China CopyrightsOn Friday June 23, in collaboration with the National Copyright Administration of China, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will be putting on a one-day conference on legal protections for sports broadcasts. This event will take place at the Novotel Beijing Peace Hotel and run from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. that day.

There is no charge to attend.

The leader of our China entertainment group, Mathew Alderson, will be speaking at this event. This event will explore the different ways countries protect the creative content of live events, with a particular focus on broadcasts of sporting events. As China continues to develop amendments to its Copyright Law, now is an opportune time for an in-depth discussion in this area.

The program will bring together US, Chinese, and European government officials, academic leaders, and industry representatives to discuss the importance of providing legal protection for sports broadcast programs, including the role of copyright protection, how sports broadcasts are currently protected in China, the United States, and the European Union, and international perspectives on the subject. Go here for more information on the event and here for more information on how to register or can just contact Ms. LIU Jia and provide her with the following registration information:

1. Your full name
2. Your organization
3. Your full position / title
4. Your email address

Hope to see you there.

China Entertainment LawThe leader of our China entertainment group, Mathew Alderson, will be speaking on a panel at Peking University School of Law on June 21st. The panel is entitled “Looking Beyond: Opportunities and Challenges.” It will be part of the 2nd Annual China-US Entertainment Law Conference, presented by Peking University School of Law, the US Patent and Trademark Office, Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and the Beijing Film Academy. Mathew’s panel will be one of four dealing with current issues in China film, TV, gaming and music. These issues include fair use of live game streaming, copyright protection of live broadcasts, music licensing issues, protection of celebrity names, risk management, and talent agency contract dispute resolution.

The titles of the other three panels are:

  • Year in Review — Recent Developments in the China-US Entertainment Industry
  • IP Issues in the China-US Film, TV, Music and Gaming Industries
  • Other Issues in the Film, TV, Music and Gaming Industries

This is a major event for which the organizers have assembled a great cast of Chinese and foreign experts. For further details see this flyer: US China Entertainment Law Conference.

Go to this link to register.

We hope to see you there.

China complianceThe below post was written by Richard Bistrong, who recently returned from a long China trip where he met with all sorts of companies to assist them in their compliance efforts. Richard is CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC  and a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog (a truly great blog, BTW). In 2010 he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate the FCPA and served fourteen-and-a-half months at a U.S. federal prison camp. He now consults, writes and speaks about compliance issues. He was named to Compliance Week’s list of Top Minds in 2017 and was one of Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics in 2015. 

 

In today’s compliance environment, though we see a robust debate on what the new US administration might mean for anti-bribery compliance, the new ISO standard, and the recent DOJ “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” memo, those weren’t on anyone’s “what keeps me up at night” moments during my recent visits to  China. Yes, those are all meaningful topics for the field of practitioners, but from conversations at graceful Buddhist restaurants (with thanks to my hosts for indulging my vegan preferences) to live engagements and panels, much of the focus was on the “what happens when local customs conflict with the rules” dilemma. And that’s not to say that there’s an inherent conflict in China between ethical business practices and commercial success, but in an emerging market environment, with a young, dynamic and engaged workforce, the challenge is daunting, and not to be ignored.

The Importance of Defining Success. Compliance programs in China, like anywhere else, address the importance of lawful and ethical conduct, but during my visits, I saw a profound focus around “how to execute on both values and objectives,” in an environment where people are extremely focused on success, and the rewards of success. This desire to succeed manifests itself in a way that’s much different in an emerging economy than in a developed one. Employment with western based brands are coveted jobs, and commercial teams are anxious to demonstrate their ability to execute on financial objectives – in other words, to succeed. But that goal driven model often widens what’s a cultural and operational disconnect between the support functions at HQ and those forward based teams which are deployed in less supervised locales. And you can’t bridge those gaps with compliance paperwork and contracts.

Servant Leadership. One executive’s initiative was to call on mid-level leadership to be “servant leaders.” That really captured my attention, as he empowered his executive teams to push power down into the organization instead of up. As defined in The Center for Servant Leadership, a “servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.” Though traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. “The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.” Yet another reminder as to why it’s so exciting to be back in the field — these are the business practices that one can only learn via immersion, and you don’t get that from the home office.

As to some more of the challenges, yes, anti-corruption was a big part of it, but not the only part. In China, corruption can intersect a work-force in both directions, as bribe payers as well as receivers. Commercial personnel who are responsible for dealer, intermediary and distributor networks might be subjected to requests for bribes, passed through those third parties to government officials — a set-up that’s familiar. But in China, employees are also exposed to the receiving side of corruption, as dealers might want to curry favor for discounts, product allocations or marketing allowances through corrupt offers.

In an environment based on relationships and hierarchy, that’s a complexity that might be hard to appreciate unless you are in front of it. It’s much more than anti-corruption compliance; it’s about ethical conduct in a broader sense, on hours and off. And those offers don’t come, or they don’t start, with brown bags of cash or numbered off-shore accounts. A dealer offering his beach flat for a holiday weekend to an employee might seem innocent enough, until a situation arises where that dealer might need a special allowance or discount. It’s a peril that often hides under the radar of friendship and association.  It’s part of what’s called the “dangerous charm” of third parties. After all, who wants to say no to a friend?

That’s just part of how I engaged in a discussion where there was an appreciation and focus on how to develop a commercial workforce free of conflict of interest, and how to inspire commercial leaders to embrace their roles as brand ambassadors. And those efforts were backed up, including by my own experience, with a “you can’t hide bad conduct behind your third parties,” and “what you don’t know can hurt all of us.” We spent a lot of time sharing with the workforce how they have an obligation to know the values and integrity of the people they do business with, and not to switch their ethical radar “off” after the third-party vetting process. In China, with state investment and divestment in industry and commercial entities, risk can quickly change over the life of a relationship.

In sum, those are just a few of the elements to which I was honored to engage. Having spent the better part of ten years living and working overseas 250 days a year, this was my first visit to mainland China. It left me wanting more, to return, and to read more about China’s role in today’s global economy along with its internal struggles as to how that gets implemented. China is experiencing what I heard called the “new normal,” where the period of exponential growth is slowing down, creating yet new challenges for commercial teams to succeed in a tightening marketplace. It’s a fascinating place, I found it personally contagious, and felt privileged to play some role in how to engage and inspire China’s commercial and compliance leaders to work together as each other’s ambassadors.

China Mexico economicsIn part one of this series, I discussed former Mexican Ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo’s opinion piece on what he saw wrong with the China-Mexico economic relationship. In this, the conclusion, I will present Guajardo’s proposed solution and offer my own advice on how Mexico should deal with China.

