Тhis article examines approaches to the recognition of labor relations in Russia and mainland China. Based on the analysis of Chinese and Russian legislation, regulatory materials and legal practice, the author notes that, in contrast to Russia, a foreigner (or stateless person) without the work permit will not be recognized as a subject of labor relations in mainland China. The consequences of this are not settled by law, but in accordance with judicial practice, the relation between the employer and the person will not be recognized as a labor relation, and the court in mainland China will apply the rules of civil law. As a result, the person will be devoided of rights arising from employee status and can be brought to administrative responsibility. The author concludes that if a foreign worker has the Chinese work permit, his rights would be protected in better way than without it. The author also recommends those who are not citizens of China and want to enter into an employment relationship in mainland China to carefully follow the administrative procedures and to get all possible permits.