Set Up Costs
To register a WFOE in China, there are set up costs that you just cannot get around. Often times for SMEs, this reality drastically increases the financial risk of entering the market. The good news is however, other options exist that allow foreign companies to begin operations immediately upon signing a contract agreement with a local partner. To get more information on that topic, perhaps you'd be interested in my last article here.
Realistically, the time required for registration - to gather all the necessary paperwork, translate it when appropriate, etc, submit it to Chinese authorities, and wait for all the approvals - is at least 6 months.