Ambassador Guajardo’s analysis of the China-Mexico economic relationship is misguided, but his proposed solution is even worse. Explaining that Mexico should focus on “defending access to the markets we have got, endeavoring to open new ones and fostering the domestic market,” he then calls for “a campaign in the U.S. promoting the benefits of free trade” under the argument that “China is the problem and Mexico is the solution.” Guajardo does not specify the details of such a campaign, other than that it should be carried out “with dollars and cents” by hiring lobbyists in America who will be “clarifying the lies” in order to restore Mexico’s image in the US.

In other words: Mexico should now lecture the U.S. on the benefits of NAFTA and explain why it should be kept in place. Does anyone think this is a good idea? At this point in history, and for a variety of reasons, the U.S. is deeply conflicted about the benefits of globalism. Mexico’s response should not be to double down on free trade, but to craft a strategy that protects Mexico’s interests in the U.S. regardless of what happens with NAFTA. This doesn’t mean rejecting all U.S. deals; it means using the current economic situation as a prod to (1) develop Mexican industries and (2) expand Mexico’s presence in other markets, markets that have been underdeveloped for far too long because NAFTA has made it so easy for Mexican companies to rely on the U.S. market.

Without any solid facts or arguments, Ambassador Guajardo’s article borders on anti-China sentiment and does not offer any constructive advice on how to deal with a country that, whether we like it or not, is here to stay and bound to become one of our major trading partners and investors alongside the U.S.

Accordingly, I would like to offer the following as a corrective to Ambassador Guajardo’s piece:

  • If Mexico is to attract Chinese investment, it must insert Chinese companies into its value chains in a way that transfers technology and know-how and enables local growth. As an initial step, Mexico should stop seeing China as either a factory of cheap goods, a faceless market for products, or a source of deep pockets. The latter point is particularly important now that Beijing is tightening its capitol controls.
  • To compete successfully in China, Mexican companies must internationalize. This means becoming more sophisticated in all respects, and developing the capacity to comply with China’s laws and regulations and its written and unwritten standards. I keep hearing calls for Mexican companies to diversify in light of the potential closure of the U.S. market, but no one seems to be asking whether Mexican companies even have this capability. In my experience, Mexican companies are too used to having an essentially captive market in the U.S. that will buy products regardless of quantity or quality. And they have become accustomed to receiving foreign investment that is specifically and exclusively geared toward making products solely for export – which means these investments aren’t helping to enhance local industries. In this regard, treaty promotion is a necessary part of designing sensible business strategies and the Mexican government needs to do more to raise awareness.
  • If Mexico wants to compete with China in the long run, it should invest in innovation to create value-added products, and not just invest in making processes more efficient and cutting costs. According to a recent article in a major Mexican newspaper, “[d]ue to uncertainty over … Donald Trump’s economic policy, 80 percent of companies in Mexico prefer to compete by reducing costs and streamlining their processes, rather than by innovating.” This means Mexican companies usually engage in downward competition (margin and cost-cutting to attain permanence), instead of upward competition (investing in long-term innovation conducive to growth). As Peter Thiel would say, Mexican companies are failing to “go from zero to one” even in the face of increased American protectionism. As the article pointed out: “There is no lack of money in Mexico; it is not a problem of [lack of] resources, but of ideas.”

I couldn’t agree more. It is for the sake of these new ideas that I also say Mexican business groups should partner with their American counterparts and push our respective governments for a joint response to our mutual China issues. Of course, this would involve knowing how to deal with each other first. Our finding common cause with U.S. companies would provide more far-reaching benefits than attempting to enter new markets in a rush, as a hastily concocted strategy to whatever Trump comes up with next.

Ironically, the China threat (whether real or perceived) might ultimately lead to even greater North American integration. Given the current state of the world, you don’t need to be a geopolitical expert to conclude it better for allies to stick together.

The above is a guest post by Adrián Cisneros Aguilar. Adrián is the founder and CEO of Chevaya (驰亚), an Asia-Pacific internationalisation services company. Adrián has a Doctor of Laws from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and an LL.M. in International and Chinese Law from Wuhan University.

 

En el post anterior, hablé acerca del artículo de opinión escrito por Jorge Guajardo, ex-Embajador de México en China, en el cual señalaba lo que veía mal en la relación ecónomica entre México y China. En este post, concluyo presentando la solución propuesta por el ex-Embajador y ofreciendo mis propias sugerencias acerca de cómo debería México tratar con China.

El análisis de la relación económica bilateral que realiza el ex-Embajador Guajardo está equivocado, pero peor está la solución que propone. Tras explicar que México debería enfocarse en “defender el acceso a los mercados que tenemos, buscar abrir nuevos e impulsar el mercado interno,” llama a “una campaña en Estados Unidos promoviendo las bondades del libre comercio”, que use el argumento de que “…en materia de comercio internacional, China es el problema y México es la solución.” Ahora, Guajardo no especifica el contenido de dicha campaña, fuera de mencionar que ésta debería llevarse a cabo “con pesos y centavos,” contratando despachos de cabilderos y publirrelacionistas que “aclaren las mentiras” para así recuperar la imagen de México en EE.UU.

En otras palabras, para el ex-Embajador, México ahora debería sermonear a EE.UU. sobre los beneficios del TLCAN y explicarle por qué debería permanecer en vigor. ¿Alguien creerá en verdad que ésta es una buena idea? En este momento en la historia, y por razones muy diversas, en EE.UU. se hallan sumamente confundidos acerca de las ventajas de la globalización. La respuesta de México no debería ser, por tanto, insistir en el libre comercio, sino crear una estrategia que proteja sus intereses en EE.UU. independientemente de lo que ocurra con el TLCAN. Y esto no significa rechazar todo negocio con EE.UU., sino utilizar la situación económica actual como un trampolín para (1) desarrollar la industria mexicana en general y (2) expandir la presencia de México hacia otros mercados, mismos que por mucho tiempo se han dejado de lado porque el TLCAN ha hecho muy fácil para las empresas mexicanas depender del mercado estadounidense.

Sin hechos o argumentos sólidos, el artículo de Jorge Guajardo raya en un discurso anti-China y no ofrece ninguna sugerencia constructiva para tratar con un país que, nos guste o no, ha llegado para quedarse y está destinado a ser el principal socio comercial e inversionista de México, junto con EE.UU.

