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Quote of the Day

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple"

-Oscar Wilde

Are new light bulbs in China enough to catch up to the West?

China has recently announced plans to increase its use of solar and wind power over the next decade in order to produce one fifth of its energy needs through renewable power by 2020. While this goal sounds very aggressive, Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, believes China will easily reach this target. This 20% target matches the European goal, and would be impressive considering China¡¯s relative poverty.

Despite China¡¯s announcement, the U.S. still believe China is not doing enough. "Even if every other country in the world cut its emissions 80 percent by 2050¡­China¡¯s business-as-usual emissions alone would cause global average temperatures to increase by 2.7 degrees centigrade," warned U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy David Sandalow earlier this week in a speech delivered in Beijing.

I agree that more steps need to be taken, not just by China but by the world. I can understand the US wishing to push China to lead the world in sustainable power generation, but I feel as though they are throwing stones in a glass house. The US has been the world¡¯s largest polluter, by a large margin, for many years. And only very recently has China overtaken the US for the dubious honor of world¡¯s dirtiest economy. I do not, however, see this as the Chinese government¡¯s final move addressing climate change. This is just one of many steps to address the environment. China also announced recently they were beginning to promote the use of over 100 million energy-efficient light bulbs this year. According to one report, replacing ordinary bulbs with these compact energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs will help save 6.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.2 million tons.

Jackson Moller...

China Business 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 1:50 pm

Trademark protection in the Facebook username registration

Facebook Inc. has announced that beginning at 12:01 am EDT on June 13, 2009, Facebook users will be allowed to create personalized usernames for their Facebook pages, in the form facebook.com/yourname?

There is a risk that some Facebook users will attempt to incorporate third party brands into their personalized Facebook usernames.

To address this potential problem, Facebook has provided an online procedure for brand owners to prevent their trademarks from being registered as Facebook usernames. Information for brand owners is available online at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=899. The online procedure for registering trademarks is at http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights.

The relevant registration form should be completed for each trademark by no later than Friday, June 12, 2009.

For more information about this topic, please contact Wang Donghui or anyone in our trademark department.

Followed is our contact information:

Attorney Wang Donghui: dhwang@lehmanlaw.com
Trademark Department: trademark@lehmanlaw.com
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China Law 0 Comment June 12, 2009, 1:29 pm

New Interns at Lehman, Lee & Xu

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Senayt Rahwa is a 2007 graduate from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in Finance and International Business. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, her research on racial and ethnic identity and contemporary African immigration was published in the spring of 2007. Additionally, in her post graduate years Senayt had the opportunity to work with the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs exposing her to work in more than 7 sectors in three different cities. Among those, she was able to implement a cross-sector collaborative program for principle leadership training during her time with Boeing as well as working with the largest health care foundations in Missouri to design and implement several new initiatives in inner-city St. Louis. Senayt is currently pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Georgetown University with a concentration in international law.



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Eric Langland is a Juris Doctor candidate at Tulane University Law School. His core areas of interest are international trade law, international business transactions and international commercial arbitration. Mr. Langland's primary task this summer involves organizing, researching and writing parts of the trade law treatise Trade and Customs Law of China. In addition to the treatise, Mr. Langland is assisting attorneys in advising foreign businesses on investment enterprise structures in China and reviewing contracts for the sale of goods. Reflecting on his work with US antidumping petitions against Chinese steel producers, Mr. Langland said, "It was interesting to see how the Ministry of Commerce took a lead role in responding to the antidumping petitions. I am also curious to know what the near future holds for China and international trade litigation. It appears that due to the financial crisis more and more industries from developed countries are seeking recourse against Chinese exporters through trade remedies. This trend could have significant consequences for the practice of Chinese international trade law and Sino-US economic ties."



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Richard Fleming completed his undergraduate studies at Marist College in New York, where he received a degree in Psychology and International Relations. As a sophomore in college he traveled to Rome, Italy, for an intensive international relations program with St. John¡¯s University. Richard enjoyed traveling so much that during the winter of his senior year at Marist he studied interpersonal communication in Barbados. Before beginning his legal studies at Brooklyn Law School, Richard worked as a corrections counselor for the New York State prison system. He also began development of a web-based business.



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Jackson Moller will graduate in May 2010 from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA, USA. He is most interested in international and environmental legal issues. Before attending law school, Jackson served as a Peace Corps Volunteer on a small island called Onoun in Chuuk, Micronesia. During his stay on Onoun, Jackson monitored the nesting habits of sea turtles, read many books, and took even more naps in his hammock. He has also taught SCUBA diving in South East Asia and the Caribbean. Jackson is honored to be part of the Lehman Lee & Xu team in Beijing this summer....

Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 11, 2009, 12:08 pm

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN CHINA

¡°I was not aware of the growing problem with the current healthcare system in China until I began researching the new healthcare reform plan. Under the new plan, 90% of Chinese citizens will have basic healthcare within the next several years. The plan also provides that many doctors from rural areas will receive advanced medical training, which will improve conditions throughout China. The most interesting aspect of the new plan is the implementation of a National Essential Drug List, which will drastically cut prescription medicine prices on essential medicine. The plan has also revised the laws that hospitals and medical institutions must follow regarding drug mark ups and patient care charges, with the goal that basic care and medicine will be available to everyone. These advancements in the healthcare system will help pave the road for further economic and legal development throughout China. It will be very exciting to follow the pilot and trial implementation through 2011.¡±

By Richard Fleming, Intern at Lehman, Lee & Xu...

China News 0 Comment June 11, 2009, 10:07 am

PR-Class actions against Google's Adwords Progarm

Recently in the United States, two class actions have been filed against Google and other famous websites including You Tube and My Space in the Eastern District of Texas which is famous for its speedy processing of intellectual property cases.

Plaintiffs in the 2 actions are PFXS LLC, a small software company in Texas representing all Texas-based owners of federally-registered trademarks and John Beck Amazing Profits LLC in California representing all US-based owners of federally-registered trademarks. The two class action complaints¡¯ allegations are similar. Both allege that Google¡¯s act of allowing Competitors to buy advertising space triggered by ¡°Adwords¡± (keywords) and Keyword Suggestion Tool programs consisting of a registered trademark is to allow Competitors to intercept and divert consumers who were looking for the trademark owner¡¯s website or goods and such use may result in consumer confusion. Based on these points, the plaintiffs seek to hold Google and other defendants directly liable for trademark infringement, as well as contributory trademark infringement, inducement of trademark infringement and related claims.

