When you establish a WFOE company in China, as a director (other positions also qualify) of the company you can apply for a work visa.
There are no minimum paid up capital requirements (since 2016) for trading and consulting type of companies, and also, under standard circumstances, no hiring requirements either.
Common requirements are minimum Bachelor’s degree, 2 years professional work experience, and Criminal Background Check from the country of citizenship. However, what to do if you don’t have an academic degree? Previously, people without an academic degree had this option where they could invest min. 10K USD into their newly formed WFOE in China, obtain a capital investment report, hire at least 1 Chinese citizen and pay social security for them, then apply for a work visa without any diploma (this was a substitute for not having a degree).
Now, good news is, this min. 10K USD investment requirement has been cancelled recently, it means that even if you don’t have an academic degree, you can apply for a work visa, provided you fulfill the second part of the requirements – hire at least 1 Chinese citizen and pay social security for them.