Así pues, me gustaría presentar aquí las siguientes sugerencias, como una rectificación a la opinión del ex-Embajador Guajardo en el artículo que nos ocupa:

  • Si México quiere atraer inversión china, debe insertar a las empresas de ese país en sus cadenas de valor, de forma tal que transfieran tecnología y know-how y posibiliten el crecimiento económico endógeno. Como un primer paso, México debería dejar de ver a China como una fábrica de productos baratos, como un mercado más que recibirá sus productos, o bien, como una fuente de dinero a raudales. Este último punto es particularmente importante ahora que Pekín está endureciendo sus controles sobre la salida de capitales.
  • Para competir en China con éxito, las empresas mexicanas deben internacionalizarse. Esto significa que deben volverse más sofisticadas en todos los aspectos, y desarrollar su capacidad para cumplir, tanto con la legislación china, como con sus estándares escritos y no escritos. Sigo escuchando exhortos a las empresas mexicanas para diversificarse, de cara a un potencial cierre del mercado de EE.UU. Nadie parece preguntarse, sin embargo, si las empresas mexicanas son siquiera capaces de efectuar tal diversificación. En mi experiencia, las empresas mexicanas están demasiado acostumbradas a tener en los Estados Unidos un mercado esencialmente cautivo, que compra sus productos sin importar su cantidad o calidad. Se han acostumbrado, también, a recibir inversión extranjera única y exclusivamente destinada a fabricar productos para exportación-lo que significa que dichas inversiones no ayudan a potenciar las industrias locales. En este sentido, la promoción de tratados internacionales es un elemento necesario para desarrollar estrategias de negocios sensatas y el gobierno mexicano debe hacer más para crear conciencia acerca de sus beneficios.
  • Si México quiere competir con China a largo plazo, debe invertir en investigación y desarrollo para crear productos con valor agregado, en lugar de invertir solamente en optimizar sus procesos y reducir costos. De acuerdo con un artículo publicado recientemente en un periódico de circulación nacional, “[d]ebido a la incertidumbre por la política económica [de]…Donald Trump, el 80 por ciento de las empresas en México prefiere competir reduciendo costos y haciendo más eficientes sus procesos, en vez de innovar.” Esto quiere decir que las empresas mexicanas recurren normalmente a una competencia hacia abajo (recortar márgenes y costos para conseguir permanencia), en lugar de recurrir a una competencia hacia arriba (invertir en innovación y desarrollo a largo plazo, con miras a lograr crecimiento). Como diría Peter Thiel, las empresas mexicanas no están “yendo de cero a uno”, ni siquiera frente a un creciente proteccionismo estadounidense. Como se señalaba en el artículo: “[n]o está faltando dinero en México, no es un problema de recursos, sino de ideas, es lo que está haciendo falta en estos momentos.”

No podría estar más de acuerdo con este último punto. Es por el bien de estas nuevas ideas que también digo que los grupos empresariales mexicanos deberíamos hacer equipo con nuestros homólogos estadounidenses y presionar a nuestros respectivos gobiernos para que den respuesta conjunta a las cuestiones con China que nos afecten mutuamente. Por supuesto, esto implicaría saber primero cómo tratar los unos con los otros. El que hagamos causa común con las empresas de EE.UU. derivaría en beneficios de una trascendencia mayor que los que nos podría traer el intentar entrar a nuevos mercados a la carrera, como producto de una estrategia “sacada de la manga” para lidiar con lo que sea que Trump tenga en reserva para México.

Irónicamente, la amenaza china (real o percibida), podría ser la que lleve a una mayor integración de América del Norte. Dada la situación mundial actual, no necesita uno ser experto en geopolítica para concluir que es mejor, para países aliados, mantenerse unidos.

Esta entrada es una participación invitada de Adrián Cisneros Aguilar, quien es fundador y Director General de Chevaya (驰亚), una empresa de servicios de internacionalización para Asia-Pacífico. Adrián es Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad Jiao Tong de Shanghái y Maestro en Derecho Internacional y Chino por la Universidad de Wuhan.

Mexico exports to China

The following is a guest post by Adrián Cisneros Aguilar.* A Spanish language translation is directly below the English version.

Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s former Ambassador to China, recently published an opinion piece titled “Dejemos a China por la Paz” [“Let’s Leave China for Good”], which was quickly and enthusiastically retweeted by Jorge Castañeda, former Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs and one of the leading shapers of Mexican foreign policy.

When I read the article, I was shocked by Guajardo’s profound lack of understanding about the Mexico-China bilateral relationship, and his overall negativity. To be sure, China’s rise has created problems for Mexico. But it has also created opportunities, and we must be clear-eyed about both.

Guajardo, at the end of his piece, asked Mexicans to “defend our interests, clarify the lies [and] promote the truth.” This response is my effort to do exactly that.

1. Guajardo claims it is useless to partner with China because “China protects its markets [by] preventing entry of Mexican products [and] even if China were to open its markets, there is little market for what Mexico exports.” This is a gross exaggeration. The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture has been working to expand Mexico’s agricultural exports to a number of countries and as a result of negotiations last year Mexico is now exporting pork and dairy products to China.

The larger problem is that many Mexican companies lack the size or sophistication to meet Chinese demand, both in terms of quality and quantity. Mexican exports to the U.S. have long faced similar problems, but it has been far easier for them to find a U.S. buyer who will accept smaller quantities and/or varying quality.

Indeed, the inability to meet foreign markets’ demand is so prevalent that one of my company’s main services is to gather several companies (usually SMEs) in the same industry, train them as a group, and then enable them to sell their products, as a group, in Asia (usually China). This collective approach enables these companies to enter large markets with the confidence they can meet market demand while minimizing their exposure. Our success with this approach further underlines the short-sightedness of Guajardo’s comment. It’s also worth noting that this approach is in line with the Mexican Ministry of Economy’s policy to develop Export Networks [Redes de Exportación or Redex].

2. Guajardo argues that Mexico and China have no future in cooperation because they are in fact competitors since both countries are export-oriented manufacturing economies that primarily sell to the U.S. and to Europe. For years, scholars and businesspeople from Mexico and China have offered opinions and action plans to alleviate imbalances in the Sino-Mexican economic relationship. Full disclosure: this issue is near and dear to my heart as it was the subject of my doctoral dissertation in China. There are in fact many ways in which China and Mexico in fact economically complement each other, including the following:

  • China’s demand for Mexico’s resources and raw materials;
  • the appreciation of the RMB, which has increased labor costs in China, making it more attractive for foreign manufacturers to relocate their facilities to Mexico to serve the North American market (“nearsourcing”);
  • the recent Mexican energy and telecommunications reforms, which widely opened these sectors to foreign investment;
  • the opportunity to decrease the Mexico-China trade deficit by having Chinese companies manufacture in Mexico via value-added investments, thereby creating jobs and transferring technology and know-how; and
  • China and Mexico’s common membership in economic blocs that could easily allow the creation of regional value chains and enactment of supportive policies.

