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"The truth is rarely pure and never simple"

-Oscar Wilde

Milk

Three men were arrested in Shanxi province last week in connection with selling and producing melamine tainted milk products. These arrests come as part of China latest crackdown on tainted consumer products.

Investigators followed the trail of this melamine tainted milk from the discovery of tainted milk candies found in the market. These candies were found to be produced in plants in both Guangdong and Fujian province. Investigators found that these candies had been produced using a milk powder from Weinan Lekang Dairy Company. This company, the investigation concluded, had purchased 10 tons of expired milk powder from a farmer in Weinan and had mixed it to become 32 tons of toxic milk powder. Over 28 tons of this toxic powder were sold to various food companies who used the powder to make candies.

The central government acted quickly to pull all products produced with this tainted milk from shelves and has destroyed the remaining milk powder. The governments quick action can been seen as an indication of China¡¯s sensitivity towards such issues after 2009¡¯s tainted milk incident which left six babies dead and countless others sick..

While these arrest and China¡¯s latest efforts to catch and punish those producing and selling tainted milk products should be applauded, they are only punitive measures. China has yet to implement an effective system of preventative measures to stop these tainted products from being produced in the first place. It is good to see that China is serious about cracking down, however much more is yet to be done.

For more information please visit our website at
http://blawg.lehmanlaw.com/english/archives/2010/01/15/734.html

-Alexander Pan...

China News 0 Comment February 4, 2010, 2:32 pm

TAICANG IP SURVEY

More than 140 German investors have established their invested companies in Taichang, making it the most German- intensive investment destination in the Jiangsu province.

Recently, the local intellectual property office of Taicang carried out a survey among those German-Invested companies. The survey was sent to 100 companies, of which 58 responded.

Patents, trademarks and copyrights infringement and trade secret issues cause concern among foreign investors who want to transfer core technologies into China, according to a survey.

The Survey results show that only 17 companies, less than one third of the total 58 respondents, have applied for patents in China.

Of the 17 that did file applications, 11 were granted a total of 30 patents - seven for designs and 23 for utility models, a form of patent that legally protects rights to a product's shape and structure.

Cutting the investigation costs for collecting evidence, a requirement for filing an intellectual property infringement case, and shortening the time for patent application examination were other needs cited by survey respondents.

IP is one of Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s founding and core practices. Our dedicated IP department deals with applications, and enforcement of patents, trademarks and copyright matters. Our commitment to one of our core practices is highlighted by our successful representation of clients, which recently included the Chinese branch of American online retailer Newegg.com Inc. Additionally, we strive to keep our clients and interested parties updated with IPR related news, and updates via our China IP Insights Newsletter. For further information on the scope of our IP services, or to subscribe to our IP newsletter please email mail@lehmanlaw.com.
...

China Law 0 Comment February 3, 2010, 7:20 pm

Parking fees increase to promote public transport

In order to promote and encourage the use of public transport, parking fees for areas of Beijing shall be raised.

The Municipal Committee of Development and Reform announced that as from April 1, 2010, the highest parking fees would be raised to 10 RMB per hour. Such fees such apply to areas including railway stations and business districts. Underground parking shall be priced at 6 RMB per hour.

The new pricing scheme is based on the promotion of two policies. The first, being to reduce the amount of traffic on Beijing¡¯s busy roads, and the second, to encourage the use of public transport.

The fees are very reasonable, if comparisons are made with other capital cities. Westminster City Council in London for example places a maximum charge of 2.50 pounds per hour, which equates to 27.28 RMB. Other privately owned car parks impose much higher fees. Additionally, Monday through to Friday between the hours 07.00 and 18.00, motorists are required to pay an 8.00 pound (87.28 RMB) daily charge, labelled the Congestion Charge to drive through areas of central London. Since the implementation of the Congestion Charge scheme, traffic has reduced by 21%, there has been a 6% in the number of bus passengers, and 137 million pounds has been raised during 2007 ¨C 2008 to be invested back into improving London¡¯s transport infrastructure.

Beijing operates a fantastic public transport network. Line 4 was the newest introduction to the existing subway network, with further lines planned to be introduced in the coming years. The public transport provides for low-priced and extremely efficient travel.
...

China News 0 Comment February 3, 2010, 5:38 pm

Beijing¡¯s big plans

In order to elevate Beijing¡¯s status and align itself with international cities such as New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, local authorities are looking at how to tackle and address problems that are halting Beijing from rising to such levels.

Issues highlighted as affecting Beijing¡¯s future development include rubbish disposal, restrictions on traffic, overpopulation and house prices. Such concerns are required to be tackled in order to Beijing to keep on track with its four decade deadline to become a world city.

