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Trial of 31 opens in Chongqing on organized crime charges

(Xinhua)

Updated: 2009-10-26 11:09

CHONGQING: Thirty-one people went on trial Monday on charges of gang-related crimes in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

The trial, which is expected to last 5 days at the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court, is one of a series of organized crime trials resulting from investigations into 14 alleged mafia-style gangs in Chongqing.

Li Qiang, a rich businessman and former deputy to the Chongqing Municipal People's Congress, who was said to be chief of the gang, faced nine charges including organizing and leading mafia-style gangs, disrupting public transportation, disturbing social order, concealing account books, bribery and tax evasion.

Li, handcuffed and wearing bright orange vest coded 01, had four companies under his name and controlled more than 100 bus routes in Chongqing. The four companies, mainly on transportation business and real estate, were also charged with illegal operation and tax evasion.

Another 20 suspects, who were allegedly gang members, were charged with crimes of participating in mafia-style organizations, disrupting public transportation and murder.

Three civil servants were among the accused on charges of harboring Li's gang-related crimes and taking bribes.

The officials were Xiao Qinglong, director of Communication and Transportation Administration of Shapingba District of Chongqing, Jiang Hong, director of the Road Transport Administration of Banan District of Chongqing and Jiang Chunyan, director of a complaints office under the Chongqing municipal government.

Seven other suspects were charged with crimes of concealing account books, disrupting public transportation, disturbing public order and illegal operation.

Source: Xinhua
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China News 0 Comment October 26, 2009, 6:06 pm

Google violating copyrights, authors say

By Xie Yu (China Daily)

Search engine giant Google is facing accusations that its employees, illegally and without permission, scanned Chinese writers' works into its digital library, Google Books.

"Google's infringement to Chinese authors is very severe," said Zhang Hongbo, deputy director-general of China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), the only domestic administration of written works copyrights.

Chinese government departments, such as the National Copyright Administration, will push the US government to handle the issue properly, considering Google is such a major force in the online world and has acted arbitrarily in this issue, he said.

According to a rough estimate from CWWCS, nearly 18,000 books from 570 Chinese writers have been scanned by Google and included in its digital library, which is only open to netizens within the US borders. This was done without informing or paying most of the writers.

"So far, no writer we reached said he or she has authorized Google to do the scanning," Zhang said.

Google has not yet replied to the accusation. Its spokesman was not available for comment yesterday.

Google has been scanning millions of books under US copyright since 2004. Under a tentative settlement with US authors and publishers, that will cover all books unless the copyright holders object.

Google is in the final stages of reaching a settlement with two US copyright organizations, which brought copyright infringement lawsuits against the search company for its book-scanning project.

A US court has given the parties until early next month to revise their current settlement agreement and ensure its compliance with antitrust and copyright laws.

According to the settlement offered by Google, authors who accept Google's scan could get $60 per book as compensation, as well as 63 percent of the income from online reading. Readers of the books online would pay a fee for digital access to the book.

According to the settlement, if the author rejects Google's right to scan, he or she should appeal before Jan 5, 2010. Authors should approach Google authorizing the scanning and get the compensation before June 5, 2010.

But Zhang said this settlement is not acceptable to Chinese writers.

"First of all, Google violated Chinese writers' copyright. It doesn't make sense for them to set a deadline for Chinese writers to protect their interests.

"Secondly, the company should show a clear attitude to admitting its infringement and then negotiate with Chinese authors sincerely," he said.

The US often criticizes China's inefficiency in protecting property rights, Zhang said.

"But you see what their company is doing in China? Many of our writers are infuriated," Zhang said.

Zhang Kangkang, a prominent writer and also vice-president of the Chinese Writers' Association, said she was "surprised" and "angry" at Google's copyright infringement.

"It's one-sided agreement to scan the work without permission from the author. It is illegal to enjoy the writer's work in the name of knowledge sharing," said Zhang, whose books have been scanned by Google.

Chen Cun, another well-known Chinese writer who lives in Shanghai, said Google is "day-dreaming" if it wants to buy copyright from him for $60.

"The price should be set by both sides. It is impossible to buy an object with your bid only," he said.

Google Books is planning to turn millions of books into electronic literature available online.

Google's head of Print Content Partnerships in Britain, Santiago de la Mora, earlier said that Google is solving one of the big problems in the print world - that some books are pretty much dead in the sense that hard copies can no longer be found.

"We're bringing these books back to life, making them more visible to 1.8 billion Internet users in a very controlled way," de la Mora said.

However, Google Books is facing big legal problems in the US, Europe and elsewhere around the globe over the issue of copyrights.

Source: China Daily

Updated: 2009-10-21...

China News 0 Comment October 22, 2009, 11:56 am

Edward Lehman spoke at Global Justice Forum of Fall 2009

The Global Justice Forum of Fall 2009 was held at Columbia Law School, New York, USA, between October 15 and 17, 2009. Edward E. Lehman, Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu was invited to speak at the Discussion of International Issues Session.

For the past four years, the Global Justice Forum has brought together more than 200 lawyers from 30 countries on six continents, laying the foundation for the Friends of Global Justice Network, plaintiffs¡¯ counsel cooperating in disputes resolution and litigation worldwide.

This Forum addressed Global litigation in a Post-Economic Crisis World. At this Forum, Mr. Lehman spoke comprehensively on top issues relating to litigation in China.

Lehman, Lee & Xu is a prominent Chinese law firm and trademark and patent agency with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mongolia. Lawyers of Lehman, Lee & Xu have represented numerous international businesses and individuals at courts of both China and other jurisdictions in many influential cases, notably in the case of Baotou Air Crash.
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China News 0 Comment October 21, 2009, 2:02 pm

Election Law of China to be amended next week

By Zhu Zhe (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2009-10-19 11:08

China's top legislature, the National People¡¯s Congress Standing Committee, will consider amending China's Election Law at a bi-monthly legislative session from Oct 27-31.

The amendment is expected to grant equal election rights to people in the rural and urban areas.

The session will also conduct the third review of the draft amendment of the State Compensation Law.

Source: China Daily...

China News 0 Comment October 19, 2009, 3:06 pm

China foreign investment up 19% in Sept

(Agencies)

Updated: 2009-10-15

SHANGHAI: Foreign direct investment in China continued to recover in September, rising 19 percent from a year earlier to $7.9 billion, the Commerce Ministry said Thursday.

However, actual foreign direct investment for the first nine months of the year totaled $63.8 billion, a 14 percent decline from the same period of 2008, the ministry said.

There was a nearly 11 percent increase in the number of newly approved foreign invested companies in September, suggesting that China's economic recovery is attracting investment after a lull earlier in the year.

The September rise in foreign direct investment compared with a 7 percent year-on-year increase in August, and declines of 35.7 percent in July and 6.8 percent in June.

The figure does not include stocks and other financial assets.

China's economic growth rose to 7.9 percent over a year earlier in the quarter ending June 30, up from 6.1 percent the previous quarter, and analysts say the recovery is gathering strength. Retail spending and industrial investment are rising.

China is a top investment destination but double-digit growth rates plunged in late 2007 as foreign companies were hit by the global downturn and cut spending. Many are continuing to invest in China to take advantage of its stronger economic growth compared with other countries.

Source: China Daily
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China News 0 Comment October 15, 2009, 5:48 pm