3. Guajardo wrongly contends that lack of demand for Mexican products in China is the reason for Mexico’s enormous trade deficit with China. First of all, Chinese demand for Mexican products is slowly increasing. But the reason for the relatively low demand by China for Mexican products is not so simple as that Chinese people don’t want or need Mexican products. I have already discussed the inability of Mexican companies to meet Chinese demand. Another reason is that China has many more barriers to market than the U.S., from geography to language to regulations. But perhaps the biggest problem is Mexican companies too often believe China wants only cheap products and then fail to realize that to sell effectively to China they need to understand and cater to Chinese buyers. More than once I have heard Mexican companies say their marketing plan is to label their product as being Mexican, thereby capitalizing on China’s desire for foreign, exotic fare. This limited vision is self-defeating, because it fails to take the Chinese market seriously. China’s consumers are becoming more sophisticated and more demanding of original, high quality products. To succeed in China, Mexican companies need to meet the real life needs of the China market.

Yes, there is resentment in Mexico toward China because of the flood of Chinese imports that have displaced local manufacturing (especially in the textile, footwear, and toy industries). But as Guajardo’s piece suggests, this feeling is not so much anti-China as it is anti-globalism. And it must be acknowledged that at least some Mexican companies brought this on themselves by shifting manufacturing and/or sourcing to China in an effort to maximize short term profits.

In my second and concluding part of this series, I will discuss Guajardo’s proposed solution – which is even more misguided than his analysis – and offer my own advice on how Mexico and its companies can should profitably deal with China.

*Adrián Cisneros Aguilar is the founder/CEO of Chevaya (驰亚), an Asia-Pacific internationalisation services company. Adrián has a Doctor of Laws from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and an LL.M. in International and Chinese Law from Wuhan University.

 

Jorge Guajardo, ex-Embajador de México en China, publicó recientemente un artículo de opinión intitulado “Dejemos a China por la Paz”, el cual fue rápida y entusiásticamente retuiteado por Jorge Castañeda, ex-Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores y uno de los principales diseñadores de la política exterior mexicana.

Cuando leí el artículo, quedé impactado por la profunda falta de comprensión de la relación de México con China exhibida por Guajardo, así como por el tono negativo de sus opiniones en general. Cierto, el ascenso de China ha ocasionado problemas a México. Pero, también ha traído oportunidades, y debemos ser bien conscientes de ambos.

Al final de su artículo, Guajardo nos pide a los mexicanos que “[d]efendamos nuestros intereses, aclaremos las mentiras, promovamos la verdad.” Pues bien, esta respuesta es el esfuerzo de un servidor para hacer precisamente eso.

1.  Guajardo contende que es inútil buscar asociarse con China porque los chinos “…protegen sus mercados impidiendo la libre entrada de productos mexicanos [y] aún si lo abrieran, hay poco mercado para lo que nosotros exportamos.” Ésta es una grave exageración. La Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería. Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA) desde el año pasado ha trabajado bastante para aumentar las exportaciones de productos agroalimentarios mexicanos a nuevos países y, como resultado de estas labores, México ya exporta derivados de carne de cerdo y lácteos a China.

Pero, el problema de fondo aquí es que muchas empresas mexicanas carecen de la envergadura o la sofisticación necesarias para satisfacer la demanda de China, tanto en términos de calidad, como de cantidad. Por mucho tiempo, las exportaciones mexicanas a EE.UU. se han enfrentado con problemas parecidos, pero ha sido mucho más fácil para ellas hallar a un comprador estadounidense que acepte cantidades menores de producto y/o una calidad variable.

En efecto, la inhabilidad de las empresas mexicanas de satisfacer la demanda y los estándares requeridos por los mercados internacionales es tan común que uno de los principales servicios ofrecidos por mi empresa es agrupar varias empresas (normalmente, PyMEs) que pertenezcan a la misma industria, capacitarlas/sofisticarlas y entonces facilitarles vender sus productos en grupo en Asia (en China, por lo general). Este método colectivo les permite a estas empresas incursionar en grandes mercados con la confianza de que pueden satisfacer la demanda del mismo, mientras minimizan sus riesgos. El éxito que hemos tenido con este método reafirma la poca visión del argumento del ex-Embajador. Y cabe señalar que nuestro método es acorde con la política de la Secretaría de Economía de desarrollar Redes de Exportación (Redex).

2.  Guajardo argumenta que “[e]n China no hay nada para México”, pues de hecho, son competidores que “…[han] encauzado [sus] economías hacia la exportación de manufactura…ambos [compitiendo] por los mercados más grandes, Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea.” Por años, académicos y empresarios de México y China han emitido opiniones y planes de acción para compensar los desequilibrios en la relación económica bilateral. Y para que lo sepan, esta cuestión me es especialmente importante, siendo incluso uno de los temas que toqué en mi tesis doctoral en China. Existen de hecho muchas maneras en las cuales China y México se complementan económicamente, entre ellas, las siguientes:

  • La demanda china de los recursos y materias primas de México;
  • La apreciación del yuan chino, la cual ha incrementado los costos de la mano de obra y de personal en ese país, volviendo más atractivo para los fabricantes extranjeros reubicar sus instalaciones en México para atender al mercado norteamericano (“nearsourcing”);
  • Las recientes reformas energética y de telecomunicaciones, las cuales han abierto consierablemente estos sectores a la inversión extranjera;
  • La oportunidad de disminuir el déficit comercial con China al invitar a sus empresas a fabricar en México a través de inversiones de valor agregado, creando así empleos y transfiriendo tecnología y know-how; y
  • La participación, tanto de México como de China, en los mismos bloques económicos y organismos internacionales, lo cual fácilmente permitiría la creación de cadenas regionales de valor y la promulgación de políticas de apoyo.

