When you are in a foreign country, you need, market, investment, legal, 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.
You need an in China guide full stop. You need 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 otherwise throwing the future to chance. Some companies get lucky. This is a sign that China does have good and trustworthy people.
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 right 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.
China has good people. Find them. Then trust them and check them.