If all procedural hurdles are cleared and the class actions proceeds well, the potential exists for damages amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars and could affect the rights of all federally-registered US trademark owners. However, these 2 cases remind people to enhance their trademark protections regardless of the eventual outcomes and are important as regards similar such lawsuits in China.
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China Law 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 5:53 pm

EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES IN BEIJING MEETS LEADING GOVERNMENT RELATIONS CHINESE LAW FIRM, LEHMAN, LEE & XU

Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s associates Lily Han and Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili, and summer associate Eric Langland, were invited by the Embassy of the Philippines in Beijing to hold a presentation session on labour and employment, family and criminal law at the Embassy on June 7, 2009. On the occasion of the pleasant lunch shared with Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s associates, Embassador Ms. Soia Bradi has pointed out the importance of promoting awareness of duties and rights under Chinese law for foreigners living in China.

The presentation aimed to provide China-based Philippines citizens with a practical understanding of their rights and duties as employers and employees of foreign and domestic companies in Beijing, and with an overview of relevant provisions of the Chinese family law and criminal law systems. More than one hundred people attended the event.

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Attorney Lily Han discussing the topics with the Philippines citizens

In particular, the labour and employment field in China is becoming more and more sophisticated due to recent legislative reforms which have included, amongst others developments, the promulgation of the new Employment Contract Law in 2008 and subsequent implementing regulations. However, the system maintains several uncertainties and it is extremely important to know how to navigate the ambiguous provisions of the law.

Lehman Lee & Xu, the only Chinese law firm in Beijing with a government relations practice group is constantly busy with the organization of seminars and presentations to diplomatic authorities in China about legal issues relating to a variety of fields, and is proud to serve as counsel to various Embassies in Beijing, including the US Embassy, the Embassy of Brazil, the Embassy of South Africa, the Embassy of Mexico, the Embassy of Argentina, the Embassy of Nigeria, the Embassy of Qatar, the Embassy of Israel, the Embassy of Liberia, and the Embassy of Singapore.

Above, the lunch with Embassador Ms. Soia Bradi, Attorney Lester Flores, and our associates Lily Han and Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili (and summer associate Eric Langland, who was taking the picture!). Below (from left to right) summer associate Eric Langland, associate Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili, Embassador Ms. Soisa Bradi, and associate Lily Han.
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China Culture 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 3:50 pm

MIDWEST UNIVERSITY STUDENTS SET ¡°REAL WORLD¡± LECTURE ON DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA FROM THE LEADING CHINESE LAW FIRM LEHMAN, LEE & XU

Lehman, Lee & Xu was asked by the US Viterbo University to host on June 6, 2009, a class of students from various disciplines, including MBA and law programs, visiting Beijing for a research project on Chinese business and culture. The goal of the firm is to educate both Chinese and foreigners on the value of the Chinese rule of law. Viterbo University was established in 1937 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and represents one of the fastest-growing education institutions in the US, providing a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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Summer associate Senayt Rahwa discussing labour law issues

Foreign legal counsel Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili and summer interns Eric Langland and Senayt Rahwa delivered a series of lectures on the Chinese business culture and legal system, analyzing main issues that foreign investors face when investing in the Chinese market and their respective solutions from a law firm¡¯s perspective. The feedback from the students was rewarding for the law firm, which is regularly invited by overseas universities to organize lectures for students on Chinese law and customs. The event also presented a good opportunity for our summer interns Eric and Senayt to develop their public speaking skills and to improve their knowledge of Chinese law.

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Summer associate Eric Langland reviewing China investment vehicles

The right approach to the Chinese market, intellectual property protection and a practical understanding of employment law are all issues that China-oriented businesses face. To effectively establish a commercial presence on the Chinese territory, businesses must be knowledgeable in these areas and our presentations work toward this end.

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Viterbo University students, professors and directors, and our professionals Aldo Settimio Boni de Nobili (on the right) and Eric Langland (in the middle)...

Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 1:50 pm

OUTBOUND FUNDS RULE TWEAKED

By Zhang Ran (China Daily)

Updated: 2009-06-10 09:21

China's foreign exchange regulator yesterday announced revised rules relaxing controls on companies' overseas investments in a bid to support more enterprises to venture out of the country.

Domestic companies can use their existing foreign exchange reserves or purchase fresh foreign exchange to fund the operations of their overseas subsidiaries from Aug 1, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on its website yesterday.

According to an October 2004 SAFE rule, large multinational companies were allowed to use their foreign exchange reserves to lend to overseas ventures but with heavy restrictions.

"Now, with the new rule, SAFE will allow all companies, including privately owned smaller firms, to purchase foreign currency to fund their overseas subsidiaries," Liu Guangxi, director of SAFE's capital account management department, said.

The new rule states that the total money the parent can lend to its overseas subsidiary should not exceed 30 percent of the former's equity base.

Overseas subsidiaries also will not be permitted to borrow more than the total amount of their investment registered with the administration, from their parent companies.

SAFE said the rule aims to support the overseas expansion of domestic firms, which have had trouble raising funds abroad due to the financial crisis.

The new rules will also simplify approval procedures for outbound investment.

SAFE also said it would establish a risk control mechanism to monitor these outbound investments and ensure the money was being properly used.

"The ease of control on foreign currency outflow will not have any major impact on China's foreign reserves position," SAFE said in the statement.

China has ample cash on hand to support overseas investment, with $2.9 trillion in foreign financial assets, including both official foreign exchange reserves and private holdings, at the end of 2008.

"We had done a stress test, and the maximum possible capital outflow from this new mechanism will be $30 billion," another SAFE official, Sun Lujun, said.

China's outbound investment has been very tepid compared with inflows from foreign investors, but the pace has started to pick up, nearly doubling to $52.2 billion in 2008 from $26.5 billion in 2007....

China Law 0 Comment June 10, 2009, 10:01 am

LEADING VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY LAW FIRM INVITED TO THE 11TH CHINA VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY FORUM

With the business sector in the midst of braving a financial storm of unprecedented scale, foreign legal counsel Charles Chan of Lehman, Lee & Xu attended the 11th China Venture Capital and Private Equity Forum in Shenzhen on June 5 and 6, to evaluate how law firms should adopt and operate on these tenuous business grounds, where this year¡¯s theme being ¡°Enhancing VC/ PE Core Competence and Forging the New Growing Engine for Chinese Economy.¡±

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The Forum analyzed the macroeconomic environment in China at present, evaluated the consequences of the financial crisis, discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by VC/ PE institutions and start-up companies. Panel sessions were held by academic scholars and industry experts on topics that included, inter alia, ¡°The Post-Financial Crisis Era: VC/ PE¡¯s Investment Strategies,¡± ¡°The Way to Become Bigger and Stronger for Chinese Start-up Enterprises,¡± and ¡°The Investment Hotspots in Clean Technology, Medical and Healthcare Industries.¡±


¡°This Forum offered a much-needed platform through which government officials, private investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals of various walks of life can gather and discuss fundamental issues that are not merely unique to the Chinese domestic markets, but also to the world economy at large,¡± Charles noted.