3.  El ex-Embajador Guajardo sostiene erróneamente que “México tiene un déficit comercial enorme con China. En pocas palabras, los chinos no compran lo que nosotros vendemos.” Además de que la demanda china de productos mexicanos está aumentando lentamente, la razón de la relativamente baja demanda de productos mexicanos en China no es tan simple como decir que los chinos no quieren o necesitan nuestros productos. Ya he mencionado la inhabilidad de las empresas mexicanas para satisfacer la demanda china. Otra razón es que el mercado chino tiene muchas más barreras que el estadounidense, de la lejanía al idioma a la legislación. No obstante, el mayor problema radica en que las empresas mexicanas muy frecuentemente creen que China desea sólo productos baratos, sin darse cuenta que para vender en China de forma efectiva deben comprender y atender a los consumidores chinos. Más de una vez he escuchado a empresarios mexicanos decir que su plan de mercadeo consistirá en etiquetar su producto como “netamente mexicano”, capitalizando así el deseo de los chinos por comida extranjera, exótica. Esta limitada visión de las cosas los pone en desventaja de antemano, ya que no toma al mercado chino con la seriedad debida. Los consumidores chinos se están volviendo más sofisticados y exigen cada vez más productos originales y de alta calidad. Así, para tener éxito en China, las empresas mexicanas necesitan escuchar las necesidades cotidianas reales del mercado de ese país.

Sí, existe un resentimiento en México hacia China debido a la proliferación de importaciones chinas que han desplazado a la industria nacional (especialmente a la textil, de calzado y la juguetera). Pero, como señala el mismo artículo de Guajardo, este sentimiento no es tanto en contra de China como en contra de la globalización en general. Y debe reconocerse que, al menos en algunos casos, han sido las mismas empresas mexicanas las que han causado dicha proliferación al reubicar la fabricación y/o la proveeduría de sus productos a China, en un intento de maximizar sus utilidades en un corto plazo.

En mi segundo y último post, hablaré de la solución propuesta por el ex-Embajador Guajardo –la cual es más equivocada que sus mismos argumentos- ofreciendo mis propias sugerencias sobre cómo México y sus empresas podrían sacar partido de sus tratos con China.

Adrián Cisneros Aguilar es el fundador y Director General de Chevaya (驰亚), una empresa de servicios de internacionalización para Asia-Pacífico. Adrián es Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad Jiao Tong de Shanghái y Maestro en Derecho Internacional y Chino por la Universidad de Wuhan.

On Tuesday, April 18, China Law Blog’s Dan Harris will be speaking on China IP at the Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong. This summit is designed to teach entrepreneurs and small businesses how to create and build an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business.

How to protect your China IP eventDan will speak on protecting your intellectual property from China, focusing on the following:

  • How to choose the right China manufacturer
  • How to identify the IP assets you need to protect
  • How to structure your China manufacturing deal
  • How to drafting your China manufacturing contracts to protect your IP
  • What you should know about trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licensing agreements
  • What to do when you’ve been copied

Forbes listed the Global Sources Summit in its top twelve conferences you should attend in China. You can register for the event here. Group discounts are available.

 

 

 

Doing business in ChinaOn March 30, China Law Blog’s own Dan Harris will be putting on a webinar on the legal aspects of doing business in China, with a focus on how to structure your Chinese operations and deals so as to protect your IP. This webinar is being put on by CommercialLawWebAdvisor, which describes it as follows:

Companies often cannot afford not to do business in China. Whether producing goods there or selling to the Chinese market, companies that engage in business with Chinese partners need up-to-date legal advice on how to protect their technology and other intellectual property (IP) interests from being counterfeited, pirated, or otherwise misappropriated. As IP theft is one of the top issues facing businesses operating in China, there are substantial risks companies must identify and address proactively to protect their valuable IP assets. Deals made in China can threaten IP rights not just in China, but in markets around the world. Understanding the Chinese IP landscape and how to manage the pertinent issues can go a long way to safeguarding your client’s valuable IP interests.

Please join Dan Harris as he explores the nuts and bolts of constructing a good business deal with a Chinese partner, what your agreements should include, and how to manage the Chinese IP rights framework to minimize your client’s IP-related risks.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
This webinar will cover:

  • How to choose a good Chinese partner
  • Identifying the IP assets that need protection
  • How to structure your deal
  • Drafting your deal papers
  • Drafting China employee contracts to protect your IP
  • IP registrations: What you should know about trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licensing agreements

YOUR CONFERENCE LEADER
Your conference leader for “Doing Business in China: Structuring Your Deal and Protecting Intellectual Property” is Dan Harris. Dan is an attorney with Harris Bricken, LLP, in Seattle. He is internationally regarded as a leading authority on legal matters related to doing business in China and in other emerging economies in Asia. Forbes Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine, BBC News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Economist, CNBC, The New York Times, and many other major media players have looked to him for his perspective on international law issues.

Dan writes and speaks extensively on Chinese law with a focus on protecting foreign businesses and his China Law Blog is regarded as one of the best law blogs on the web today. The ABA Journal recently named the China Law Blog to its Blawg Hall of Fame (a designation given to the top 20 law blogs of all time).

This session is recommended for corporate and in-house counsel and really for any attorney who advises companies or organizations on China and on China IP issues. It also is good for intellectual property attorneys looking to learn more about China IP law and what makes it so different from common law countries.. Find out more about costs and registration here and for a $35 discount use promo code cw17bc.

We hope to “see” you there.

China lawyerIn my first post, I discussed China’s efforts to build stronger economic ties with Mexico – and why Mexico should be clear-eyed about China’s motives. In my second post, I examined the current economic relationship between Mexico and China. In my third post, I explained why the economic relationship between China and Mexico has made so little progress. In this, my fourth and final post, I will look to the future and discuss how to improve the China-Mexico business relationship.

The entire post is in Spanish below.

My first piece of advice is for Mexican companies to be realistic about what China wants and what China is truly prepared to do. Just because China offers itself as an alternative to Trump’s America doesn’t mean it is the right alternative, or even a good alternative. Every country has its own agenda and it would be foolish to think otherwise.

