January 16, 2006
Authoritative web sources for Chinese law
A few days ago I posted an alert about an inaccurate version of the Securities Law that was available on the web. This prompted a very helpful email from Simon Zhang that I thought was too good to be buried in a comment to the above posting (that nobody would see). With his permission (and with thanks), I post here a slightly edited version of his email.
When I post URLs for Chinese laws (in the strict sense, i.e., those promulgated by NPC and NPCSC), I use the NPC's official website: http://www.npc.gov.cn/zgrdw/wxzl/index.jsp. All laws and other documents issued by the NPC and the NPCSC are accessible from that webpage. The "法律文件" page contains a "folder tree" by category. If it's difficult to determine under which specific sub-category a piece of law is put, you can also use 按年度检索.
There is indeed one advantage of this NPC website: for many laws, at the bottom of the text page, you can find links to other legislative history materials which were published in the NPCSC Gazette.
In addition, there is also a page where you can see selectively published NPCSC members' comments on law drafting sessions. Such material is not included in the NPCSC Gazette.
For the NPC home page, click here.
September 11, 2005
LexisNexis launches Chinese law database
This is not exactly news, since it was announced last January, but I only recently learned that LexisNexis (hereinafter "Lexis") has launched a Chinese law service called LexisNexis China Online (http://research.lexisnexis.com.cn). According to the press release announcing the launch, much of the content will come from Lexis's acquisition of PRCinvestment.com, a tax and financial information provider, and from licensing agreements with the State Information Center (the party behind the chinalaw.net website) and Beijing University's chinalawinfo.com (for its English-language content on lawinfochina.com).
Although the "launch" was announced last January, that does not seem to mean the service was actually available; a further press release in July announced that the service had just been "unveiled".
If anyone has actually used this service, please let us know what you think. This post is open for comments.
July 28, 2005
Website on information technology and e-commerce law in China
Jörg Hladjk has asked me to post the following announcement:
There is a new website (www.china-law.org) that provides comprehensive links to Chinese law on information technology and e-commerce in China. The information on the website and all its links are in English. It has six different categories.
In addition to English versions of the relevant legislation in this area, it has links to articles on several topics such as like internet control and e-commerce. It also has links to the CNNIC's latest statistical reports on Internet development in China.
The website is maintained by Jörg Hladjk, a German PhD student at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt specialising in IT and e-commerce law.
July 14, 2005
Research guides to Chinese law
I recently had occasion to make a list of research guides for Chinese law that are available on the web. This list is not a list of research resources -- that's what the research guides do. This is a meta-list of the research guides. But since there are now several, it's a good place to start (or to tell your RA to start). The list is posted here. I'll be putting it up on the left sidebar to this blog when I have the time to format it properly.
June 15, 2005
New book: Wei Luo, Chinese Law and Legal Research
The indefatigable Wei Luo of the Washington University School of Law Library has just published a new book, Chinese Law and Legal Research. Wei writes:
Although Chinese law as a general topic has been explored quite extensively, I have to devote 1/3 of my book to discuss Chinese government structure, legal system, and sources of law to help would-be researchers get oriented in how to approach Chinese legal research and what information to be expected. Several flow charts were created to illustrate Chinese legal system. I also discuss Chinese legal publishing industries and how the Chinese government information is disseminated.
Here's the bibliographical information on the book:
New York: W. S. Hein, 2005, 380 pages, bibliographies, index, and illustrations, $85. Ordering information can be found at http://www.wshein.com/; orders can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-828-7571.
June 11, 2005
Chinese Court Websites
A very handy list of Chinese court websites and other court-related on-line resources can be found at the China Court Network's website here. It includes links to an English-language court website and the websites of several provincial, intermediate-level, and basic-level courts.
June 03, 2005
Newsletters (2): China Law Digest
Another newsletter worth knowing about is the monthly China Law Digest. According to its website, it is "published by the Constitutional Democracy Forum and edited each month by Xiaoping Chen and translated by a group of research assistants at the Harvard Law School."
June 02, 2005
Newsletters (1): CECC
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has issued the first installment of a newsletter entitled "China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update". This is the successor to "China Rule of Law Developments", an informal email newsletter that is now being retired. The CECC has assembled a very capable staff to monitor legal developments in China, and assuming the new version is more or less like the old, I recommend it as a high-quality publication that reports on interesting developments in the Chinese law scene (within the scope of its topic) without any obvious ideological axe to grind.