¡°The business world remains in an unstable, if not poor, health condition, although showing pockets of signs of recovery,¡± Charles commented. ¡°There is a thick layer of uncertainly still obstructing our foresight, where businesses are scrambling and searching for the next foothold from which to re-group and reload, and that hopefully will project them well for the years to come.¡±

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¡°As an integral part of our client¡¯s business, we at Lehman Lee and Xu must be acute and sensitive to the changed legal requirements in order to offer tailored and timely legal services to our clients, who depend on our expert advice and recommendations to succeed. In times like these, our alert response is critical,¡± Charles continued. ¡°This Forum is just what the doctor ordered, where ideas could be exchanged, new plans could be hatched, and new strategic alliances could be formed.¡±...

China Law 0 Comment June 9, 2009, 3:50 pm

Lehman, Lee & Xu as a new data partner for C&R

CORK, IRELAND, May 28, 2009 ¡ª Compliance & Risks (C&R) announced today that is has appointed China-based law firm Lehman, Lee & Xu as a new data partner. Lehman, Lee & Xu LLP will join the growing network of C&R¡¯s data partners, contributing to C&R¡¯s regulatory tool, C2P (Compliance-to-Product).

Head of C&R Legal Data Services, Sarah-Jane Denton, comments: ¡°Lehman, Lee & Xu LLP, one of China¡¯s top law firms, will be an excellent contributor to C2P. China¡¯s environmental landscape remains opaque for many companies. With its national coverage, Lehman is exceptionally well placed to provide guidance on the realities of Chinese regulation.¡±

About Lehman, Lee & Xu LLP
Lehman, Lee & Xu is a prominent Chinese law firm with affiliated offices across all mainland China and branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, and Mauritius. The full-service law firm has core expertise in intellectual property, foreign direct investment, corporate and commercial law, and energy and the environment.

About C&R
Compliance and Risks (C&R) is a Regulatory data, services and software company that helps businesses manage the impact of regulations and get compliance products to market. C&R was founded by Irish lawyer Damien McGovern, and has its headquarters in Cork, Ireland and the UK, with offices in California.

About C2P
Compliance-to-Product (C2P) is a web-based Compliance Knowledge Management system that currently includes more than 3,300 global regulations across key policy areas such as WEEE, RoHS, REACH, EPEAT, batteries, labelling, and packaging, all of which are updated on a daily basis. C2P provides compliance news, key dates, deadlines, exceptions, and exemptions, along with commentary from regional experts in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
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China Culture 0 Comment June 9, 2009, 3:40 pm

Warmest Welcome

We are pleased that we have an intern Mr. Jackson Moller, who is from Boston, to place his internship in our firm since today. Jackson is a Juris Doctor candidate. He will working as intern for the following 8-10 weeks at our Beijing office.

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Also pleased that we have an intern Mr. Richard Thomas Fleming, who is from New York, to place his internship in our firm since today. Richard is a Juris Doctor candidate. He will be working as intern at our Beijing office for the following 8 weeks.

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Lehman Affairs 0 Comment June 8, 2009, 10:30 am

WOMAN WHO KILLED CADRE DEMANDING SEX CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

Kelly Chan

Jun 08, 2009

The hotel worker who killed a cadre who demanded sex in Hubei has been charged with assault instead of murder, mainland media have reported.

On May 10, Deng Guida , a low-level town official in Badong county, and two colleagues demanded that 21-year-old pedicurist Deng Yujiao have sex with them. Although Deng Yujiao told them she was not a prostitute, Deng Guida slapped her head with a pile of cash and twice pushed her onto a sofa.

Deng Yujiao fought back and, in the chaos, fatally stabbed Deng Guida and wounded his colleague, Huang Dezhi , with a fruit knife before she called police and turned herself in.

She was later detained on a charge of murder, which sparked public outcry because many believed she was defending herself against officials who were abusing their privileges. Last week police said Deng Yujiao had acted in self-defence, albeit with "excessive force".

County prosecutors charged Deng with assault on Friday, according to an indictment sent to the two Hubei lawyers who represent her, China News Service reported.

Beijing-based human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said public pressure had contributed to the change.

"An assault charge denies that Deng had a motivation to kill someone; instead, the defendant wanted only to affect a person's health," Mr Pu said. "This is closer to the facts."

He added that Deng would not be given the death penalty or a life sentence because the case was being handled by a county-level court.

The case escalated into a social issue because Deng was dubbed a heroine struggling against the authorities and their unbridled rights. Many netizens, volunteer lawyers, women's rights groups and other civil rights groups showed support and sympathy. Two Beijing lawyers were willing to defend for her free of charge, but they were dismissed by Deng's mother.

Last week, authorities in Enshi prefecture, which includes Badong county, ordered a crackdown on prostitution, gambling and drug abuse among officials amid public criticism of the officials' misbehaviour. Police said they would charge cadres who visited or provided protection to brothels.

South China Morning Post

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China News 0 Comment June 8, 2009, 9:30 am

CHINA'S FOREIGN TRADE SET TO DECLINE IN FIRST HALF

(Xinhua)


China's foreign trade sector now faces unprecedented difficulties and is set to decline in the first half year, said Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan Wednesday.

It's increasingly difficult to make a quick turnaround and the situation will remain gloomy in the second half year, Zhong said.

He made the remarks at a national meeting on export credit insurance held by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the China Export and Credit Insurance Corp (Sinosure) - a policy-oriented insurer.

China should extend export credit insurance coverage and lower insurance rates to help exporters cut risks and insurers should help realize the State Council's aim to allocate $84 billion of short-term export credit insurance scale this year and allocate special funds for large equipment exports, Zhong said.

Zhong urged more focus on exports of labor-intensive products and high-tech products and stressed the importance of upgrading trade structure.

Exports in April fell 22.6 percent from a year earlier, the sixth straight monthly decline, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed.

"There is no doubt China's foreign trade will decline this year as global demand remains sluggish," Zhuang Jian, a senior economist with the Asian Development Bank office in Beijing, told Xinhua Thursday.

"Though there are some positive signals, for example growing shipping, they are not likely to be sustainable. If obvious recovery signals from major economies could be seen at the end of the year, China's trade might start to grow," Zhuang said.