Beyond that, every Mexican company should ask itself if it is truly ready to do business with China, and every Chinese company should ask itself if it is truly ready to business with Mexico. It makes no sense to talk about strategic partnership without companies the right companies that are willing and able to profit from a reinvigorated relationship between the two countries. And in my company’s experience, there is a lot of work to be done on both sides, including the following:

  • Companies must adopt corporate governance principles and incorporate due diligence into their everyday processes to ensure compliance with the other country’s laws and regulations.
  • Mexican companies must make IP protection their top priority and register their copyrights, trademarks, and patents in China as soon as practicable. This advice applies whether they are directly operating in China or are merely operating in the US, Europe, or any other jurisdiction that would put them on the radar of a Chinese squatter.
  • Executives must understand not just the relevant laws in the other country, but also the cultural mores and unwritten business rules – and the implications for their company. Mexican executives need to realize that they are both in charge of the Chinese operation and accountable for it. Similarly, Mexican companies should balance the obvious need to hire Chinese nationals with the need to retain personnel (probably expats) who “get” China but also understand Mexico’s business culture and are truly on the side of the Mexican company. This sort of cultural fluency is in many ways more important than language fluency.
  • Mexican companies must move beyond the idea that they are direct competitors with their Chinese counterparts. Instead they should either engage in further specialization, or move up the value chain. Patents and trademarks and geographic indicators/appellations of origin can play a key role in differentiation. But being different only goes so far – if you don’t have a product Chinese consumers want, being different is irrelevant.
  • Companies on both sides need the support of their respective government, as well as the counsel of qualified international lawyers. Many of the deals I see today have neither, but as the monetary value of the deals goes up, the rest will/must follow.

Almost all of the above address what private companies can do. But the Mexican government has a role, too. It needs to implement an effective economic agenda, and maintain progress toward North American integration.

An effective economic agenda involves more investment in trade intelligence and entering into trade and investment policy negotiations with China that are derived, as much as possible, from the political and ideological considerations that have characterized China’s relationship with many commodity-producing countries in our region. At the same time, Mexico needs to rise up the global value chain, and that requires investing in infrastructure, facilitating trade, and improving the quality of accreditation.

It may seem odd to talk about further North American integration against the backdrop of Trump’s rhetoric against NAFTA and against globalization. But China has long been the de facto 4th member of NAFTA and it’s silly to pretend otherwise. And given the enormously important economic ties among the NAFTA countries, a purely bilateral agreement (i.e., solely between China and Mexico or China and the US) seems increasingly unrealistic.

My company’s bottom line is that we cannot wait to see what Trump does or doesn’t do. Or for that matter, what China does or doesn’t do. China is not going to replace the US as Mexico’s largest and most important trading partner. Each Mexican company’s China strategy should be stand on its own terms. Mexican companies should expand into China because it makes sense to do so and because they think they can succeed there – not because they think China is going to replace the US as Mexico’s most important trading partner.

 

The above post is by Adrián Cisneros Aguilar. Adrian is the founder/CEO of Chevaya (驰亚), an Asia-Pacific internationalisation services company. Adrián has a Doctor of Laws from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and an LL.M. in International and Chinese Law from Wuhan University.

 

 

En mi primer post, analicé los esfuerzos de China para estrechar los lazos económicos con México – y las razones por las que México debe estar plenamente consciente de los motivos de China. En mi segundo post, examiné el estado actual de la relación económica bilateral. En mi tercer post, expliqué las razones por las cuales dicha relación ha progresado tan poco. En éste, mi cuarto y último post, echaré una mirada al futuro y hablaré acerca de cómo mejorar la relación de negocios entre México y China.

El primer consejo que daría sería que las empresas mexicanas sean realistas acerca de lo que China quiere y está realmente preparada para dar. El que China se ofrezca como una alternativa a los Estados Unidos de Trump no es, en sí mismo, razón suficiente para considerar a China como “la” alternativa, o siquiera como una buena alternativa. Cada país tiene su propia agenda, sus propias prioridades y sería una necedad ignorar esto.

Más allá de lo anterior, toda empresa mexicana debería preguntarse si está verdaderamente lista para hacer negocios con China, mientras que sus símiles chinas deberían hacerse la misma pregunta, con respecto a México. No tiene sentido alguno hablar de una asociación estratégica integral sin las empresas correctas, empresas que estén dispuestas y sean capaces de sacar partido de una relación bilateral revitalizada. Y, en la experiencia de mi empresa, hay mucho trabajo que hacer con las empresas de ambos países, incluyendo lo siguiente:

  • Las empresas deben adoptar principios de gobernanza corporativa e incorporar el due diligence en sus procesos cotidianos, a fin de garantizar el cumplimiento de las leyes y reglamentos en el país de destino.
  • Las empresas mexicanas deben hacer de la protección de su propiedad intelectual e industrial su principal prioridad, y registrar sus derechos de autor, marcas y patentes en China en cuanto les sea posible. Este consejo es relevante, tanto para las empresas que operan en China directamente, como para aquéllas que operan en los EEUU, Europa o cualquier otra jurisdicción que las pueda poner en el radar de un usurpador chino.
  • Los ejecutivos de las empresas mexicanas y chinas deben entender no sólo la legislación aplicable en el país de destino, sino los usos y costumbres y las reglas no escritas de los negocios – y las implicaciones que éstas tienen para la empresa. En el caso de los ejecutivos mexicanos, deben darse cuenta cabal de que están a cargo de las operaciones en China, representan a la empresa y son responsables de ella. Asimismo, las empresas mexicanas deben equilibrar la obvia necesidad de contratar empleados chinos con la necesidad de contratar personal (quizás expatriados) que “capte” a China, pero también entienda la cultura de negocios mexicana y esté realmente del lado de la empresa mexicana. Esta clase de fluidez cultural es, en muchas maneras, más importante que la fluidez lingüística.
  • Las empresas mexicanas deben dejar ya la idea de que son competidores directos de sus contrapartes chinas y enfocarse, ya sea en una mayor especialización, o bien, en ascender en la cadena de valor al fabricar productos más sofisticados y de mayor valor agregado. Marcas, patentes e indicadores geográficos/denominaciones de origen pueden desempeñar un papel clave en la diferenciación de productos. Ahora, ser diferente no es garantía: si uno no tiene un producto que los consumidores chinos quieran comprar, la diferenciación se vuelve irrelevante.
  • Las empresas chinas y las mexicanas necesitan, tanto del apoyo de sus respectivos gobiernos, como de la asesoría de abogados internacionalistas calificados. Muchas de las transacciones que veo hoy en día carecen de ambas. Sin embargo, a medida que el valor monetario de dichas transacciones se incremente, es de esperarse que lo haga también la atención a las mismas, por parte de gobiernos y despachos.

Casi todo lo anterior está referido a lo que la iniciativa privada puede hacer. Sin embargo, el gobierno mexicano también juega un papel en todo esto. Necesita implementar una agenda económica efectiva, y mantener el rumbo hacia una integración norteamericana.

Una agenda económica efectiva involucra una mayor inversión en inteligencia comercial y la celebración de negociaciones en materia de comercio e inversión con China que estén libres de las consideraciones ideológicas que han caracterizado la relación de este país asiático con muchos países productores de materias primas en nuestra región. Al mismo tiempo, México como tal necesita, como se ha dicho, ascender en la cadena global de valor, y eso requiere invertir en infraestructura, facilitación del comercio y mejoramiento en la calidad de la acreditación.