One major concern facing the Beijing authorities is the disposal of the 18,000 tons of garbage produced every day within the city. In line with Beijing¡¯s environmental friendly policies, there is more focus on the recycling of waste, rather than incineration.

Similar to other foreign capital cities, Beijing encourages and welcomes corporations and business to enter into the Chinese market. As China continues making economic progress, further foreign nationals are likely to pinpoint Beijing as a source of employment, thereby aiding to the capitals push in becoming a major city.
...

China News 0 Comment February 3, 2010, 5:37 pm

Shanghai: Hot property

The most expensive parcel of land on the Chinese mainland was sold for 9.22 billion yuan (US$1.35 billion) to Shanghai Zendai Property Ltd. to be redeveloped into commercial properties and office buildings. This 57,000 square-meter plot on the Bund in Shanghai was also bid on by 3 other Chinese conglomerates, including an entity consisting of China Enterprise, China Pacific Life Insurance and Taikang Life Insurance, as well as Shanghai New Huangpu Group, and finally another entity which included Shanghai Forte Land and Shanghai Fosun, with Shanghai Zendai Property Ltd. being the highest bidder. This area of the Bund is to be turned into a financial metropolis that will put Shanghai on the main stage of global finance. The project will require much capital and government cooperation, in which Shanghai Forte owner Guo Guanchang (the 37th richest person on the Chinese mainland) will take part in as an 8% shareholder. Estimated development plans include buildings as large as 270,000 square meters above ground and 100,000 meters of space underground. Construction of the primarily office-building structures is expected to begin between November 2010 and April 2011.

Scott Garner, Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s Shanghai office stated that ¡°Similar to most other major cities in China, Shanghai is experiencing a wealth of development and investment being pumped into the city. Our dedicated Shanghai team offers a range of legal advice to both domestic and international companies, to aid them with their ventures and legal concerns in Shanghai.¡±

Having offices throughout mainland China, has allowed Lehman, Lee & Xu to promptly deal and assist with client¡¯s queries throughout the country. Our Shanghai office, situated in the heart of the commercial and business district allows us to interact with our client¡¯s on a face to face basis, and deal with any legal issues they may be experiencing.

Should you have any queries related to our Shanghai office, or any aspect of the scope of work Lehman, Lee & Xu performs, please contact us at mail@lehmanlaw.com...

China Law 0 Comment February 2, 2010, 5:25 pm

Conflict with new demolition regulations

The real estate development business in China is increasing at a feverish rate. Throughout most areas of Beijing, you are likely to witness some form of development taking place such, be it residential housing, or the construction of buildings for corporate and commercial use.

Article 13 of Constitution of the People¡¯s Republic of China states the following:

¡°The State may, in the public interest and in accordance with law, expropriate or requisition private property for its use and shall make compensation for the private property expropriated or requisitioned.¡±

The above article outlines that the state may permit the destruction of private property if it falls within the public interest remit. However, new draft regulations appear to have been written which directly conflicts with Article 13.

No. 40 of the draft regulations states the following:

¡°to demolish housing for construction of non-public interest, the constructors, such as real estate developers, need to ask permission from related governments.¡±

If the new draft regulations came into effect without any revisions, it would appear to be going against the spirit of the Chinese constitution, whilst also opening up for the potential of thousands of residential housing to fall risk to real estate developers. As the regulations are still in draft format, China¡¯s legislatures still have the ability to correct and amend such an anomaly.

The draft provisions have come under scrutiny from China¡¯s academics.

Lehman, Lee & Xu will keep you updated with the end results of these draft provision.
...

China Law 0 Comment February 2, 2010, 5:10 pm

Combating counterfeiting in China

International branded drinks are being targeted by counterfeiters, as foreign brands increase in popularity in China.

The whiskey industry in particular has come under attack from counterfeiters. Currently, Chivas Regal is the leading imported whiskey in China. The Chinese Trade Mark Office (¡°CMTO¡±) having recognised the importance of the brand protected both ¡®Chivas Regal¡¯ and ¡®Chivas¡¯ as well known trademarks, with the former protected in both English and Chinese, the latter protected in English, under the PRC¡¯s Trademark Law. The CMTO¡¯s approval of the Chivas brand as a well known trademark in China allows for cross class protection, and is not merely limited to alcoholic beverages under Class 33.

In addition to affording such protection to the Chivas brand, China is also working in close connection with the Scotch Whiskey Association (¡°SWA¡±) who¡¯s aim is to ¡°promote, protect and represent the interests of the whisky industry in Scotland and around the world.¡± The CMTO has protected ¡°Scottish Whiskey¡± as a collective trademark.

