Entering China is no picnic, but by focusing to get the right person up front, you can create a great path. In a foreign country, you need, market, investment, legal base, property, culture. language, IP protection, etc…
As China is completely different from the West. Almost everything you normally think will get you in trouble. I read a popular book on Business Leadership in China and know that will not dig many people out of trouble and will get many into trouble.
Further, Jim Collins did tons of research and put his discoveries in Good to Great. He found out that great leaders focus on who first and then worry about what. That could never be more wise than when you come to China. First make sure the first person you hire is the right hire. See Talent Acquisition in China Key Factors.
The First Critical Step in Entering China is Getting the Right First Chinese Person
You need an in China guide full stop. Often you need that to be a Chinese person. You need someone in China that can help you navigate in this context. Get that person, and everything else can go well from then on. Unfortunately, often that first hire either is: not made, made using Western thinking and biases, or throwing the future to chance. Some companies get lucky. This is a sign that China does have good and trustworthy people. I do not however recommend throwing your China future to chance.
This would be the same in choosing a partner in China of any kind. The right people will be transparent with you and patiently help you know how to be successful in this context. The wrong people will leave you in the dark or get you going in wrong directions for their purposes. Westerners and Chinese people do this in China as the opportunity to swindle is real in this foreign context.
Again and again, I come upon companies who got in a mess because they choose the wrong top person or partner for their China work. Then they have tons of headaches in China, and say China is a bad place. That is not the case. China is a great place to work, but you must focus on getting the first step done correctly. Get the right first person or organization who can get you more right people and contacts.
Again, getting someone who will be loyal to you is a good first step. However, getting someone who can be loyal to you and attract more good contacts of character is what you really need. Make that your first goal before you do anything. See 6 Ways of Doing Business in China.
China has good people. Find them. Then trust them and check them.