Quizá suene extraño el que hable de una mayor integración de América del Norte, de cara a la retórica de Trump contra el TLCAN y contra la globalización en general. Pero, consideremos esto: China ha sido desde hace tiempo el cuarto miembro de facto del TLCAN y no podemos cerrar los ojos a ello. Si a esto añadimos la enorme importancia de los lazos económicos que unen a los tres Estados-parte del TLCAN, la perspectiva de tratados o acuerdos bilaterales (es decir, sólo entre China y México o entre China y los EEUU), se torna menos y menos realista.

Para mi empresa, el punto más importante a considerar es que no podemos sentarnos a esperar a ver qué hace o no hace Trump. O, para el caso, qué hace o no hace China. El Reino Medio no va a reemplazar a Estados Unidos como el principal y más grande socio comercial de México. La estrategia para China de cada empresa mexicana debe responder a sus propias circunstancias y necesidades. Esto es, las empresas mexicanas deben expandirse hacia China porque, para ellas, tiene sentido hacerlo y porque piensan que pueden tener éxito allí, no porque piensan que China va a reemplazar a Estados Unidos como el socio comercial más importante de nuestro país.

Este post fue escrito por Adrián Cisneros Aguilar. Adrián es el fundador y Director General de Chevaya (驰亚), una empresa de servicios de internacionalización para Asia-Pacífico. Adrián es Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad Jiao Tong de Shanghái y Maestro en Derecho Internacional y Chino por la Universidad de Wuhan.

 

China lawyerIn my first post, I discussed China’s efforts to build stronger economic ties with Mexico – and why Mexico should be clear-eyed about China’s motives. In my second post, I examined the current economic relationship between Mexico and China. In this post, I will discuss why the economic relationship between China and Mexico has made so little progress.

This entire post is in Spanish below.

At first blush, it is difficult to understand the disjunction between what has been said and what has actually been done. The two countries have signed an Integral Strategic Partnership, and China has explicitly offered its assistance should the Trump administration turn its back on Mexico. The Chinese ambassador to Mexico has claimed the two countries’ relationship is “better than ever,” but trade and investment levels are pitifully low, and for a variety of reasons those numbers are unlikely to change.

One huge reason Mexico’s relationship with China is unlikely to change is the existence – and proximity – of the United States. The United States has a huge (and growing) Hispanic population eager to consume a vast array of Mexican exports, whereas Chinese consumers are only interested in a few select Mexican products. Just look at the numbers. Mexico’s annual exports are worth $400 billion, and $291 billion of that goes to the United States. Only $8 billion goes to China. The American government has not exactly welcomed China’s attempts to establish closer ties with Mexico, and there are strong rumors Washington played a big role behind the scenes in the cancellation of the Mexico City-Queretaro rail and the Dragon Mart Cancun projects. Even if the Mexican and U.S. governments are not currently best of friends, our two countries will always be neighbors.

It is also true that Mexico and China have little economic synergy. China is Mexico’s direct competitor in the United States and for many of the same products. According to a study produced by UNAM, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Miami, from 2000-2011 both the U.S. and Mexico suffered substantial losses in their respective export markets in the NAFTA region. The study identified 52 sectors in Mexico in which the U.S. was losing market share and China was gaining, creating the inference that Mexico was making efficiency gains and had become more competitive in U.S. markets. However, the study found that Mexico was also losing market share in the U.S. in those same 52 sectors. In other words, China was outcompeting both countries — in part because of its advantage in manpower and its government subsidies.

The disconnects are on both sides. Mexico has failed to attract meaningful investment from China and instead focuses on Chinese tourism. Chinese companies have made little effort to do anything in Mexico beyond selling products to Mexican consumers. Mexico has failed to take advantage of China as an export market and has fallen back on sending China non-value added items such as tequila, pork, and fruit. The Chinese government does not make it easy for Mexican companies to enter the Chinese market. And China’s economic model depends on being able to run huge trade surpluses. Combine with this the devaluation of the peso and the rise in gas prices, and the result has been inflation that makes Mexican exports less attractive overseas. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, Mexico’s exports fell 4% in 2016.

Part of the problem has nothing to do with China and everything to do with Mexico. 99.8% of all businesses in Mexico are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the vast majority of them are unsophisticated companies, with little interest in or knowledge of how to operate on an international scale. When these companies do seek to engage with China, some (or all) of the following problems arise:

  • lack of due diligence about the Chinese market and possible business partners
  • poorly implemented corporate governance structures
  • failure to appreciate the paramount importance of IP protection, evidenced most often by discovering too late that a third party in China has registered “their” trademark
  • lack of cultural and language proficiency on the part of Mexican staff, leading to an inability to deal with Chinese authorities
  • inappropriate delegation of all responsibility for Chinese operations to poorly supervised Chinese staff
  • lack of transactional oversight due to (relatively) low dollar values

And though more and more Mexican nationals are going to China for education and training, few Mexican companies know what to do with them upon their return to Mexico.

Perhaps the biggest problem Mexican companies face in China – and frankly, the same problem bedevils Chinese companies going abroad – is that they think they can operate overseas the same way they do at home. I still remember the first matter I handled with my company: a Mexican enterprise was operating in China, but had no idea about their legal status in China or whether they were operating legally. Everything from company formation to payroll had been delegated to their Chinese accountant, and as a result they had hired staff without any written contracts, they were not contributing to social insurance or housing funds, and they were paying everyone in cash. It was just a matter of time before they were found out and had the book thrown at them.

Finally, a nontrivial number of Mexicans (and some Chinese) consultants want Sino-Mexican relations to remain in this relatively primitive state, because this will allow these consultants to continue as “indispensable” founts of wisdom and knowledge in an uncertain world.

The one bright spot is the .02% of Mexican enterprises which are not SMEs. These enterprises are the huge multinational corporations known as multilatinas, and they are already operating in China as part of their global strategy. Some of them are already selling more goods in China than in the U.S., and to a one they plan to focus even more on the Middle Kingdom in the years to come. They would not be doing this if they weren’t already doing well in China. As global companies they consider themselves able to compete on the global stage, and you know what? They’re right.

In my concluding post, I’ll look to the future and specifically on how to improve the China-Mexico business relationship.