Article 16 of the PRC¡¯s Trademark Law states the following:
¡°Where a trademark contains a geographic indication of the goods in respect of which the trademark is used, the goods is not from the region indicated therein and it misleads the public, it shall be rejected for registration and prohibited from use; however, any trademark that has been registered in good faith shall remain valid.¡±

This provision therefore prohibits counterfeiters from passing off spirits as Scottish Whisky where they have not been produced in Scotland.

The importance of protecting a company¡¯s IP rights should be a number one priority even before taking steps to enter the Chinese market, since the PRC is a first-to-file jurisdiction. This means that the holder of a trademark for example in a foreign jurisdiction has no priority in PRC unless and until it has filed its marks. The sole exception is ¡°well-known¡± foreign trademarks. Additionally, foreign companies should look at adopting a Chinese name for their company and/or brand. This can be beneficial for numerous reasons, such as increasing potential client base, by appealing to more in the Chinese market, and also to stop your competition from legally registering the new Chinese name of your company. The most prominent example was the registration of the ¡°Starbucks¡± trademark by a Shanghai based caf¨¦.

At Lehman, Lee & Xu our professional and dedicated IP department deal with such issues on a daily basis. Our years of experience, allows us to make a full and practical assessment as to the best course of action to protect our client¡¯s business interests in China. Our prominence within the Chinese legal sector is evident in the numerous accreditations and awards received, with our IP practice being ranked as a Tier 1, and our lawyers recognised as leading lawyers within such fields. For further details related to our IP department, or if you have any legal queries please contact us at mail@lehmanlaw.com. ...

China Law 0 Comment February 2, 2010, 5:02 pm

Spring Festive purchasing surge

With Chinese New Year just around the corner high end market liquor producers are experiencing rocketing sales.

The Chinese Spring Festival (also known as the Chinese New Year) begins on February 14th, with most people in mainland China enjoying seven days off work from February 13th until February 19th for the New Year celebrations. The exchange of gifts upon such a cultural significant day is commonplace. Gifts range from money to gifting tea, and cakes. 2009 has experienced a surge in the purchasing of expensive branded liquor. Moutai 53, retailing at 735 RMB per a bottle, is one such example of good quality liquor in high demand. Sales of Moutai store in Mudanyuan expects sale of 4 million RMB during 2009 festive season.

2009 marks a diverse change from the Spring Festival of 2008 where the industry experienced suffered a slump in sales, which may have been attributed to the effects of the global downturn. This year however, there appears to be direct correlation between China¡¯s growing GDP with the amount of money being spent on liquor. Some believe that this trend, in high demand for such liquors, is likely to increase throughout the year as China¡¯s economy continues to pick up steam and momentum.

With the Chinese economy predicted to grow by 10% + this year, additional foreign companies will be looking towards establishing a foothold in China. For numerous years, Lehman, Lee & Xu have lead the way in the successfully establishment and provision of legal aid to foreign corporations investing in China via corporate vehicles such as JVs, or WFOEs. In addition to establishment, we are able deal with the necessary registration of the business¡¯s IPR, and also any labour and employment issues corporations working in China are likely to come up against. Our IP, and labour and employment departments are wholly dedicated in keeping our clients are interested parties up to date with important legal issues via our China IP and China Labour Insight Newsletters. Should you wish to subscribe to these newsletters, or if you have any questions or queries relating to the scope of our legal services please email mail@lehmanlaw.com....

China Business 0 Comment February 2, 2010, 10:26 am

Patent applications increase 18%

The State Intellectual Property Office (¡°SIPO¡±) recorded an 18% increase of patent applications from 2008 numbers.

From statistical data outlined on the SIPO¡¯s website, 976,686 patent applications were received for the year 2009, where as 828,328 were received for 2008. The figure is the cumulative total for invention patents, utility models, and design patents, including both domestic and foreign applications.

Such data highlights the steady increase of domestic applications since 2006. Nearly 90% of the total number of patent applications received in 2009 were in respect of domestic filers, where as in 2006, this figure was only 82%.

As highlighted by some of our previous postings, China recently enacted the third amendment to the PRC¡¯s Patent Law, which became effective on October 1, 2009. This amendment was in line with the National IP Strategy, which looked to revise and update China¡¯s IPR regime.

IP is one of Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s founding and core practices. Our dedicated IP department deals with applications, and enforcement of patents, trademarks and copyright matters. Our commitment to one of our core practices is highlighted by our successful representation of clients, which recently included the Chinese branch of American online retailer Newegg.com Inc. Additionally, we strive to keep our clients and interested parties updated with IPR related news, and updates via our China IP Insights Newsletter. For further information on the scope of our IP services, or to subscribe to our IP newsletter please email mail@lehmanlaw.com.

Further details can be located on the SIPO¡¯s website at the following location: www.sipo.gov.cn...