Source: China Daily
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China News 0 Comment June 5, 2009, 9:10 am

CHINA, US TEAM UP TO TACKLE CRISIS

Cary Huang in Beijing
Jun 03, 2009

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday that Beijing would work with Washington to battle the global financial crisis, and announced cabinet-level meetings between the two countries in the US next month.

Mr Hu and Mr Wen met Mr Geithner on the final day of a whirlwind visit aimed both at winning Beijing's co-operation in tackling the economic downturn and at reassuring the central government that its massive investment in US government debt is safe.

"As influential nations in the world, China and the United States share comprehensive common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in tackling challenges from the global financial crisis and promoting the recovery of the world economy, as well as resolving global hot-button issues and maintaining world peace and security," Mr Hu said in a statement on a government website. He said China would like to work with the US to strengthen dialogue at all levels and expand exchanges and co-operation for fresh progress in bilateral relations. He announced that the two nations would start their cabinet-level strategic and economic dialogue in the US late next month.

Mr Hu described the dialogue mechanism as "an important platform for both nations to deepen understanding, mutual trust and co-operation". State Councillor Dai Bingguo , who is in charge of China's diplomacy, will hold strategic talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Vice-Premier Wang Qishan will hold talks with Mr Geithner.

Mr Hu said Sino-US relations had developed momentum because both sides had kept in close contact since the new US administration took office.

Mr Wen said the most important task for both countries was "to work more closely to address the international financial crisis, resolutely oppose protectionism in trade and investment, promote reform in the international financial system and tighten oversight of the international reserve currency so as to ensure the stability and growth of the Chinese and the American economies and the world economy".

During his meetings with mainland officials, Mr Geithner sought to reassure China that its US$768 billion of US government debt remained safe, even as investors dumped Treasury bills. There is growing concern among policymakers as well as academics about whether Washington has spent too lavishly in its attempt to haul the US economy out of its deep recession, at the sacrifice of Beijing's investment in US debt.

In an interview with mainland media yesterday, Mr Geithner said Chinese officials were confident in the US economy and the Obama administration's actions to restore financial stability and shore up the economy. "I've actually found a lot of confidence here in China, justifiable confidence, in the strength and resilience and dynamism of the American economy," Mr Geithner told the national broadcaster China Central Television.

In his speech to Peking University on Monday, Mr Geithner reiterated the US commitment to cut spending and reduce government aid to the financial system once stability returned. "We have a strong, independent central bank which is committed to keeping inflation stable and low over time," he said.

Source: South China Morning Post
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China News 0 Comment June 3, 2009, 9:46 am

Exposure Draft of the Interpretation of the Supreme People¡¯s Court on Several Issues about the Application of Laws for the Trial of Labor Dispute Cases (III)

Since the promulgation of the Employment Contract Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and the Labor Dispute Mediation & Arbitration Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, the labor dispute cases accepted by China¡¯s labor arbitration institutions and People¡¯s courts at all levels have been rising. Although the Regulation on the Implementation of the Employment Contract Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China has been promulgated after the Employment Contract Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and the Labor Dispute Mediation & Arbitration Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, some specific problems still lack the support of more practical rules in the judicial practices.

The Exposure Draft of the Interpretation of the Supreme People¡¯s Court on Several Issues about the Application of Laws for the Trial of Labor Dispute Cases (III), issued a few weeks ago may be of great help in this aspect . The Exposure Draft, in accordance with the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China, the Employment Contract Law of the People's Republic of China, the Civil Procedural Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, the Labor Dispute Mediation & Arbitration Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations based on civil trial practices, gives the interpretations on several issues about the application of laws for the trial of labor dispute cases, including definition of employers, acceptance of cases, scope of social insurance disputes, determination of litigation subjects, confirmation of labor relationship, signature of labor contracts without fixed term, working life and number of times for signing contracts, compensation for competitive restriction, labor relations for foreigners and people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, definition of labor dispatch entities, definition of higher management, dissolution and termination of labor contracts, arbitration acceptance and time limitation period for arbitration, burden of proof and other issues employees and employers are generally concerned about.

The provisions of the Interpretation on the issues about the application of laws possibly involved in labor dispute cases are more specific, practical and feasible. We believe the Interpretation, based on the opinions through extensive consultation with all parties, will provide a practical and unified legal basis for the people¡¯s courts and labor arbitration institutions at all levels to deal with the increasing labor disputes so as to promote the timely resolution of labor dispute cases around the country and be in favor of maintaining and promoting the realization of a harmonious socialist goal....

China Law 0 Comment June 2, 2009, 8:46 am

WOMAN KILLED TOWN OFFICIAL 'IN SELF-DEFENCE'

Choi Chi-yuk
Jun 01, 2009

The pedicurist in Hubei who fatally stabbed a town official seeking sex acted in self-defence, albeit with "excessive force", police have concluded, and the two deputies who accompanied the official were sacked, state media reported yesterday.
Police in Enshi - the city that oversees Badong county, where the stabbing occurred - said they had completed an in-depth investigation after Deng Yujiao killed Deng Guida , director of the business promotion office in Yesanguan town, on May 10. Xinhua said they had referred the case to local prosecutors.

The county's Disciplinary Inspection Commission of the Communist Party and the Supervisory Bureau of Badong county had jointly decided to dismiss Huang Dezhi and Deng Zhongjia , deputy heads of the business promotion office, Xinhua reported.

The commission reportedly accused Mr Huang, 41, of violating regulations concerning honesty and self-discipline of a Communist Party member when he accepted the invitation to accompany Deng Guida. Mr Huang was blamed for seriously violating the party's disciplinary code and causing an extremely adverse public reaction for trying to compel Deng Yujiao to bathe with him.

Both Mr Huang and Deng Guida reportedly pushed and verbally insulted Deng Yujiao, who worked at the Xiongfeng Hotel in Badong town, after she refused to bathe with them, the authorities said. Deng Yujiao used her mobile phone to turn herself in to the police after the killing.

The committee also decided to kick Mr Huang out of the party. He was placed under detention for further investigation.

The party's vow to "deal with the case seriously" usually indicates that detention or prosecution of those being investigated is forthcoming.

Deng Guida had reportedly tried to force Deng Yujiao to provide him with "special services", a euphemism for sex.

The official slapped the woman, 21, with a pile of cash before attacking her. She produced a knife and killed him.

A nationwide uproar was triggered among millions of internet users when Xian Dai Kuai Bao, a Nanjing-based newspaper, reported the attack and killing on May 12. Deng Yujiao was originally detained as a murder suspect, which sparked further outcry.

In another twist in the case, lawyers representing Deng Yujiao were dismissed and reporters were reportedly beaten and expelled from Badong county.