I am excerpting below an email I received on this subject:
The CECC newsletter contains an expanded selection of news summaries and analysis from the CECC Web site, as well as information on CECC activities, links to roundtable and hearing transcripts, statements from CECC members, and other materials. . . .
For those interested primarily in legal developments, note that there is a link near the top of the news updates section of the newsletter that will sort the human rights and rule of law stories (of course, there is considerable overlap). Please also note that the sorting feature, as well as some links in the news summaries to material hosted on the CECC Web site, may not function properly for users in China, as the CECC Web site is currently being blocked there.
. . . To sign up for the email list, visit the CECC Web site at www.cecc.gov and click on "Subscribe/Unsubscribe to Commission Email List" and enter your email address.
June 01, 2005
China Committee, ABA Section on International Law
Readers may wish to check out the recently-updated website of the China Committee of the ABA Section on International Law.
There are a number of China-related programs at the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago (Aug. 5 to Aug. 9). You can find them on the agenda; a description is appended below.
Real Estate Investment in China: Risks and Opportunities
In light of overheated economy in P.R. China, it is necessary to address the issue of real estate investment. Central government has ordered provincial leaders in China to adopt measures to reduce the price of residential property price. Is this a signal of risks to invest in real estate market in China? The major cities in China, such as Shanghai, Beijing are embracing many opportunities. There are many factors to push the real estate price up. These factors include but are not limited to an increase in city population, Olympic Games, World Exhibition, booming economy, etc. This program will address current transactional, structuring and compliance issues regarding real estate investing, lending, leasing and transfer activities in the People's Republic of China and relevant rules, including emphasis on tax, regulatory and due diligence issues presented by investments in PRC real property by non-PRC persons.
CLE: Rising Affluence and Post-WTO Reforms: Converging Trends Boost Franchising in China
In November of 2004, a two-day conference and exhibition on franchising in China was held in three major cities: Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Over 20,000 visitors attended. Seven categories of franchising businesses were represented, with the preferred industries for investment being food & beverage (34%) and laundry services (30%). More than 50% of the vi! sitors said they wanted to invest in a unit franchise store. Of those, 72% planed to invest US$60,000 or more in a franchise. At the same time that business trends were attracting increasing interest in the possibility of investing through franchising, China adopted key legal reforms aimed at integrating what had been a hodge-podge of various regimes relating to franchising activities. Some of the reforms are controversial, some predictable. This program intends to describe the new regulatory environment and its implications, as well as to glean first-hand experiences from companies engaged in franchising as a means to expand their business in China.
Committee Program: Managing the Crossfire of Multi-Dimensional Governmental Involvement in Foreign Investments in China
Foreign investment in China is subject to a multi-dimensional approval system . With the assortment of authorities involved, bureaucratic oversight and jurisdictional disputes are pervasive.
Establishment of a new company that involves investments above a certain “floor” is subject to the examination and approval of the central government. If the total investment were under this “floor”, the approval of the government at the provincial or municipal level would be sufficient. However, at all levels, a single project will usually involve the approval of more than one governmental agency. To begin a foreign investment project, the National Development and Reform Commission or its local counterparts are involved; with regard to the joint venture contract and articles of association of a ”Foreign Investor Enterprise”, the Ministry of Commerce or its local counterparts must approve. For foreign exchange issues, the approval of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange or its local counterpart is required. For land use, approval by the State Land Administration Bureau or its local counterpart is necessary. If a Chinese partner ! that will contribute its tangible assets into a joint venture is a State-owned enterprise, then the State-Owned Assets Administrative Commission will review the appraisal of those assets. The State Administration of Taxation along with the State Council will determine the tax treatment of the transaction. For approval of the scope of the business, parties must go to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
To complicate matters, local governments that want to attract foreign investment, may indicate that they can fully approve a project; when they cannot .
This program will address how to manage in the cross fire of all these regulatory agencies, from four perspectives:
- New regime for foreign investment approval by the NDRC and MOFCOM;
- Special issues involved when acquiring Chinese State-owned enterprises;
- Merger control rules for foreign investment;
- Other regulatory processes in asset and equity acquisitions.