China Law 0 Comment February 2, 2010, 10:04 am

Foreign only community announced

Plans have been announced for the building of a community, for foreign benefit only in Chengdu, sub provincial city of China¡¯s Sichuan province.

The planned community, compromising of a church, hospital and playgrounds, are expected to be completed in two phases. The first of these phases is likely to be completed by October. In a move that attracted mixed reactions, Zheng Xiaoming, Chieft of Planning and Construction Bureau of the Chengdu National Hi-Tech Zone, stated to maintain the international-ness of the community no apartments will be sold to local residents, only rented out to foreign nationals.

One side of the argument supports such a move, as it would allow foreign nationals to meet, and would benefit those who have just arrived into China without knowing anyone. However, others feel that by going ahead with this project, it would cause segregation, and isolation between foreign and Chinese within Chengdu.

As a foreigner in China, and a foreign employee at Lehman, Lee & Xu, it is through integration and unity, and not segregation which is the way forward. My thoughts are such plans would not be beneficial to either to the Chinese citizens, or foreigners living in Chengdu. It¡¯s through people coming together, that we are able to understand and experience each other¡¯s cultural fingerprints. Both sides can learn a lot from each other.

¡°We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.¡± ¨C Woodrow T. Wilson (1856 ¨C 1924)...

China News 0 Comment February 2, 2010, 9:43 am

Suggested ban on youth¡¯s mobile phone

Cracking down on the access of pornographic and vulgar content has always been a priority concern for the Chinese authorities. In further attempts to reduce the access of such disturbing materials, suggestions have been raised for legislation to be put in place to ban children under the age of 12 from using mobile phone devices.

The suggested idea stems from the fact that through most mobile phone devices, the internet can be access via WAP sites, and children under the age of 12 could be potentially subjected to such materials. Currently, over 15,000 pornographic websites, and 11,000 WAP sites have been blocked in the fight against pornographic content.

By aligning it¡¯s stance with other countries, such as France, China has shown its determination in enforcing its efforts to combat pornographic materials. China current has approximately 384 million internet users which accounts for over one-fifth of the cumulative world¡¯s total. ...

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 8:16 pm

Drug traffickers new target

Alarming tales of young Chinese women being targeted to traffic drugs into China are coming to light at an increasing rate.

What individuals believe to be a mere collection of packages for their ¡°boyfriend¡±, in fact turns out to contain an illegal substance. More worryingly it appears that the problem is increasing through the use of the internet, and online dating. Most who are targeted claim that they are unaware that the packages contain any illegal content.

Monitoring the borders, China Customs deals with incidents such as these, and also the transportation of drugs through the postal and special delivery services.

During January to November 2009, China¡¯s public security forces arrested 82,000 drug suspects, and cracked 70,000 drugs case. The year 2009 also attributed to Customs seizing over 2000 Kg of drugs through its effective monitoring of drug trafficking. The Chinese judiciary enforce a strict application of the law in respect of drug related offences.
...

China Law 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 8:05 pm

China¡¯s green drive

China continues in its efforts to encourage a green and healthier environment through the promotion of the use of clean-energy vehicles.

With clean-energy vehicles receiving the full backing of the Chinese government, it is predicted that the relevant industries associated with these vehicles will prosper and benefit greatly. These industries will range from power companies, to recharging equipment manufacturers.

Shenzhen, the sub provincial city of southern China¡¯s Guangdong province was the first city to promote the use of electric powered vehicles. The city intends on investment over 300 million RMB over the course of five years. In addition to this, 250 recharging stations, and 12,500 parking lot recharging towers are also planned.

China appears to advancing forward in its implementation of a greener China. In one of our previous postings, (dated January 28 2010 which can be located at the following location: http://blawg.lehmanlaw.com/english/archives/2010/01/28/768.html), we highlighted another green success for China, with the successful reduction of sulphur dioxide emission for the four consecutive year running.
...

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 7:20 pm

¡°When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.¡± Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanac

