Because of this blog, our China lawyers get a fairly steady stream of China law questions from readers, mostly via emails but occasionally via blog comments as well. If we were to conduct research on all the questions we get asked and then comprehensively answer them, we would become overwhelmed. So what we usually do is provide a super fast general answer and, when it is easy to do so, a link or two to a blog post that may provide some additional guidance. We figure we might as well post some of these on here as well. On Fridays, like today.
One of the most common questions our China attorneys get asked, is “whether it is safe for me to go to China” or “whether it is safe for me to stay in China.” In light of the very recent and highly covered Crown Resorts detention, we have been getting these questions even more often of late. For more on the Crown Resorts situation, check out How To Avoid Getting “Detained” in China and Why Your Odds are Worse than you Think and Doing Something China Doesn’t Like? Don’t Go There, and for more on getting held hostage in China, check out China Hostage Situations With a New Twist).
As lawyers, we have to answer both questions pretty much the same way, which is that we have no way to quantify the exact risk of someone being detained by either the Chinese government or by some private Chinese party using (or not using) the Chinese government for the detention, but detentions happen a lot more often in China than widely realized and it would no doubt be safer to wait out your problems from the safety of your home country or from a country near to China but not China.
In the end, the risk assessment will usually be up to you.
We will be discussing the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts business there. We will be telling you what works and what does not and what you as a businessperson can do to use the law to your advantage. Our aim is to assist businesses already in China or planning to go into China, not to break new ground in legal theory or policy.