We just finished a visit to Hareon Solar (www.hareonsolar.com) a Chinese solar company.
Beginning at the end of 2010, ground was broken on a joint venture with Schott Solar in Taicang, a city of about one million, 40 or so kilometers from Shanghai. Taicang is a small town by Chinese standards, with about 800,000 people living or working in it.
Six months after breaking ground the facility was shipping product!
The locals call this "Taicang speed." Permitting alone in the U.S. can take longer than six months.