Meanwhile, the provincial Public Security Bureau has pledged to wage a three-month clampdown on entertainment establishments until late August, China News Service reported.

There was no specific mention that the move had anything to do with Deng Yujiao's case.

But the report warned that a cadre or public servant would not only be treated in accordance with the law, but their records would also be sent to local disciplinary and other departments, if they were found to be connected with any pornography, gambling or drug abuse cases.

Source: South China Morning Post
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China Law 0 Comment June 1, 2009, 9:28 am

ABA COMMENTS ON THE NEW DRAFT CHINESE ANTIMONOPOLY AND ANTITRUST REGULATIONS

The Regulations on the Prohibition of Acts of Monopoly Agreements and the Regulations on the Prohibitions of Acts of Abuse of Dominant Market Position have been published by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) for public comments on April 27, 2009. They represent an attempt China is making to better regulate its antitrust and antimonopoly system.

The American Bar Association (ABA) has submitted its comments one month later, on May 29, 2009, in the hope that it would be useful for the Chinese regulator to drag from the experience of US lawyers in antitrust and competition law. Comments from the ABA can be reviewed at the following link: http://www.lehmanlaw.com/fileadmin/lehmanlaw_com/Press_Release/abaprcamlsaicdraftregs5-09finalcombo.pdf

We have reviewed the draft regulations and substantially agree with the comments provided by the ABA. In particular, we note that a main finality of having a comprehensive system put in place is to safeguard the competitiveness of the market. We insist that definitions in the regulations should be set forth in detail and that the various articles may not conflict with each other. Further, the provisions should be drafted in such a way that the least space possible is left to interpretation of their content, in order to avoid discretional application from the Courts.

A main point of discussion with regard to the Regulations on the Prohibition of Acts of Monopoly Agreements is the definition of prohibited agreements, and the criteria utilized to determine their existence. It is critical here to have relevant provisions drafted so that agreements that could bring technological innovation are not penalized. Additionally, bidding activities should be unlinked to the Regulations and the tenderer should have the freedom to create its own set of rule, as long as such rules are transparent to all the bidders.

In the Regulations on the Prohibition of Acts of Abuse of Dominant Market Position great attention has to be paid on the definition of abusive conduct, and a mechanism should be introduced to save conducts whose benefit for consumers is larger than the threat to competition (i.e. product innovation). Punishing similar conducts could substantially damage the economy of the country.

Barriers to entry need to be redefined. In particular, duties to protect competitors are not justified under the antitrust principles. Finally, there should be clear distinction between lawful obtainment of dominant position (i.e. through creation of a product well superior than the ones developed by competitors) and abuse of the dominant position.
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China Law 0 Comment June 1, 2009, 9:20 am

CHINA UNVEILS FIRST SOVEREIGN CREDIT RATING STANDARDS

China unveiled Saturday credit rating standards for the sovereignty entity of a central government, the first sovereign credit rating standards in China, aiming broader participation in global credit rating.

The standards were announced by Dagong Global Credit Rating Co Ltd, one of the first domestic rating agencies in China.

The sovereign credit rating standards would be able to evaluate the willingness and ability of a central government to repay its commercial financial debts as stipulated in contracts, said the company.

The rating results could reflect the relative possibility of a central government to default as a debtor, and the rating is based on the country's overall credit value, according to Dagong.

Elements of credit risks will include the country's political environment, economic power, fiscal status, foreign debt and liquidity, said the company, adding that it judges the credit of a sovereign entity on the basis of a comprehensive evaluation of its fiscal strength and foreign reserves.

Compared with other rating agencies, Dagong pays more attention to the different economic stage of each country, and examines the features of its credit risks in a systematic view, according to Dagong.

Jiang Yong, director of the Center for Economic Security Studies under the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the financial crisis exposed a risk of the international society relying solely on the credit rating institutions of a single country, which is the largest risk of the world economy.

Luo Ping, head of the training center under China Banking Regulatory Commission, said the launch of the sovereign credit rating standards would help improve the transparency of credit rating information, and would strengthen China's position in the international financial arena.

Original Source: Xinhua...

China Law 0 Comment May 26, 2009, 10:53 am

11 SUSPECTS DETAINED IN SHANGHAI GANG SHOOTING

(Xinhua)

SHANGHAI -- Police in Shanghai have detained 11 suspects in the fatal clash between two gangs that left two dead on Friday, local authorities said.

An argument over debt dispute between two gangs became violent and shots were fired Friday noon at the entrance of Huilihuayuan Residence on Changshou Road, Putuo District, police said.

A seriously-wounded man died Friday after he fled the scene, while another one died in Huadong Hospital early Saturday. Two others were injured and being treated in the hospital, police said.

Police have detained 10 suspects, including the two injured, seized four self-made guns, a knife and two vehicles.

The police would give no further details.

Chinese law prohibits the private ownership of guns. The last time Shanghai witnessed a shooting on the street was in July 2002, when one gang fired shots at another, injuring two people.

Source: China Daily...

China Culture 0 Comment May 25, 2009, 5:30 pm

DIRECTOR ARRESTED IN BANK SCAM

By Wang Huazhong (China Daily)

A bank manager in the eastern Anhui province has been arrested for allegedly forging stamps, illegally operating financial businesses and trading bank credits, officials said Wednesday.

Li Qun, manager of the Tengda office of Agriculture Bank of China's (ABC) Fuyang branch, surrendered to police early this month for failing to repay 165 million yuan ($22 million) "illegally raised" from the public.

That is more than the 100 million yuan earlier reported, according to Xinhua News Agency. A director of the branch, Xu Lin, was also sacked on Monday after Li's surrender, according to China News Radio.

"We discharged Xu Lin for her failure in supervising subordinates. No malpractice was done by Xu nor the bank," Liu Su, Party discipline official of the ABC's Anhui sub-branch, was quoted as saying.

It is unknown where the illegally raised cash has gone.

About 60 people have reported losses to local police. The biggest sum of money lent to Li by a single person was 20 million yuan, the report said.

Sources said Li's family has powerful political connections in Fuyang city - a reason many creditors trusted her.

The report said hundreds of people have been gathering in front of the Tengda office with a banner asking "ABC to give back (their) hard-earned money."

But the bank claimed it did not collude with Li in her "individual conduct of illegal credit business" according to the radio report.

Li also allegedly borrowed money from many local officials, which has sparked public suspicion of the legitimacy of their earnings.

"How could a trade union director have millions of yuan to offer?" a netizen questioned.

Guo Xudong, a lawyer specializing in financial crimes, said creditors could reclaim their money from the third parties, if any, who received part or all of the funds from Li.

Trading of bank's acceptance bills is a legal blindspot in China, according to Guo.

