And no wonder. Even 35 years after first opening up to the outside world, China remains a minefield for any foreign business to navigate. What's becoming clear, however, is that certain businesses are indeed being welcomed, while others are clearly not.
Even Netflix admits it's not quite sure what to expect. And it's starting out small.
"We'll learn a great deal if we can successfully operate a small service in China centered on our original and other globally-licensed content," the video streaming service said in a Jan. 20 letter to shareholders. "That is our preference, for the next few years, if we are able to acquire the necessary permissions."
Netflix already has 62 million members in 50 countries (though that includes those signing up for the one-month free trial), so it makes sense for the company to tap the huge Chinese market.
In Netflix' favor is its scale. Large companies such as General Motors (GM) usually have procedures in place to find local partners -- required sometimes for investment in China -- and negotiate red tape to get permits. Smaller companies may lack the know-how or on-the-ground connections.
Netflix has been talking to a media group backed by Alibaba (BABA) chief Jack Ma about cooperation in China, news reports say, perhaps to avoid getting pushed off the set by local rivals or regulators. The company would not comment officially.
The task will certainly not be easy, analysts said.