There are recent talks about Beijing diverting seawater from nearby provinces as an immediate solution to supplying the capital city with a much needed water supply. Seawater is not the number one choice for Beijing, but a delay of the massive diversion projects has forced key decision makers to come up with a quick and feasible solution. So far, China and the rest of the world have struggled to produce an economically viable option to curb our energy and water issues. Seawater is a start but it is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.
After almost 30 years of double digit economic growth and the migration of hundreds of millions of villagers to cities, gaining access to clean water becomes a bigger issue by the day for many residents of China. If the current trend continues, China¡¯s water supply, or lack thereof, has the ability to halt industrial and population growth in one of the worlds most expansive and dynamic economies.
The majority of China¡¯s 270,550 sq km of water is polluted, threatened by drought or being overused. I have read some reports estimating as much as 90% of China¡¯s water supply is polluted. This, of course, is a by product of rapid economic expansion. Today, there are few restrictions or legal enforcement preventing firms from dumping waste products in large bodies of water. This is very similar to what happened in The United States during the Industrial Revolution. Overuse primarily comes from China¡¯s dominant agricultural sector and droughts affect 15% of the country forcing some 300 million people living in rural areas to travel great lengths for safe drinking water.
In its 11th five year plan, China dedicated 1 trillion RMB in attempts to alleviate the water crisis. Most of the money will go towards desalinization and reclamation projects. There is one ambitious plan to move water from water rich regions such as the Yangtze River to the deprived Yellow River. However, moving water around is not the final answer to the problem.
Many firms, both foreign and domestic, are positioning themselves to take full advantage of the current water crisis in China. Companies looking to take advantage of this future trend range from high tech purification services to firms that deal more in water transportation and infrastructure. In the water business, having exposure to China should allow firms to benefit from Beijing¡¯s attempts to bring cleaner water throughout a country in great need. Gaining access to clean water becomes a bigger issue by the day for many in China.
...

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 7:17 pm

Lehman, Lee & Xu: Cross-Straits talks to help boost economic relations

Beijing, China, January 28, 2010 --- Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan held their first talks in Beijing Tuesday, January 26, 2010, to pave the way for the long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

According to a statement released after the meeting, experts from both sides agreed that the basic content of the pact would include market access for commodity trade and service trade, Rules of Origin, early harvest program, trade remedy, dispute settlement, investment and economic cooperation. The two sides also exchanged tax regulations and economic and trade regulations and statistics.

Lehman, Lee & Xu, one of the top three Chinese law firms, many of whose clients are engaged in businesses related to enterprises of both sides of the Taiwan Strait, showed strong interest in this event.

¡°The economic pact might exert certain negative influences on a number of industries on the mainland and in Taiwan¡±, commented Edward Lehman, Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu Law Firm, ¡°but it would benefit cross-Straits trade and economic development in the long run¡± he added.

¡°As the ECFA will cut import tariffs and scrap Taipei's current restrictions on many mainland investments and products, some industries in Taiwan may face strong competition from products imported from the mainland in the short term and vice versa,¡± said John Lee, Senior lawyer of Lehman, Lee & Xu. However, he further commented ¡°from the world point of view, the ECFA would play an important role in helping mainland and Taiwan jointly cope with the financial crisis and fierce competitions in international trade¡±.

¡°We have a number of clients who are engaged in cross-Straits businesses and the expected Agreement will surly have strong effects, both negative and positive, on them,¡± said Scott Garner, Head of Lehman, Lee & Xu¡¯s Shanghai office, ¡°We will therefore keep a close watch on the progress of the cross-Straits talks and provide our clients with timely legal advice for their business activities, helping them to make good use of any positive effect of the pact and try to keep away from negative ones¡± he added.

Lehman, Lee & Xu is one of the first five private law firms established in the People's Republic of China. After nearly twenty years of practice and development, Lehman, Lee & Xu now has more than two hundred patent, trademark and PRC-licensed attorneys working in numerous branch offices located in the most-developed cities in China. As one of the leading IP firms in China, Lehman, Lee & Xu provides high quality legal service to its clients and has been consistently rated among the top five IP law firms in China. Lehman, Lee & Xu is also a top-three commercial law firm, and has provided a variety of commercial legal services to hundreds of clients, many of them multinational corporations (MNCs) and Fortune 100 companies. The firm's diverse catalog of commercial services covers foreign direct investment (FDI), merger and acquisition (M&A), tax, employment and many other areas.

For more information about Lehman, Lee & Xu, please visit the firm's website at www.lehmanlaw.com
...

China Business 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 7:12 pm

China Unlocks Door to Foreign Security Firms

As of 2010, foreign security firms are now allowed in China for general security services only, such as guarding of residential and office complexes. The regulation was issued by the State Council on October 13, 2009 and took effect on January 1, 2010. A spokesman for the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council said the regulation is crucial to the high speed development of China¡¯s security industry. As of today, many security guards in China are not registered with their local police departments and many guards have little or no training at all. China hopes to change this trend by allowing more sophisticated foreign firms to the market. The details of registering foreign security companies in Beijing have not been completely decided thus far. If interested in more details in regards to establishing a foreign security company in China, please contact the Chinese Ministry of Public Security or Lehman, Lee & Xu, a leading Chinese law firm with experience in both setting up foreign companies in China and the security industry. More information can be obtained at www.lehmanlaw.com. ...