"It is a loop which could continue. Suspects pool deposits from the public, then use those funds to pay banks for acceptance bills the suspects had given out to ex-creditors."

"By doing so, one could temporarily strengthen cash flow, or disappear suddenly with large amounts of creditors' money without paying back the bank's acceptance."

Source: China Daily

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/...

China Culture 0 Comment May 22, 2009, 9:00 am

WORKER WHO FOUND GOLD WINS SUPPORT

By Li Xinran

An airport cleaner has won wide support among Netizens after it was revealed she faces criminal charges and possibly life imprisonment for picking up a box containing 14 kilograms of gold jewelry worth an estimated 3 million yuan (US$439,700) at Shenzhen Baoan Airport, Guangdong Province.

Liang Li picked up a heavy box mislaid on a luggage cart at about 9am on December 9, Guangzhou Daily reported on Monday.

She put the box in an airport toilet for physically challenged people and told her colleagues about her find. Liang also said she would return it to its owner if anyone came forward to claim it.

However, two of her colleagues, who were identified as Cao and Ma, discovered the box was full of packets of gold jewelry and each took a packet home.

Liang, 40, later learnt what happened and took the rest of the jewelry home when she got off work at noon.

The owner, a jewelry company clerk, had called the police at about 9am the same day after losing the box. He said he'd left the luggage cart about 20 meters away while he went to ask airport staff about transporting expensive items.

Plain-clothed airport police officers seized the jewelry from Liang's home as well from Cao and Ma later that day.

Shenzhen police referred Liang's case to Shenzhen People's Procuratorate, accusing her of theft. The charge was not accepted but they asked for a supplementary investigation by prosecutors.

Liang has been held in a detention house for over five months and was reported to be in an unstable mood.

Liang's story found its way to domestic Web portals such as Sina.com. Many Websites conducted online surveys and more than 600,000 Netizens had voted by 5pm on Monday, with 90 percent of them saying Liang was not a thief.

Some also questioned the jewelry company clerk for leaving the box unattended.

Those convicted of theft in China face up to five years in prison, but those found to have stolen very valuable items or large sums can face life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Some Netizens thought Liang was guilty as she took the box home after discovering what was inside.

Source: Shanghai Daily

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/
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China Law 0 Comment May 20, 2009, 9:50 am

EU, CHINA TO INK MORE THAN 5 AGREEMENTS ON COOPERATION

(Xinhua)

Updated: 2009-05-19 16:13

There will be more than five agreements signed in the areas of economic, research and climate change cooperation at the upcoming European Union (EU)-China Summit, said Vitezslav Grepl, Czech ambassador to China.

In a written interview with Xinhua on Tuesday, Grepl said that one of the agreements will be on science and research cooperation or the establishment of a joint energy center. He did not specify the details of others.

The annual EU-China Summit, a high-level political consultative mechanism, is to be held on May 20 in Prague, the Czech Republic, which is holding the European Union presidency.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will travel to Prague for the 11th EU-China Summit.

The ambassador told Xinhua that leaders will mainly talk about further EU-China cooperation in overcoming the global financial crisis.

The crisis calls for concerted action at both the European and the international level, Grepl noted, adding that the EU has taken a series of bold measures to restore confidence, stability and sustainability in the financial markets and is interested in further consultations with China aimed at coordinating common approaches to solve the difficulties and making recommendations to improve the international financial system.

Grepl said, China and the EU can together achieve a win-win result in the mutual trade exchange through market openness, liberal trade policy, fair competition and granting of the equal access to opportunities for operators from both sides. Further support to investment cooperation will be also an important engine for reducing the bilateral trade imbalance.

"I am convinced that this point will be also on the agenda of the Prague summit," said Grepl.

The EU is now China's largest trading partner, while China is the second largest of the EU. Trade volume between them grew to $425.58 billion in 2008, an increase of 19.5 percent over the previous year said China's customs.

Likewise, the EU and China also share the view that the international financial institutions should be given a bigger role in monitoring economic risks and that the emerging and developing economies should have more say in these institutions as well, said Grepl.

"I expect them to approve at the highest level the results of the recent second round of the high-level economic and trade dialogue."

The high-level economic and trade dialogue between the EU and China, which was held in Brussels from May 7 to 8, covered trade, investment and small and medium-sized companies, among of others. It was regarded as an important preparatory event for the economic and trade part of the upcoming EU-China summit.

According to Grepl, the leaders will also discuss and endorse the political direction of EU-China cooperation as well as global efforts to cope with climate change - be it energy efficiency, clean energy technologies, environmental protection, the pilot project of near-zero carbon emissions zone and so on.

"These fields are also excellent opportunities to create new jobs and thus maintain social stability and further economic progress," said Grepl.

He said, "Given the important role both the EU and China play in international organizations and in efforts to solve regional crises and face global challenges, the results and perspectives of our mutual cooperation towards peaceful solution of many of them will for sure be discussed as well."

Source: China Daily

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/...

China Law 0 Comment May 19, 2009, 4:33 pm

STUDENT SETS TEMPLATE FOR FLU CAUTION

By Wang Zhuoqiong in Beijing and Huang Zhiling in Chengdu (China Daily)

Updated: 2009-05-18 07:32

The first person who tested positive for H1N1 flu in Beijing has been hailed as a model for returning overseas students as Hong Kong Sunday confirmed its third infection and Japan reported dozens of new cases.

An 18-year-old surnamed Liu, who is studying at a university in New York state, virtually isolated herself on her return to Beijing on May 11.

Liu, who flew on board Continental Airlines flight C089, did not go out or meet friends as a precaution because the two other confirmed cases on the mainland were students returning from the US and Canada.

She felt unwell on May 12, and two days later, went to the outpatient section of Peking University First Hospital complaining of cough, headache, sore throat, chest congestion and muscle ache as well as temperature of 37.7 C.

She was shifted to Beijing Ditan Hospital early on Friday, and the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences confirmed she had contracted the A(H1N1) virus on Saturday.

Liu was last night reported to be in a stable condition, with her temperature back to normal.

She was cited as an example for students returning from flu-affected countries as being "responsible to society" because she kept a diary about her movements in Beijing, said Fang Laiying, director of the Beijing municipal health bureau.

"She even kept the taxi receipt (for the trip to the hospital)," said Fang. "Otherwise it would have been difficult for us to trace the driver."

Liu's mother and the taxi driver were put under medical observation but neither has shown flu symptoms, said Deng Ying, director of Beijing CDC.

Premier Wen Jiabao Sunday visited the Ditan Hospital and talked with Liu via a video link.

Wen said overseas students in epidemic areas should learn and do more to protect themselves from the flu.

