Author Archives: Stan

The Shanghai Stampede and the Blame Game

January 6, 2015

The Chinese university department that attracted attention last month for banning Christmas apparently believes its decision was vindicated by the New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai that left three dozen dead, many of them students. In statement dated Jan. 2nd and published on the website of Modern College of Northwest University in Xi’an, representatives of […]

The Rule of Law and Other Mythical Creatures

December 1, 2014

The rule of law is a perennial favorite discussion topic in China, and I’ve certainly spilled lots of ink on the subject in this blog over the years. The issue had a bit of a resurgence recently due to a government conference here in Beijing in October whose theme was (I’m paraphrasing): “Law Sounds Good!” […]

U.S.-China Climate Deal: the Short and the Cynical

November 24, 2014

An agreement between the U.S. and China to curb greenhouse-gas emissions won’t slow global warming enough to prevent extreme weather that damages crops, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. (Bloomberg) I’ve been avoiding the topic of the climate deal for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of my innate cynicism. But isn’t any deal […]

How to Tell If You Are a China Law Geek

November 10, 2014

So I was reading Daniel Suarez’s Daemon last night (two big thumbs up, by the way) and suddenly realized that I might need a holiday. Here’s what happened. The novel is about an AI created by a computer genius who runs a multinational game company. The AI, which is not the sentient evil type that […]

China Productivity Growth. What About Labor?

November 6, 2014

China has more potential to boost productivity than Japan in the 1950s and South Korea in the 1960s. Whether that’s realized is a $15 trillion question. In industries such as financial services and telecommunications, where barriers to entry and preferential policies for state-owned enterprises deter competition, China remains far behind developed-world competitors. via China Potential […]

China Companies and Transparency

November 6, 2014

The world’s biggest companies disclose little or no financial details about their operations outside their home countries, watchdog Transparency International (TI) said in a report that ranks 124 firms and found that UK businesses were among the best performers, while Chinese companies and several US technology giants were among the worst. via World’s top companies […]

Environmental Regulation: Can China Afford Caution?

October 30, 2014

[T]o forestall more serious, systemic environmental issues, Beijing will have to be preemptive rather than reactive with regulation. In everything from modernizing its recycling industry to improving regulations on rare earth mining, the costs of waiting and testing out new ideas are high. Especially in terms of human health, delays from experimenting with environmental reforms […]

Et Tu Western Banks?

October 28, 2014

When Chinese property developer Agile Property Holdings Ltd. said this month that its chairman had been taken into custody by authorities, the disclosure was a shock to Western banks that had lent the company money. [ . . .] The spate of suspected fraud cases and growing fears that loans won’t be repaid has raised questions about […]

Wise Words on Apple Pay

October 28, 2014

I think we all need to take a deep breath and think carefully before entrusting our financial information to any large company. That’s not luddism, that’s wisdom. The recent series of security breaches at major retailers alone should give us pause, and Apple is no exception: a company that has shown itself incapable of protecting Jennifer […]

US Declines to Name China Currency Manipulator. This is Still News?

October 16, 2014

The US Treasury Department said on Wednesday that China cannot be ruled as a currency manipulator, but highlighted the need for sustained progress toward a market-driven exchange rate. via US Treasury declines to name China as currency manipulator – China Daily Brief comment: how is this still a thing? Can we all agree to move […]

Asian Kids Are Great Students, But Then What?

October 9, 2014

A new study has cast doubt on the current enthusiasm in the west for copying teaching methods in China and South Korea, where children score highly in international tests, suggesting that cultural factors beyond school also play a part in their success. via ‘Culture, not just curriculum’, determines east Asian school success | The Guardian. […]

Stop Saying It’s a 7-day Holiday!

September 30, 2014

You’ve heard me complain about China’s holiday schedule before. We all do it, at least twice a year, but it does bear repeating. Why? Two reasons: 1) anything that is misleading or incorrect should be fixed; and 2) it pisses me off that my colleagues in other countries think I am getting seven additional days […]

Challenging Antitrust Cases in China Courts?

September 29, 2014

Wang Xiaoye, one of China’s leading experts on competition law, says foreign companies that feel wrongly accused of antitrust behavior need to take their cases to Chinese courts. Most so far have been prepared to accept fines from the authorities, rather than to appeal their cases in the courts, and some have expressed fears privately […]

Anti-Vaxxers, Please Stay Out of China

September 28, 2014

China has one of the most vaccination compliant populations in the world. In fact, measles vaccination is mandatory. So why has China had over 700 measles outbreaks between 2009 and 2012 alone? The obvious answer is that the measles vaccines are simply not effective. via Why is China Having Measles Outbreaks When 99% are Vaccinated? | Wake Up […]

Having Apparently Sacked Its Editorial Staff, BBC Proceeds to Run China Story About Opium

September 24, 2014

All I can say is that this is unfortunate. The underlying story is innocuous, regarding a noodle shop cooking with poppy seeds. But we get the following headline from the freakin’ British news agency BBC: China: Restaurant ‘sold opium-laced noodles’ The irony would be bad enough if the story was completely accurate, but as I […]

Comparative Red Tape: China vs. U.S.

September 24, 2014

I have also found that local Chinese politicians are much more interested in economic development than local politicians in the United States. I have many meetings and meals with mayors and vice mayors in China who want to attract our company’s business to their city. In America, by contrast, I had to call in a […]

China Fines GSK $490m for Bribery. Cue the Freak Out.

September 22, 2014

China has fined UK pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline $490m (£297m) after a court found it guilty of bribery. The record penalty follows allegations the drug giant paid out bribes to doctors and hospitals in order to have their products promoted. The court gave GSK’s former head of Chinese operations, Mark Reilly, a suspended three-year prison sentence […]