Read our latest coverage on the scramble to get American law firms � and lawyers � into China.

“When Chinese companies start coming here � it’s an extremely positive development,” Unkovic said. “It’s a trade relationship, and one that has bilateral benefits.”

And despite the high cost of doing business in the United States, there are distinct advantages to locating here, attorneys say.

“China is a huge market,” Unkovic said, “but the Chinese middle class, while growing, is not that large. Ours is a market that is not to be ignored. Ours is a much more mature and developed market.”

Last year, Atherton’s Menlo College held a $9,800-per-person executive training seminar aimed at established Chinese companies as well as entrepreneurs. Among the topics were understanding U.S. business culture, learning to network with venture capitalists and striking partnerships with American companies.

And on May 20, the state-run human resources giant China International Intellectech Corp. will be bringing a host of companies to the Valley to better understand how business works here, Nixon Peabody’s Chapman said.

“They’re coming here on a scouting mission to be able to understand Silicon Valley with the objective of opening an office here,” he said.


Nixon Peabody hosted a conference last May that brought business leaders from China’s Xian province to the Valley to learn about the U.S. IPO market, mergers and how to raise money in the United States.

Most of the companies that have opened offices in the Valley are in the semiconductor, wireless or telecommunications business because those sectors are doing so well in China, Chapman said.

Although it’s much more difficult than during the Valley’s boom days to raise venture financing, a number of Chinese-born technologists have managed to get their startups funded in recent years.

Chapman points to the job recruiting Web site as an example of this. The site, which translates to, is based in San Jose but helps recruit workers in both the Valley and China.

Local serial entrepreneur Jing Liu started his current company, MINO Wireless, in 2004, but has noticed a pattern among younger Chinese entrepreneurs who also hope to start their own companies.

Many who finished their advanced degrees in the Valley went back to China during the Internet boom hoping to make it big there, he said. And now they’re returning to the region with more experience and wisdom about what it takes to make their dreams come true.

“These guys are coming back to Silicon Valley and refocusing their energy into really settling down and taking it one step at a time,” Liu said.