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.

Why More U.S. Expatriates Are Turning In Their Passports...Toxic Citizens

citizenship_0420.jpg

Time Magazine Helena Bachmann / Geneva Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2010

Chicago native Ben loves his country and is proud to be an American. Yet the longtime resident of Melbourne has just relinquished his U.S. citizenship. "This is not something I did lightly or happily, but I saw no other choice," says Ben, a businessman who became an Australian citizen two years ago.

His words resonate with another American expatriate, John, a business owner based near Lausanne, Switzerland, who like Ben asked that his last name be withheld for fear of alienating his family in the U.S. "Giving up my U.S. citizenship is a genuine option," says the Ohio native, who recently received his Swiss passport and is considering relinquishing his American one. "I am at a breaking point — being American costs me time [and] money, but mostly aggravation."

Maybe China is like Antarctica? The Big Bang Symphony

Big Bang.jpgJust heard a great interview by Lucy Jane Bledsoe, an artist and writer that has been to Antarctica three times.  She has also just released a new book that is worth a look.  During this interview, she was talking about what draws a person to the bottom of the world...

The first time you go down there, you do it for the money.  The second time you go is for the adventure.  And the third time you go is because you do not seem to fit in anywhere else anymore.

That sounds a lot like living here.  I mean, I didn't necessarily choose to be here for coming up on a decade.  In fact, it even sounds funny when I say it, "Yes, I am an attorney and I live in Mainland China."  But after while, you just get used to everywhere else feeling well... less.  Of course, less dirty, less crowded, less chaotic.  

US tax law changing again...

D4zGs3aKpKDmAa5rA9bfNfQHAjmdJO6mpeJ85j.jpgOn Friday, 20 March, Congress passed and President Obama signed HIRE-FATCA. Among other things, both offshore banks and brokerage houses as well as U.S. tax return filers are now required to report annual information regarding accounts maintained by U.S. citizens and green card holders. Penalties for not reporting are rather severe. In ‘user-friendly’ English, Mr. Lipsher will review the new provisions of the law and the extended obligations of U.S. tax filers.

Google threatens to leave China: Part II

Ok, so now that Google has stopped censoring it's China content and has started routing everything through their Hong Kong servers what is the end result?  
 
Zip...nada...diddly squat...
 
Nothing has changed.  There is a cool bit of flash on my desktop that tells me that I've been sent to Google Hong Kong rather than Google China, but there are no changes on what we have access to.  Yesterday and today are exactly the same...
 
So, if the idea was that Google was going to promote internet freedom in China by taking a stance and challenging the Chinese Government -- well congratulations ladies and gentlemen -- you pushed a few buttons, re-routed your traffic and just pissed a lot of people off all for no reason...
 
And that's probably what should have happened at this stage.  Why?
 

Gold Purchases ruled out to diversify Forex reserves

By DING QINGFEN AND XIN ZHIMING CHINA DAILYclip_image002.jpg
Published:3/10/2010

BEIJING — The government is unlikely to buy large amounts of gold as a means to diversify its $2.39 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, a senior official said, while stressing that “the US treasuries market is very important for China”.

It will be another golden decade if...

From Zhu Qiwen of the China Daily in the Business Section yesterday.
 
"Three decades of nearly double-digit growth have made China into a unique economic miracle. Will it be able to continue its long-term growth story into the new decade?  
 
The V-shaped rebound of the Chinese economy last year has seemingly convinced many observers to givetheir vote of confidence for the largest developing economy.
 
With its beginning as a poor developing country hampered by poverty and underdeveloped economies, China has ascended to the world's largest exporter and the third largest economy with a per capita GDP of about $3,500 by 2009.
 
There were plenty of bumps along the road. Yet, even the worst global recession in several decades did not stop the Chinese economy from expanding by 8.7 percent last year.
 

Google Threatens to Leave China: Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug...

windshield.jpgNobody that has ever met me, or even heard about me, has ever called me a panda hugger, which according to wiktionary is a Western political activist or official who supports Communist Chinese policies. 

In fact, when acting in our capacity as attorneys for some of our clients, we have been deported for a few days.  Given that we have a very smart group of Chinese nationals working in our offices, that last forced exit was limited to only a few days in Hong Kong.  And given that a few days of holiday with the family is not a bad thing...no harm, no foul.

Chinese Enterprise Income Tax Changes in the Year of the Tiger By Ella Xu

Enterprise income tax (“EIT”) should be a main source of tax income for the Government here. However, because of some twists and turns in the Chinese Corporate law, this tax has been substantially avoidable if you closely monitored your cash flow.  
 
As such, a substantial number of small to medium sized enterprises have historically chosen to post their quarterly or year-end profits at zero, thus allowing them to avoid paying any EIT – legally. This is especially common among foreign direct investors with an off-shore holding company owning their Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (“WFOE”) here in Mainland China.
 

China's Repressive Media and Mrs. Santa collide?

I just wanted to take a moment and confirm all the current Xmas supplement.jpgsuspicions you may have out there about the horrible and repressive system we live under here in Mainland China.

It's terrible!  How can I live in a place where my morning paper comes with a front page like this?  This was the 16 page supplement wrapped around my Shenzhen Daily last Friday.  It deals with such touchy subjects as whether to listen to the classical or more modern music performances in the various playhouses around town, what events are happening at local churches and which of the regions theme parks (like Disney World) have the best family vacation packages.

So, to all of you out there that know just how bad China is, you just keep a firm hold of whatever reality you have chosen to convince yourself is true and I'll stay here and fight it out in the grimy colorless city.

Happy Holidays

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