems like a non-issue to me, as I have no Chinese bank account and I do not expect to receive or use any of the money earned while staying in China.
Or, that is, technically I might, but that would be unrelated to working there: Even if I stayed there without working a single day, I would of course still be paid for my job while staying in China (paid leave) and that's the money I would transfer into China when paying for something by credit card.