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Case Study: Confrérie des Domaines (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau)

Company Size20+
Founding Year2003
With Horizons since 2021 


Company Profile

Wine export company Confrérie des Domaines used PEO to successfully break into the China market without entity establishment.

Partnering with Horizons, Confrérie des Domaines has established its regional headquarters in Shanghai, China, as well as country offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

Expansion Context

As a leading player in the wine export business, Confrérie des Domaines was already widely known and trusted in the European markets. In order to cement its reputation as a global leader and to access Asia’s high-growth wine markets, however, a direct presence in the region was deemed necessary.

One of the most compelling reasons for expansion, according to the company’s Greater China Export Manager, Etienne Croset, was the facilitation of more effective relationship management. In China especially, being able to conduct business locally was considered imperative for strong and trusting relationships with Chinese wine importers and excellent customer service with consumers in the region.

Having core staff on-site in Asia would, according to the company, be critical to developing its supply chain networks. Placing an Export Manager directly in Shanghai was also convenient for oversight of the Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau markets.

Support Requirements

In addition to employment, tax, and legal support to establish the company’s presence in Asia, assistance was required to ensure that foreign staff placed in new offices were happy with their new working environment.

As Confrérie des Domaines’ only employee in China at the time, I was concerned about having a proper work environment, and wanted to avoid working from home or local coffee shops. Horizons promptly set up a working space in an office with other beverage industry representatives, allowing me to meet new people, forge new business partnerships, and stay focused on the big picture of our operations in Asia.

Services Rendered

Horizons provided comprehensive employment support via its highly-regarded Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services. Additional support was provided through the leveraging of local partner networks for office set up and other complementary services.

As a China PEO Provider, Horizons served as the staff’s Employer of Record, administratively managing their employment on behalf of Confrérie des Domaines and absorbing all employer liabilities.

To facilitate rapid, flexible, and compliant market entry, the service included:

  • Drafting and signing of the employment agreement, including Chinese translations
  • Mission letter preparation and negotiation according to Client requirements
  • Drafting and signing of confidentiality and non-compete agreements
  • Arrangement of medical checkup
  • Declaration of employment certifications
  • Full administrative onboarding
  • Payroll and tax registration and processing
  • Chinese social insurance and housing fund registration and processing, with comparable services in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau
  • Expenses claim set up
  • Chinese Fapiao introduction and set up
  • Ongoing employment support as required


In the first six months of establishing their China presence, Confrérie des Domaines was able to start building brand reputation among Chinese importers and establish new relationships with a number of Chinese partners. Croset stresses that their Chinese partners appreciated being able to speak to their teams on-site and in Chinese, and that this was critical to their early success throughout the Asia region. Croset also notes that with Horizons taking care of all administrative, legal, tax, and HR aspects of the company’s presence in Asia, the company’s only real challenge was ensuring that they found efficient ways to communicate well with their colleagues who remained in France. Confrérie des Domaines continues to enjoy success in Asia and is looking forward to growing and sustaining exceptional relationships in the region in the coming years. For more information about how Horizons can help your business expand into markets, as it did with Confrérie des Domaines in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau, please get in touch.

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