China Law 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 6:55 pm

Suggested ban on youth¡¯s mobile phone

Cracking down on the access of pornographic and vulgar content has always been a priority concern for the Chinese authorities. In further attempts to reduce the access of such disturbing materials, suggestions have been raised for legislation to be put in place to ban children under the age of 12 from using mobile phone devices.

The suggested idea stems from the fact that through most mobile phone devices, the internet can be access via WAP sites, and children under the age of 12 could be potentially subjected to such materials. Currently, over 15,000 pornographic websites, and 11,000 WAP sites have been blocked in the fight against pornographic content.

By aligning it¡¯s stance with other countries, such as France, China has shown its determination in enforcing its efforts to combat pornographic materials. China current has approximately 384 million internet users which accounts for over one-fifth of the cumulative world¡¯s total. ...

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 5:06 pm

China¡¯s green drive

China continues in its efforts to encourage a green and healthier environment through the promotion of the use of clean-energy vehicles.

With clean-energy vehicles receiving the full backing of the Chinese government, it is predicted that the relevant industries associated with these vehicles will prosper and benefit greatly. These industries will range from power companies, to recharging equipment manufacturers.

Shenzhen, the sub provincial city of southern China¡¯s Guangdong province was the first city to promote the use of electric powered vehicles. The city intends on investment over 300 million RMB over the course of five years. In addition to this, 250 recharging stations, and 12,500 parking lot recharging towers are also planned.

China appears to advancing forward in its implementation of a greener China. In one of our previous postings, (dated January 28 2010 which can be located at the following location: http://blawg.lehmanlaw.com/english/archives/2010/01/28/768.html), we highlighted another green success for China, with the successful reduction of sulphur dioxide emission for the four consecutive year running....

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 5:04 pm

China¡¯s green drive

China continues in its efforts to encourage a green and healthier environment through the promotion of the use of clean-energy vehicles.

With clean-energy vehicles receiving the full backing of the Chinese government, it is predicted that the relevant industries associated with these vehicles will prosper and benefit greatly. These industries will range from power companies, to recharging equipment manufacturers.

Shenzhen, the sub provincial city of southern China¡¯s Guangdong province was the first city to promote the use of electric powered vehicles. The city intends on investment over 300 million RMB over the course of five years. In addition to this, 250 recharging stations, and 12,500 parking lot recharging towers are also planned.

China appears to advancing forward in its implementation of a greener China. In one of our previous postings, (dated January 28 2010 which can be located at the following location: http://blawg.lehmanlaw.com/english/archives/2010/01/28/768.html), we highlighted another green success for China, with the successful reduction of sulphur dioxide emission for the four consecutive year running....

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 5:04 pm

Drug traffickers new target

Alarming tales of young Chinese women being targeted to traffic drugs into China are coming to light at an increasing rate.

What individuals believe to be a mere collection of packages for their ¡°boyfriend¡±, in fact turns out to contain an illegal substance. More worryingly it appears that the problem is increasing through the use of the internet, and online dating. Most who are targeted claim that they are unaware that the packages contain any illegal content.

Monitoring the borders, China Customs deals with incidents such as these, and also the transportation of drugs through the postal and special delivery services.

During January to November 2009, China¡¯s public security forces arrested 82,000 drug suspects, and cracked 70,000 drugs case. The year 2009 also attributed to Customs seizing over 2000 Kg of drugs through its effective monitoring of drug trafficking. The Chinese judiciary enforce a strict application of the law in respect of drug related offences. ...

China Business 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 5:03 pm

Opportunities in China's Water Industry

¡°When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.¡± Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanac

There are recent talks about Beijing diverting seawater from nearby provinces as an immediate solution to supplying the capital city with a much needed water supply. Seawater is not the number one choice for Beijing, but a delay of the massive diversion projects has forced key decision makers to come up with a quick and feasible solution. So far, China and the rest of the world have struggled to produce an economically viable option to curb our energy and water issues. Seawater is a start but it is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.
After almost 30 years of double digit economic growth and the migration of hundreds of millions of villagers to cities, gaining access to clean water becomes a bigger issue by the day for many residents of China. If the current trend continues, China¡¯s water supply, or lack thereof, has the ability to halt industrial and population growth in one of the worlds most expansive and dynamic economies.
The majority of China¡¯s 270,550 sq km of water is polluted, threatened by drought or being overused. I have read some reports estimating as much as 90% of China¡¯s water supply is polluted. This, of course, is a by product of rapid economic expansion. Today, there are few restrictions or legal enforcement preventing firms from dumping waste products in large bodies of water. This is very similar to what happened in The United States during the Industrial Revolution. Overuse primarily comes from China¡¯s dominant agricultural sector and droughts affect 15% of the country forcing some 300 million people living in rural areas to travel great lengths for safe drinking water.
In its 11th five year plan, China dedicated 1 trillion RMB in attempts to alleviate the water crisis. Most of the money will go towards desalinization and reclamation projects. There is one ambitious plan to move water from water rich regions such as the Yangtze River to the deprived Yellow River. However, moving water around is not the final answer to the problem.
Many firms, both foreign and domestic, are positioning themselves to take full advantage of the current water crisis in China. Companies looking to take advantage of this future trend range from high tech purification services to firms that deal more in water transportation and infrastructure. In the water business, having exposure to China should allow firms to benefit from Beijing¡¯s attempts to bring cleaner water throughout a country in great need. Gaining access to clean water becomes a bigger issue by the day for many in China.
...

