countzero's blog

Practicing law in Mainland China; life on the edge...

boat.jpgA few years ago, Thomas Friedman wrote a book called"Hot, Flat & Crowded" to help explain some of the changes going on out here in the world.  I am relatively certain that he had no intention to create any fear or misunderstanding that one could actually fall off the edge...

However, I am still amazed at the perceptions and ideas floating around out in the world.  Clients ask all the time what it is like living life out on the edge of the world.  As if ours were a reality disconnected from their own.  And I am here to tell you that we are not living on the edge.  Sure, our mail is delivered to a different zip code than you, if you happen to live in the United States or Europe.  

But we are not living 'on the edge' of anything.  In fact, we might be in the middle of what is really going on.  And that is what prompted this writing...  

Federal Court Authorizes Email Service to China -- Well, sort of... PART 2


As a quick follow up to the last post and rather than have all of you out there argue details with me, (you are attorneys after all) I wanted to post the US State Department circular on the issue.

If we can not use mail, it seems a little bit of a stretch to say we can use email to sue 'those damn Chinese' and expect to be taken seriously.  

Federal Court Authorizes Email Service to China -- Well, sort of...

chanel-logo.jpgIntellectual property protection in China has always been confusing and we wanted to take a few moments in passing to note one case that makes a hell of a mess when you come right down to it.  See:  Chanel, Inc. vs Zhong Zhibing

In that case, the Western District of Tennessee did a bit of legal acrobatics that would make Harry Houdini proud and found a way through the minefield for Chanel, allowing then to proceed on the basis of email service to China.  Sort of...

China is cleaning up their legal system

al capone.jpgChina executed the former top justice official in Chongqing yesterday — the highest ranking person caught in a massive crackdown on violent gangs and corrupt officials who protect them.

Wen Qiang, 55, former director of the Chongqing Municipal Judicial Bureau, was convicted in April of corruption charges involving organized crime, according to the Chongqing court Web site.

Wen took bribes, shielded criminal gangs, hid his financial assets and raped a university student, the official Xinhua News Agency cited court documents as saying.

The Supreme People’s Court, which reviews all death penalty cases, rejected Wen’s appeal and upheld the sentence in May, the announcement said.

“The facts are quite clear, the evidence is concrete and abundant, the conviction is accurate and the punishment is proper,” it said.

Wen served as vice police chief of Chongqing from 1992 to 2008 and then as director of the justice bureau until his arrest in September 2009, Xinhua said.

Senior Government posts open to competition: Part II

The government released yesterday a shortlist of 27 candidates who will compete for eight senior governmentplease-vote-for-me.jpg posts as part of an experiment aimed at introducing elections for high-ranking government officials.

Most of the eight posts have three candidates in contention. At present, most city officials are appointed or elected with just one candidate in the offing.

Among the 27 candidates, four have doctoral degrees and 17 hold master’s degrees.

The youngest candidate, Zhang Zhihua, was born in 1977 and is deputy Party secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the Communist Youth League. Zhang is competing to be head of the Shenzhen Disabled Persons’ Federation.

Shenzhen starts trial of green car subsidies

german_electric_car1.jpgSHENZHEN residents will receive up to 120,000 yuan (US$17,700) in subsidies if they buy electric or hybrid cars, according to a pilot program initiated yesterday.

The program, jointly promoted by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science, Ministry of Industry and Information and the National Development and Reform Commission, also covers Hangzhou, Hefei, Changchun and Shanghai, in a bid to cut emissions in the world’s biggest auto market.

The State’s maximum subsidy for those who buy plug-in hybrid cars is 50,000 yuan while the subsidy for fully electric cars is 60,000 yuan, Zhang Shaochun, vice minister of finance, said at a launch ceremony in Shenzhen yesterday.

Local governments in the pilot cities have been encouraged to offer subsidies to promote green vehicles.

Chinese Diplomat elected to International Court of Justice

Xue Hanqin.jpgXUE HANQIN, a veteran Chinese diplomat and an expert in international law, was elected judge of the International Court of Justice on Tuesday.

Xue, a member of the International Law Commission, was elected by the U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council in separate votes.

Xue won all 15 Security Council votes, said Claude Heller, the Mexican U.N. ambassador who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for June.

Heller, at the open Council meeting, also read a letter from the president of the General Assembly, Ali Treki, who said that Xue won a majority of votes in the 192-nation U.N. body.

The election was conducted under the relevant Security Council resolution to fill the vacancy after Judge Shi Jiuyong, a Chinese, resigned May 28.

She is the only female among the 15 judges of the International Court of Justice, and the third Chinese national to serve on the court.

In December 2008, Xue was appointed as China’s first ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Foxconn + Apple + The China Price = A lack of common sense

foxxcon.jpgOk, I will acknowledge at the outset that this writing involves a bit of banging the drum on my part because everybody out there seems to be focusing on the wrong part of this equation.   

We live here in Shenzhen near the now notorious Foxconn campus so famous for suicides related to the assembly of Apple products. We have been here for coming on ten years running this law firm and we like it.  It's a great place to live, run a business, train Chinese lawyers and raise kids.  It is home.

But my complaint is this.  Apple does not seem to want to pay more for I-pads, I-pods or whatever because the consumer does not want to pay more for I-pods.

Shenzhen China - Senior Government posts open to competition

ballot_box.jpgThe weekend edition of the Shenzhen Daily has reported eight senior government posts will be up for competition for the first time, making the beginning of a low-profile yet ambitious experiment aimed at introducing open elections for high-ranking officials.

What? China!! Elections. But they are communist, right?  

It would seem that elections may be on the horizon.  The nominations for these eight posts can be from within the Government itself, but individuals are also allowed to nominate themselves too. The candidates will be interviewed by a 75 member panel who will vote on them with the ballot results announced instantly.  The entire process will be completed by mid-July 2010.

Apparently, Shenzhen has decided to place itself at the forefront of the country's political reform after almost 30 years of being on the cutting edge of economic reform.    

But I paid him money in China...


We have been getting a lot of requests for assistance to recover money mooooney.jpgpaid out to a Chinese National person or business and in a large number of cases we are not able offer any commercially reasonable assistance because of the way the money was literally given away before anyone called us in for help.

This has involved commercial transactions, personal loans and in one case it was many millions of dollars in a real estate purchase.  But in  each case, we were not able to recover these sums paid for various  reasons.

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