How can UK based translator best receive payment from Chinese company?
Thread poster: James Laughton

James Laughton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:34
Chinese to English
Mar 11, 2015

Hello

I am a UK based translator and I am negotiating with an (international) China based company. The method of payment is proving to be a stumbling block. It seems, for them, very difficult to make an international payment.

For the first job, they stated they can only pay to a China bank account (after I had completed the job). I told them I do not have a China based account as I am based in the UK (which is what I told them at the beginning), and so they made arrangements to make an international payment (it seems the process is very troublesome and long for them and I am waiting 2 month later to receive it--this is not the issue, as they are a reputable company.)

However, they have again stated that for us to sign a long term agreement, they can only pay into a China bank account. It seems that it is not impossible to make an international payment but they don't want the bother, or their bureaucracy doesn't allow it.

So my question is, is there a way for me to open a bank account in China or any other simple way (eg online) that payment can be arranged? What do other translators do in this situation?

They asked me if I have any friends or relatives in China with a bank account. I do, but preferably I would not want to be arranging large amounts of money on a long-term basis through a friend's account like this.

I have bank accounts in Taiwan and family in HK but I think these would also count as international.

Any suggestions are appreciated, also if there is a better forum for this question.

Thanks!


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Kenneth Woo
China
Local time: 02:34
English to Chinese
There is a possible solution. Mar 11, 2015

If you have a China-based colleague whom you can trust, ask him/her if they are willing to help. Make a proposal to the company that they can pay the amount to the bank account of that colleague. When the money arrives, your colleague can send you the money from his/her PayPal account.

PayPal is very popular among China-based freelancers who operate internationally. While it has many benefits, one major downside is that it charges China-based users $35 for each withdrawal and many users want to avoid that. If you and your colleague can reach a long-term partnership, it can be very mutually beneficial.

Nonetheless, the best way is of course to open a Chinese bank account but I am not sure whether that is possible if you are unable to complete the paperwork in person.


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David Lin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:34
Member (2013)
English to Chinese
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Welcome James! Mar 11, 2015

A warm welcome to you James to the Chinese Forum. I am not sure there is any other fora that could give you an answer but I hope you found Ken's reply helpful.

Hope to see you more here with other questions and/or sharing of your insights about Chinese and English translation.

Cheers.

David

James Laughton-Smith wrote:

Hello

I am a UK based translator and I am negotiating with an (international) China based company. The method of payment is proving to be a stumbling block. It seems, for them, very difficult to make an international payment.

For the first job, they stated they can only pay to a China bank account (after I had completed the job). I told them I do not have a China based account as I am based in the UK (which is what I told them at the beginning), and so they made arrangements to make an international payment (it seems the process is very troublesome and long for them and I am waiting 2 month later to receive it--this is not the issue, as they are a reputable company.)

However, they have again stated that for us to sign a long term agreement, they can only pay into a China bank account. It seems that it is not impossible to make an international payment but they don't want the bother, or their bureaucracy doesn't allow it.

So my question is, is there a way for me to open a bank account in China or any other simple way (eg online) that payment can be arranged? What do other translators do in this situation?

They asked me if I have any friends or relatives in China with a bank account. I do, but preferably I would not want to be arranging large amounts of money on a long-term basis through a friend's account like this.

I have bank accounts in Taiwan and family in HK but I think these would also count as international.

Any suggestions are appreciated, also if there is a better forum for this question.

Thanks!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:34
Chinese to English
+ ...
Tax consequences Mar 11, 2015

Kenneth Woo wrote:

If you have a China-based colleague whom you can trust, ask him/her if they are willing to help. Make a proposal to the company that they can pay the amount to the bank account of that colleague. When the money arrives, your colleague can send you the money from his/her PayPal account.

PayPal is very popular among China-based freelancers who operate internationally. While it has many benefits, one major downside is that it charges China-based users $35 for each withdrawal and many users want to avoid that. If you and your colleague can reach a long-term partnership, it can be very mutually beneficial.

Nonetheless, the best way is of course to open a Chinese bank account but I am not sure whether that is possible if you are unable to complete the paperwork in person.


Kenny,

That is probably still feasible in China where enforcement of tax laws remain lax. But it is out of the question for those residing in countries such as the U.K. or the U.S. where governments keep a keen eye on the financial transactions of their citizens.

I agree with you that PayPal is the way to go. I noticed others in the forum also accept credit card payments. But that probably gets a lot more involved.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:34
Chinese to English
International my foot Mar 11, 2015

An agency does not get to claim to be international if they are not willing to make international payments. I would have nothing to do with such an outfit.

Having said that, have you talked to a Chinese bank? The big ones now have UK branches, so if you opened a UK Bank of China account, would that help at all?

Or, I believe the various Chinese versions of PayPal now allow for sending money overseas. There's a WeChat wallet, and Alibaba does one called Alipay. QQ probably has one. As I understand it, they have very low fees, might be a possibility.

But your first and last message to this agency should be, get your arse in gear. If they want to do grown up business, they're going to have to learn how.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:34
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Their problem Mar 11, 2015

Paypal, or pay to your relatives in HK. If a Chinese company can't even make payment to an HK bank account, they have a problem.

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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:34
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Excuses Mar 13, 2015

To put it crudely, it's just agencies making excuses and trying to avoid as much expenses as possible. I've had Chinese clients pay to my Hong Kong account before, or pay me by paypal. As Phil and Lincoln said, they've got a problem if they are not willing to go international.

I generally turn down any clients who can't even use PayPal (or perhaps "refuses" to use Paypal or moneybookers)


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lbone  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:34
English to Chinese
+ ...
They should be able to make the payment if they really want Mar 13, 2015

Agencies in China often make payments in person when it is really necessary, while each major Chinese bank issues Visa cards that support international payment. I guess they are also authorized to make international payments someway officially, if they are really translation agencies.
If they don't like the effort, they should not have asked you to take the job.
As someone mentioned above, you can also ask for help from a Chinese friend to accept payment in RMB and then let this friend send you USD via PayPal.


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