"We are concerned about your health," he said.

Meanwhile, the first H1N1 patient on the mainland was discharged from a hospital in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, Sunday.

The patient surnamed Bao, confirmed to have contracted the flu on May 11, left the Chengdu Infectious Disease Hospital at 4:30 pm. He returned to his hometown of Neijiang city in the province along with his father and girlfriend, who had completed their quarantine, said Tian Ming, deputy chief of the hospital.

By 3 pm Sunday, all the 157 people in quarantine in Sichuan were released as they did not show any abnormal symptoms, said Wang Zhengrong, deputy chief of the Sichuan provincial health department.

In Hong Kong, the latest patient, a 23-year-old mainland student studying in the US, arrived late Saturday aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX 831, said Thomas Tsang, controller of the Center for Health Protection.

He was taken to hospital directly from the airport after he triggered the alarm while passing thermal screening.

Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases has climbed to 8,480 and the death toll has remained at 72, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update Sunday.

The confirmation of cases in India, Malaysia and Turkey brought the number of countries with confirmed cases to 39, the WHO said.

Japan's health ministry confirmed dozens of new cases in waves of announcements Sunday, as the government shut down schools and canceled community activities in affected cities.

The country now has 44 confirmed cases, with 39 of them reported over the weekend, most of them teenagers.

The vast majority of cases have been in Mexico and the United States. The spread of the disease has led the WHO to declare that a pandemic is imminent. On April 29 it raised its pandemic alert to 5 on a 6-level scale.

Source: China Daily
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn...

China News 0 Comment May 18, 2009, 1:30 pm

Ministry of Commerce: China's export situation to remain bleak for some time

Although there have been some positive changes to China's current economic situation, leading indicators show that China's export condition will remain bleak for some time, said an official at the Department of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce recently.

As he pointed out in one of a series of comments on the current business situation published on the Ministry of Commerce's official website, at present the number of already-placed orders has dropped for most exporters, and overseas buyers are opting for short-term, small contracts instead of long-term, large orders. At the 105th China Import and Export Fair, the number of export deals made dropped by 16.9 percent compared with the 104th. In the first quarter of 2009, processing trade imports fell by 35.7 percent, aggregate contracted foreign capital in the entire country dropped by 37.2 percent, and the amount of foreign capital utilized dropped by 20.6 percent. All these figures indicate that there will be a lack of power and stamina in the growth of processing trade and exports of foreign-funded enterprises for some time.

The official also pointed out that China's current foreign trade situation remains complicated and grim. Firstly, external demand has shrunk and international trade has dropped. According to the latest forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy will shrink by 1.3 percent in 2009, the first recession since World War II. The latest prediction by the WTO states that the volume of global trade will drop by 9 percent in 2009, the largest drop since World War II.

Secondly, conditions for trade financing have deteriorated and risks have increased. At present, worldwide trade financing gap stands as high as 100-300 billion USD. Importers and exporters in many countries have been forced to cut back their businesses or go bankrupt because of funding shortages. The situation has seriously affected the normal operation of international trade. At the same time, Chinese export enterprises are facing escalated risks.

Thirdly, trade protectionism has started to surface, making it harder to develop new markets. The financial crisis has led to a slowdown in the global economy. Some countries and regions have successively adopted a number of trade protectionism measures such as raising import tariffs, or prohibiting or restricting imports, which has resulted in a period of high trade friction among countries.

Fourthly, a number of countries are competing against one another to devalue their currency in order to weaken the price competitiveness of Chinese exports. In the first quarter of 2009, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico all devalued their currencies against the US dollar by 9.6 percent, 5.4 percent, 5.3 percent and 2.7 percent respectively, while the exchange rate of renminbi to the US dollar essentially remained unchanged, creating an exchange rate appreciation of 2.58 percent. This has weakened the price competitiveness of China's exports in international markets.

Source: People's Daily Online
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90857/90861/6657781.html
...

China Culture 0 Comment May 15, 2009, 9:00 am

Less foreign-invested companies register in China in Q1

China reported about 11,000 new foreign-invested companies in the first quarter, down about 41 percent from the same period last year, said the State Administration for Industry and Commerce Tuesday.

Investment from the new foreign-invested companies totaled $26.68 billion in the first quarter, down about 46 percent from the same period last year, the administration said.

Registered capital of the new foreign-invested companies totaled $16.80 billion from January to March, down about 49 percent from the same period last year.

China has about 433,900 foreign-invested companies as of the end of March, down 0.23 percent from the end of last year, the administration said.

Investment from the foreign-invested companies in China totaled $2.35 trillion, about 1.23 percent up from December 2008, the administration said.


Original source: Xinhua
Source: China Daily
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2009-05/13/content_7771504.htm
...

China Law 0 Comment May 15, 2009, 8:47 am

EDWARD LEHMAN INVITED TO ATTEND THE FREEDOM DAY¡¯S BEIJING CELEBRATIONS

Beijing, China ¨C May 13, 2009 ¨C Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s Managing Director, Edward Lehman, and senior associate Fleur Chen have been invited by the South African Embassy in Beijing to attend the Freedom Day celebrations held today at the Westin Hotel.

The leaders of many Chinese government departments, ambassadors of foreign Embassies in China and celebrities from all social communities were also invited to attend the event.

Lehman Lee & Xu currently counsels and represents a number of diplomatic missions in China, including the Embassy of the Republic ofSouth Africa. With a dedicated diplomatic practice group its professionals have developed extensive experience in handling litigation, commercial and public law matters on behalf of embassies, diplomatic missions, and consulates in China.

...

China News 0 Comment May 13, 2009, 5:04 pm

BEIJING STARTS LAND LIST AUCTION

Developers need to make deposits before bidding for 4 sites

Yvonne Liu
May 13, 2009


The Beijing government launched a land application list system in the capital last week to avoid unsuccessful auctions of sites available for sale.
The local government placed four sites on its land application list last Tuesday.

Interested developers must now undertake to make a bid at or above the listed reserve price and make a pre-sale deposit of 200,000 yuan (HK$227,563) that will be forfeited if they do not join the bidding.

The four sites, located in the Daxing district, could be used for commercial or residential projects with total gross floor areas ranging from 75,403 to 457,961 square metres.

Reserve prices range from 228 million yuan to 1.4 billion yuan.

"The sites should be welcomed by developers," said Feng Changchun, head of the Centre of Real Estate Studies and Appraisals at Peking University.

"The district has potential for great change, as a light railway connecting it with the urban areas of Beijing is under construction," said Mr Feng.

Li Wenjie, a general manager at Centaline (China) in Beijing, believes the new system can ensure that a developer will join the tender and offer the reserve price of the site.