China News 0 Comment January 29, 2010, 1:49 pm

Drug Trafficking Cases Picking Up in China

According to the National Narcotics and Control Team, 2009 saw more drug cases and quantity of drugs than any other year in Chinese history. Chinese customs took control of 2,119.2 kilograms of drugs during its crackdown on drug trafficking. This figure is seen as 150 percent increase from 2008. 506 drug smuggling cases were brought before court with 553 suspects. The most common form of smuggling was through postal and express mail accounting for 151 of the cases. Baby diapers and auto axles were also used.

The largest case of the year was the result of a six month investigation that eventually lead to the arrest of 85 gang members on charges of producing and distributing crystal meth. Police destroyed 44 tons of raw materials that could be used to make crystal meth worth $318 million, and 900 pounds of ephedrine, a main component of methamphetamine, it said. They also destroyed eight illegal factories and confiscated 10 apartments and 21 cars belonging to the suspects.

The drug trade in China has flourished as social controls have been loosened over the last several decades. Government statistics put the number of known addicts at 1.2 million, including 700,000 heroin users, more than two-thirds of them being under the age of 35. ...

China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 5:20 pm

Contradicting Policies

In an attempt to increase public transportation use in the capital city, Beijing will extend its rail and subway lines and open more express bus lanes in 2010. The end goal is to get 40% of Beijing¡¯s commuters using public transportation this year.. 38.7% of the city¡¯s residents used public transportation as their primary source of commute. The city government has approved a budget of 80 million yuan ($11.7 billion) for the construction of public transport facilities in 2010 alone. The lines will be extended by 140 km this year to 368 km and reach 561 km in 2015. An extra 800,000 vehicles were added to Beijing roads in 2009. The total number hit 4 million.

It appears the city¡¯s plan to increase public transit goes in direct contrast to the country¡¯s strong incentives to encourage the purchase of automobiles. 2009 saw extremely liberal policy incentives, such as subsidies and tax cuts, that helped the Chinese automobile industry grow 52.9% year-over-year with a total of 13.6 million automobiles purchased. As a result of such strong incentives, 2009 was the first year the United States was surpassed as the leading consumer of automobiles. As the Chinese market was skyrocketing, the American market sunk 21% to 10.4 million. Perhaps the incentives drew more attention than desired? I do not have the answer to that. But what I do know, the country of China and the city of Beijing are promoting contradicting policies.
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China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 5:19 pm

Successful reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions

Zhou Shengxian, Minister of Environmental Protection, announced the reduction of China¡¯s chemical oxygen demand (¡°COD¡±) and sulphur dioxide emissions for four consecutive years.

Sulphur dioxide emissions were recorded to have dropped 10.4 percent in 2009, compared with the figures for 2008. The target plans set by the government, aimed at reducing the emissions of major pollutants by 10% starting from 2006 until 2010. This is termed the 11th Five Year Plan.

Such a fall in sulphur dioxide emissions could be attributed to the use of desulphurisation. This is a process whereby contaminated gases are cleaned using wet scrubbers. Such a system reduces the contamination level which may have adverse effects on humans, animals, and on plant life. Since 2006, China has built more than 411 million kilowatts of desulphurisation units, in an attempt to reduce the harmful effects of such emissions.

China¡¯s success in achieving and successful adhering to the 11th Five Year Plan has highlighted the country¡¯s determination to reduced such emissions and promote a healthy and greener environment....

China News 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 3:51 pm

The meat of the day¡­

Walk down any street in Beijing, and within minutes you are likely to cross paths with several proud dogs and their owners. Just like in any other city, Beijing¡¯s pet community can enjoy a happy life of pampering, being fed and watered, and taken for walks. Their standard of living (and life expectancy) is only likely to increase, now that legislation is in draft mode to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat in China.

China legislative process has begun the procedure of drafting laws which will punish those who both consume and sell such meats. According to the draft law, a fine of up to 5000 RMB, and 15 day detention shall be imposed upon those guilty of dog and/or cat meat consumption. Those found guilty of selling the meat, shall face heftier fines of between 10,000 RMB and 500,000 RMB.

