Stop Saying It’s a 7-day Holiday!

September 30, 2014

networkYou’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 of vacation.

Look, I’m no workaholic, and I do not compete with my fellow workers on who can go the longest without sleep or fewest days off in a year, or who has had the most heart attacks or divorces. If you do that sort of thing, screw you, it’s unhealthy — you’re gonna die young and alone, and the rest of us will be laughing at you during your funeral. How’s that for judgmental?

Anyway, we are coming up on China’s National Day holiday, one of two “Golden Week” celebrations. But is it really a week-long holiday? It certainly seems that way if you read anything about it in the news, and even the HR Department where I work, Yahweh bless ‘em, will no doubt put out an email to the whole of Asia telling everyone that China staff will be enjoying a 7-day holiday.

But it’s all a lie. The truth is that the 7-day holiday is a hoax. First, two of the days fall on the weekend, days we would have got off work anyway. So already we’re down to a 5-day holiday. But wait a minute, it gets better. Second, we have two “make-up” days.

This is like when you were in school and the teacher had to skip a lecture because she had to travel to Scranton at the last minute because her sister was having an emergency crotch operation. No class that day, but it was rescheduled, ’cause that lecture on gender identity conflicts in post-Lovecraftian American horror was key to the entire semester. Damn, I miss school.

Right, where was I? Oh yeah, make-up days. For the National Day holiday, we have two: September 28 (a Sunday), and October 11 (a Saturday), two days that should be restful, weekend days off work, but are now rather boring make-up sessions. So that 5-day holiday is now three.

Three days off. That’s what this really is. Now, I’m not complaining or anything – I appreciate the time off. I’m just sick and tired of my wiseass colleagues in other countries saying “I’m so jealous. I wish I had so much time off.” This coming from folks who routinely take 4-6 weeks off every summer, basking in their European/Europeanish mandatory time off. Not fair, not fair at all.

Enjoy the holiday, everyone.

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 that they will not get a fair hearing.

via Aggrieved companies ‘should go to court’ – China Daily

Sounds reasonable. If you have a strong case, why not go to court?

Yes, well, a couple of things. First, would there be any hope of success challenging a decision of a Chinese government regulator? Probably not, although the general idea is not as crazy as it might sound. Administrative decisions are appealed all the time these days, including many I’ve seen personally from the trademark and patent office. While those cases are not exactly comparable to the more politically-sensitive decisions made under the Anti-monopoly Law, at least there is a general precedent.

Second, what would be the scope of the challenge? This is where I part company with the suggestion. These “aggrieved” companies are not, for the most part, complaining about the specifics. From what I’ve read about quite a few regulatory decisions, the bitching and whining has focused more on selective enforcement than on the merits of particular cases.

Therefore, even if there was a chance of winning in court, what would they be challenging? A claim that the regulators may have gotten the analysis right but was unfair in its selection of targets is not, I would suppose, a winning litigation strategy.

Anti-Vaxxers, Please Stay Out of China

September 28, 2014

youre-not-helpingChina 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 World.

I will no doubt get some comments on this post reminding me to stop wasting my time on stupid crap from fringe blogs. Fair enough. Then again, the motivation for 97% of all blog posts is the classic “Someone made an incorrect statement or said something that pissed me off, and I wanted to respond or debunk.” This is one of those occasions.

The blog in question is “Wake Up World,” and while I’m not a regular reader, just the title alone (and the post in question) suggests to me that this is either wacky, nutjob conspiracy stuff or surprising evidence that folks with anencephaly can write blogs. Continue reading