"Last year, we saw many sites withdrawn from the tender or auction owing to poor market response," said Mr Li.

"The new policy and the sites on offer can help the government overcome its previous unsuccessful land sales."

Most developers have put new land acquisition plans on hold since last year as a result of the poor sentiment in the real estate market. So far, bidding for development sites has not been as aggressive as was seen in 2007.

As a result, the local government had to withdraw several development sites from auction last year following a recurrence of insufficient bidders or offers regarded as too low.

A development site in the Tongzhou district in Beijing was slated for sale in November but was withdrawn from auction by the government as just two contenders bid for the site, failing to meet the minimum requirement of three bidders.

Richard Wang, an associate director of consulting and research at DTZ, said he believed the new land list policy could help the government reduce the risk of unsuccessful land sales. He, however, expressed surprise at the timing of the new system.

"This system is useful, particularly in a property market down cycle. But the property market is getting better now, and developers are interested in land acquisition again," he said.

David Hand, the head of the investment department for China at Jones Lang LaSalle, said the new system could improve pricing transparency.

"Applications to trigger a land sale, whether successful or not, will provide developers and property market practitioners with a greater indication of open market land and property prices," Mr Hand said.

But Yi Xianrong, a researcher at the financial research centre of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said new policies were less important than sound relationships between the government and developers.

"On the mainland, local governments will not sell sites purely based on the details of the offers but rather their relationships with developers," Mr Yi said.

Source: South China Morning Post...

China Law 0 Comment May 13, 2009, 10:57 am

FIRMS FACE SCRUTINY OF EMPLOYEE TAXES AS REVENUE SLIDES

Daniel Ren in Shanghai
May 11, 2009

Beijing will require all companies to file details on employees' tax payments and will scrap tax preferences for unqualified companies after the mainland's revenue dropped in the first quarter of this year.

The State Administration of Taxation published a circular it issued to provincial-level tax authorities over the weekend, prodding those governments to "close the tax loopholes and increase ... revenue".

The watchdog also urged tax authorities at all levels to implement a reporting mechanism before the end of the year under which all firms would report personal-income-tax payments to government collectors.

Employers normally deduct income tax from workers' monthly salaries and turn in the money to tax authorities on behalf of individuals. But an annual summary statement of taxes paid by each employee is usually done only by government departments and public-service units, such as hospitals and schools.

"China is under pressure to boost government coffers after a decline in fiscal revenue," said Li Weiguang , a professor of public finance at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics. "But it all boils down to the efficient supervision of tax payments."
The body said it had collected 1.4 trillion yuan (HK$1.6 trillion) of revenue in the first quarter, down 6.9 per cent from the same period a year ago.

The nation's revenue dropped for the first time in 12 years last October, a result of policy-related tax cuts and the economic slowdown.

Economists predicted a posted deficit of between 500 billion and 800 billion yuan.

The expected budget shortfall also overshadows Beijing's massive stimulus package, which was unveiled late last year to combat the economic downturn.

The watchdog urged local authorities to review the preferential policies given to firms, and cancel the tax holidays and tax cuts awarded to "unqualified companies", though it did not define the term. It said it was studying a new, efficient collection system to ensure university teachers paid taxes on freelance income.

In 2006, anyone whose annual income exceeded 120,000 yuan was required to file payment details to tax departments, a move to stop evasion. Analysts said the tactic had failed.

Personal incomes of private business owners and self-employed professionals are normally low on company balance sheets while they pocket untaxed incomes through sleight-of-hand accounting.

"The loopholes will remain, and it won't be easy to work out an efficient mechanism in the near future to avoid evasion," a personnel director at a state-owned firm in Shanghai said. "Lots of people are still trying to dodge tax, and sometimes companies play a role, which makes the situation even worse."

At some state-owned companies, prepaid cards are given out for transport or store purchases, but as they are not salaries, they help workers avoid paying taxes on "extras".

Source£ºSouth China Morning Post
http://www.scmp.com
...

China Law 0 Comment May 11, 2009, 9:52 am

Defense lawyer jailed for verbally abusing judge

A female lawyer in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, was jailed for 15 days and fined 10,000 yuan ($1,464) after she cursed some judges during a court hearing on Monday.

Surnamed Shang, the lawyer represented three defendants in a personal injury compensation case, when she expressed her dissatisfaction with a female judge.

The hearing had to be closed since Shang couldn't calm down.

Original Source: Chuncheng Evening News
Source: China Daily
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-05/06/content_7748531.htm...

China Law 0 Comment May 8, 2009, 9:41 am

Flu likely to hasten launch of hog futures trading

By Zhou Yan

The spread of A (H1N1) influenza virus, which was initially known as swine flu, might help accelerate the debut of China's hog futures market, some industry observers said.

The outbreak of the epidemic flu has resulted in a big drop in hog prices during the past week.

"The launch of livestock futures may help to lock in the price of the product, and protect hog breeders and processors from drastic price swings," said Feng Yonghui, chief analyst from AND Group, a Beijing-based agriculture service provider.

According to data put out by Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co Ltd (BOABC), hog prices have dropped from 13.41 yuan per kg in January to 9.88 yuan in April.

"Hog prices fell even more last week, to below 8 yuan per kg in most cities of north China, due to the shrinking demand arising from a fear that eating pork products would result in contracting the virus," said Feng.

The State Council issued a plan to stimulate the development of agriculture and increase farmers' incomes on Feb 2, which, for the first time, said the government would adopt measures like futures exchanges to develop the hog breeding industry.


Dalian Commodity Exchange started the trial run for livestock futures delivery in 2007, but the trading proposal has yet to get the nod from top authorities.

Guo Huiyong, an analyst from BOABC, however, said trading in hog futures was unlikely to take place this year.

"How to set the standards to examine and quarantine livestock is one of the major concerns among top regulators. Unfortunately, the possible eruption of A (H1N1) flu will add more pressure on the authorities to approve the introduction of hog futures," he said.

Livestock processing has developed rapidly in past years. Guo estimated that large-scale livestock processing workshops would have the capability to process up to 300 million hogs per year in total by 2011.

However, some analysts said building an infrastructure that benefits most hog suppliers, rather than the current flu, was the key factor that regulators have to consider before launching hog futures.

"The current overhang of spot prices to contract prices in many existing commodity futures probably will also happen in the proposed hog futures, which will dampen the fast-growing livestock industry," an analyst surnamed Qiao from a Shanghai-based brokerage said.

Source: China Daily
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2009-05/05/content_7743517.htm...

China Business 0 Comment May 6, 2009, 9:44 am

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