I'm currently in my first year of a 3 year top tier LLB. All my relatives are in china with no way of exiting, so I must practice there. I also run a gym there as well so it would be beneficial for me to oversee it from time to time. It's early for a first year student to be planning this, but my stituation demands it.
You will most likely be firstly interested in the obstacles to get into the industry. But I have to define the niche first, then it all gets apparent.

market condition
Like most people, my initial perception of foreign lawyers in China was that they were doing things like english portions of contracts or representing foreigners who don't wish to be locally represented. Maybe offering the same service as Chinese firms, but carrying over their century long reputations; maybe even offering placebos that they are better because they are foreign.

On my most recent trip, I toured several top firms and spoke to people. Turns out my initial perception was all wrong. Foreigners actually cannot practice Chinese law at all. They cannot represent in court, and cannot advice. To sit the Chinese bar you must be a PRC citizen. Actually if a Chinese lawyer goes over to a foreign law firm for more than 2 years, he loses his local license!

So what's the purpose of foreign law firms spending so much money to break into the industry there? They serve a very niche market. Think: if a Chinese firm wants a NY IPO. You're beginning to get the picture. Foreign firms and local ones actually have 0 competition. Work in that niche requires tremendous international presence, a standard which Chinese firms and most foreign ones are no where near. Actually only the very top tier foreign firms in China are profitable. Very profitable at that. The niche is pretty much all the big money areas like international M&A, Int. PE, advising on restructuring that spans different countries, international tax and trade policies. Mid tier firms are slightly profitable or breakeven at best.

Also you have to practice 2 years overseas to get a license in China. However a year is defined as the majority of the year. I have heard of people working exactly 6 months and 1 day overseas. Also Hong Kong counts.

So it's pretty greuling; you should get the image of what it takes to get there

-You have to first get into one of those top firms with the international presence and have established in China
-You have to get into one of those big money areas
-You have to give them a reason to send you in China. Is it even possible for a first year associate? I am Chinese myself and speak and read the language obviously, but still I didn't see any rookies on my visit. The youngest I saw was a guy in his late twenties, and he was supposedly one of the youngest to make partner in his firm.
-Then there's the thing with working 6 months and 1 year overseas. Does anyone know of this?

So what are the odds of acheiving all of the above? I'm not an ambitious guy, I just want to do something I love and work close to my family! And I need to do it ASAP.

Should I just give up and focus on getting into investment banking or trading?

There are loads of guides on getting into the top firms, but any tips specific to my situation? How do I open doors to those niche areas mentioned above? Would an LLM be beneficial? What Chinese dish can I bring to the table that is compelling to make them send me over?