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Eight+ Things to Read About China and Other Things, Part 22

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international law

This is the twenty-second episode in our ongoing weekend series on eight+ things to read about China and a lot more. Our China lawyers constantly get emails from readers/friends/clients asking what to read on China and all sorts of things related and even barely related to China and this series is intended to constantly and consistently answer these questions.

As we said in our initial post, the posts in this series will list out eight (or so) articles we benefitted from reading and think you our readers would also benefit from reading, along with a very brief explanation as to why the particular article was included. More specifically:

The articles will likely include many on China and on Asia and a few on international trade, international politics, Spain and Latin America, economics and really just anything else we believe might benefit our readers or even that we just want people to read. We do not plan to choose articles that push our or any other political agenda or any other agenda for that matter, but having said that, we are not objective and our views may creep through. Our goal though is to focus on articles that are important or helpful or — most importantly — that make you think. Our posting of an article will NOT mean we agree with all of it or even any of it. Most of the articles will be from the week preceding the post but we will also sometimes throw in older articles (classics if you will) as well.

Please do not hesitate to comment at the end of this or any other post. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your comments, good, bad and indifferent.

Here we go, in absolutely no particular order.

1 I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb. VICE News. Because I’ve never been a fan of AirBnB after I rented an apartment in Valencia, Spain, in August and its heavily touted air conditioning didn’t work and I had to fight tooth and nail with AirBnb to get any discount at all. I have not used AirBnb since and it would not surprise me if their projected IPO becomes another WeWork-esque cult failure. Speaking of WeWork and cults, I suggest you also read Adam Neumann and the Art of Failing Up

2 Adam Silver: Chinese Government Asked NBA to Fire and Discipline Daryl Morey. Sports Illustrated. I intentionally waited until the NBA furor had somewhat died down to post on this. What happened to the NBA is — pure and simple — a colossal clash of cultures; it is a war between a country that believes in free speech and a government that greatly (and rightly) fears it. Fortunately, free speech won this round (barely), but there will always be plenty of companies ready, willing and able to sell their souls at the alter of the almighty dollar, or should I say RMB. But as what happened to the NBA proved, there may be outside-China backlash for those who belly up to an increasingly authoritarian China.

3. Chinese Outbound Investments – The Regulatory Landscape. JD Supra. Because this report nicely explains the layers of regulatory morass to which Chinese companies that want to invest outside China must go to secure necessary Chinese government approvals to do so. If you want to read this, fine, but what our international M & A lawyers tell our clients is essentially the following: if you want to secure investment from a Chinese company, you better hope that company has money outside the Mainland.

4. Male Chinese ‘Relatives’ Assigned to Uyghur Homes Co-sleep With Female ‘Hosts’. Radio Free Asia. Because this is so incredibly “creepy” and the world must know.

5. Study Chinese in Taipei and Taiwan – Best Private Schools and Universities. Sapore di Cina. Because we are often asked this question and because Taiwan is such a great place for studying Chinese.

6. This man is disrupting the cult of the billionaire. Fast Company. Because “Anand Giridharadas is rebuking the idea that philanthropic billionaires are society’s heroes.” Because whether you end up agreeing with the following or not, you should at least ponder it:

That idea, or at least the sound-bite version of it, is that today’s plutocrats—as Giridharadas isn’t afraid to call the 1%—maintain their elite status, and the broader status quo, by using their wealth to control, marionette-style, the priorities of America’s noble-minded societal institutions, from top research universities to humble community organizations. For too long, Giridharadas argues, we’ve allowed our modern moneyed classes to burnish their reputations with philanthropic gifts and Davos fireside chats while the corporations they control simultaneously gut our labor institutions, plunder our planet, and hoard our collective resources. Given this exercise of power, he believes, it should come as no surprise that inequality has been on the rise in the United States for the past three decades, and that no giant check from on high has fixed it.

7. Chile’s People Have Had Enough. Slate. Because the massive protests happening in Chile could happen just about anywhere. And because I draw a straight line between these protests, and those in France, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Iraq, and even the movie Parasite, (one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long, long time). People are demanding a voice and change.

8. Cornhole Is a Pro Sport Now. Outside. Because this is a clear sign of the apocalypse.

9. A great supply risk lies in the Uighur crisis of China’s Xinjiang Province. Supply Chain Drive. Because in addition to the two biggest and best known risks of having your products made in China (IP theft and tariffs), there are rising “moral” risks as well. You should assume more consumers will boycot Made in China products when they learn how brutally China treats its Uighurs and Hong Kong protestors. You should also expect to see an increase in those (millennials, especially) who will not work for companies that do business with China or leave employers that do.

10. Celebrada en la Cámara de Madrid la jornada “La nueva era del Doing Business en los EE.UU.” Empressa Exterior. Because four Harris Bricken lawyers just did a Madrid-Barcelona roadshow on investing in the United States and because those events gave me a chance to talke with a number of Spanish lawyer friends of mine, all of whom expressed concerns about Spain’s trade future with China. Because as so many companies from around the world are looking at doing business in new countries as they seek to minimize or eliminate their China business.

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.

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