Dog and cat consumption in China is viewed as a part of the traditional culture, dating back thousands of years. It is believed the consumption of such meat will promote body warmth and heat during the winter months.

The proposed law, renamed Anti-cruelty to Animals (¡°the Act¡±), is sparking fierce debate between those for and against such a ban on dog and cat¡¯s meat consumption. In support the Act, the Chinese Animal Protection Network (¡°CCAPN¡±) established in January 2006, has been active in the promotion of a prohibition on the consumption of such meats. The Act does not focus solely on this issue. It shall strive to protect six categories of animals; those on farms, in laboratories, pets, working animals, animals for entertainment purposes and wild animals....

China News 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 3:51 pm

State Council to issue plan to address heavy metal pollutant concerns

Zhou Shengxian, Minister of Environmental Protection, has stated that by Jue 2010 a plan to control heavy metal pollution shall be released.

The urgency of the matter was highlighted when in 2008, 4035 people were found to have excessive lead in their blood, and a further 182 found to have excessive cadmium. The plan, undergoing review from the State Council, is likely to be issued before June, and will look to control and prevent the use of certain heavy metal pollutants. As part of the ministries procedure a list of industries involved with metals such as lead and mercury, and their locations shall be cultivated.
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China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 3:42 pm

New Master of European and International Law in China Offered at the China-EU School of Law, Beijing

A new one-year Masters program in European and International Law is being offered by the China-EU School of Law (CESL) in Beijing. Responding to the increase in demand for highly qualified legal expertise in matters of Chinese, European, and International law, this master¡¯s program taught in English combines renowned international faculty from 15 Chinese and European universities in a competitive atmosphere. A joint project of the Chinese Government and European Union, the tuition is 60.000 RMB (about 6.000 EUR) for the entire program, with some scholarships available. The application deadline is April 20th. The application and more information can be found on the CESL website.
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China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 3:07 pm

IIT Avoided On Transfer Of Restricted Shares To Be Pursued

The ¡°Circular on Strengthening the Administration of the Collection of Individual Income Tax on the Transfer of Restricted Shares¡± was released by the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) to explain the collection process of Individual Income Tax (IIT). It states that a taxpayer is required to pay an overdue tax bill if the amount deducted and withheld by the securities institution is less than the actual tax payment. Furthermore, it states that ITT on the transfer of restricted shares shall be deducted and withheld by securities institutions or declared for payment by taxpayers themselves. An application may be filed for settlement if there is a difference between the tax payable calculated on the basis of actual income and cost, and the amount deducted by the securities institution. Authorities shall repay a tax payable if it is less than the amount deducted and withheld by the securities institutions. If the tax payable is higher than the deducted and withheld amount, then the taxpayer shall pay an overdue tax bill.

Morgan Crank
Lehman, Le, and Xu...

China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 11:12 am

Tax update: Rebate on R&B purchases of homemade equipment

The ¡°Measures for the Administration of Tax Refunds for Purchasing Homemade Equipment by R&D institutions¡± (¡°the Measures¡±), issued by the State Administration of Taxation (¡°SAT¡±), and effective for a period from July 4, 2009, until December 31, 2010, addresses tax refunds R&D institutions are entitled to after making purchases of homemade equipment.

As outlined within the Measures, before the R & D institution can make an application for a tax rebate on the purchases of homemade equipment, a series of documentation is required in order to determine the amount due back. Firstly, the copies of the business licence copy is required, as well as the original and photocopies of the tax registration certificate, and also, evidence of the account for the tax rebate.

SAT¡¯s Measures can be located at the following location: http://www.chinatax.gov.cn/n8136506/n8136593/n8137537/n8138502/9457640.html
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China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 10:49 am

Tax update: Rebate on R&B purchases of homemade equipment

The ¡°Measures for the Administration of Tax Refunds for Purchasing Homemade Equipment by R&D institutions¡± (¡°the Measures¡±), issued by the State Administration of Taxation (¡°SAT¡±), and effective for a period from July 4, 2009, until December 31, 2010, addresses tax refunds R&D institutions are entitled to after making purchases of homemade equipment.

As outlined within the Measures, before the R & D institution can make an application for a tax rebate on the purchases of homemade equipment, a series of documentation is required in order to determine the amount due back. Firstly, the copies of the business licence copy is required, as well as the original and photocopies of the tax registration certificate, and also, evidence of the account for the tax rebate.

SAT¡¯s Measures can be located at the following location: http://www.chinatax.gov.cn/n8136506/n8136593/n8137537/n8138502/9457640.html
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China Law 0 Comment January 28, 2010, 10:49 am

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