Author Archives: Stan

The Shanghai Stampede and the Blame Game

0 Comment

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…

Read More

The Rule of Law and Other Mythical Creatures

0 Comment

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!”…

Read More

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

0 Comment

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…

Read More

How to Tell If You Are a China Law Geek

0 Comment

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…

Read More

China Productivity Growth. What About Labor?

0 Comment

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…

Read More

China Companies and Transparency

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Hollywood’s China Pandering

0 Comment

The makers of Mission: Impossible 5 will look to court the lucrative Chinese market by casting local star Zhang Jingchu in a leading role opposite Tom Cruise, reports Variety. Zhang, who has starred in Hollywood production Rush Hour 3 but is not well known in the west, will take an undisclosed role which is said…

Read More

Environmental Regulation: Can China Afford Caution?

0 Comment

[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…

Read More

Et Tu Western Banks?

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Wise Words on Apple Pay

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Obsolete Topic: Which Language Will Dominate the 21st Century?

0 Comment

Despite the technological advances attributable to China and Russia, English is still the de facto language of science and business. As far back as 2008, Research Trends magazine noted that English is the first language of about 400 million people in 53 countries, and the second language of as many as 1.4 billion more. English,…

Read More

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

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Beijing Whiteout – View From My Window This Morning

0 Comment

Interesting morning. My wife woke me up an hour early and pointed out the window, showing me that the world had gone away completely in a Stephen King-ish “atmospheric event.” As you can see in the pic, we couldn’t even see the ground (we live on the 17th floor). But no worries. By the time…

Read More

Asian Kids Are Great Students, But Then What?

0 Comment

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.…

Read More

Stop Saying It’s a 7-day Holiday!

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Challenging Antitrust Cases in China Courts?

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Anti-Vaxxers, Please Stay Out of China

0 Comment

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…

Read More

Comparative Red Tape: China vs. U.S.

0 Comment

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…

Read More

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

0 Comment

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…

Read More