The above post is by Adrián Cisneros Aguilar. Adrian is the founder/CEO of Chevaya (驰亚), an Asia-Pacific internationalisation services company. Adrián has a Doctor of Laws from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and an LL.M. in International and Chinese Law from Wuhan University.

 

En mi primer post, analicé los esfuerzos de China para estrechar los lazos económicos con México – y las razones por las que México debe estar plenamente consciente de los motivos de China. En mi segundo post, examiné el estado actual de la relación económica bilateral. En este post, hablaré acerca de por qué dicha relación económica ha progresado tan poco.

A primera vista, es difícil comprender la desunión entre lo que se ha dicho y lo que realmente se ha hecho. Ambos países han firmado una Asociación Estratégica Integral, y China ha ofrecido expresamente su ayuda en caso de que la administración Trump le dé la espalda a México. El Embajador chino ante este país ha declarado que la relación entre los dos países está “en su mejor momento histórico.” No obstante, los niveles de comercio e inversión están lastimosamente bajos, y por varias razones resulta improbable que las cifras cambien.

Una poderosa razón por la cual es improbable que cambie el estado de la relación bilateral es la existencia –y cercanía- de los Estados Unidos. Este país tiene una enorme (y en aumento) población hispana deseosa de consumir una amplia gama de exportaciones mexicanas, mientras que el consumidor chino se interesa sólo en unos pocos productos mexicanos seleccionados. Basta echar un vistazo a las cifras: las exportaciones anuales de México alcanzan los $400 billones de dólares, de los cuales $291 billones van a la Unión Americana. Sólo $8 billones van a China. Además, el gobierno estadounidense no ha precisamente celebrado los intentos chinos para estrechar relaciones con México, y hay fuertes rumores de que Washington jugó un importante papel, tras bambalinas, en la cancelación de los proyectos del tren de alta velocidad CDMX-Querétaro y el Dragon Mart Cancún. Incluso si, actualmente, los gobiernos mexicano y estadounidense no son exactamente los mejores amigos, los dos países serán siempre vecinos.

Cierto es también que México y China presentan muy poca sinergia económica. China es competidor directo de México en EEUU y, en muchos casos, en los mismos productos. De acuerdo con un estudio publicado por la UNAM, la Universidad de California, Berkeley y la Universidad de Miami, de 2000 a 2011, tanto EEUU como México sufrieron pérdidas substanciales en sus respectivos mercados de exportación, dentro de la región TLCAN. El estudio identificó 52 sectores en México, en los cuales los EEUU estaban perdiendo participación de mercado, mientras que China estaba ganando. Esto llevó a suponer que México estaba generando aumentos a la eficiencia económica y se había vuelto más competitivo en el mercado estadounidense. Sin embargo, el estudio también halló que México estaba perdiendo participación en el mercado estadounidense en esos mismos 52 sectores. Dicho de otro modo, China estaba desplazando a ambos países – en parte debido a sus ventajas comparativas en mano de obra y subsidios gubernamentales.

Pero los desfasamientos con la realidad provienen de ambos lados. México no ha logrado atraer inversiones significativas de China y en cambio se concentra en el turismo chino. Las empresas chinas poco esfuerzo han hecho para hacer algo en México más allá de vender productos a los consumidores mexicanos. México no ha podido aprovechar a China como un mercado de exportación, contentándose con el envío de artículos sin valor agregado tales como el tequila, la carne de cerdo y las frutas. El gobierno chino no facilita que las empresas mexicanas penetren el mercado chino. Y el modelo económico de China depende de lograr grandes superávits comerciales. Combinemos esto con la devaluación del peso y el alza de los precios de la gasolina, y tenemos una inflación que ha hecho que las exportaciones mexicanas sean menos atractivas en el extranjero. Según el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, dichas exportaciones cayeron un 4% en 2016.

Parte del problema no tiene nada que ver con China y sí mucho que ver con México. 99.8% de todos los negocios en México son pequeñas y medianas empresas (PyMEs) y la gran mayoría de ellas son poco sofisticadas, con poco interés o conocimiento acerca de cómo operar a escala internacional. Y cuando resulta que estas empresas buscan entrar en contacto con China, aparecen algunos de los siguientes problemas (o todos):

· Una falta de due diligence con respecto al mercado chino y los posibles socios en el país.

· Estructuras de gobierno corporativo inexistentes o mal implementadas.

· Una inhabilidad para apreciar la importancia fundamental de la protección de la propiedad intelectual, frecuentemente evidenciada en el descubrimiento tardío de que un tercero en China ha registrado ya “su” marca.

· Falta de competencias culturales y lingüísticas por parte del personal mexicano, lo que lleva a una inhabilidad para tratar con las autoridades chinas.

· Una delegación inapropiada de toda la responsabilidad de las operaciones en China a personal local mal o no supervisado.

· Desatención en la implementación de estrategias por parte del gobierno y despachos especializados, debido al bajo monto de las transacciones, en comparación con aquéllas de otros países.

Y aunque más y más mexicanos están yendo a China en busca de educación y capacitación, pocas empresas mexicanas saben qué hacer con ellos a su regreso al país.

Ahora, quizá el mayor problema que enfrentan las empresas mexicanas en China -que, francamente, es el mismo problema que aqueja a las empresas chinas que salen- es que piensan que pueden operar en el extranjero de la misma manera que lo hacen en casa. Aún recuerdo el primer asunto que manejé con mi empresa: una empresa mexicana operaba en China, pero no tenía ni idea de su situación jurídica en China o de si operaban legalmente. Todo, desde la constitución de la empresa hasta la nómina, había sido delegado a su contadora china y, como resultado, habían contratado personal sin contratos por escrito, no contribuían al seguro social o de vivienda chinos, y pagaban a todos en efectivo. Era sólo cuestión de tiempo antes de que fueran descubiertos y sancionados severamente.

Finalmente, no pocos consultores mexicanos (y algunos chinos) están muy interesados en que la relación bilateral permanezca en este estado relativamente primitivo, porque esto permitirá que dichos consultores continúen como fuentes “imprescindibles” de sabiduría y conocimiento en un mundo incierto.

El lado positivo de todo esto es el .02% de las empresas mexicanas que no son PyMEs. Estas empresas son las grandes multinacionales conocidas como multilatinas, y ya están operando en China como parte de su estrategia global. Algunas de ellas ya venden más en China que en los Estados Unidos, y hasta planean enfocarse aún más en el Reino Medio (China) en los próximos años. No estarían haciendo esto si no estuvieran ya teniendo éxito en dicho país. Como las grandes multinacionales que son, se consideran capaces de competir en el escenario global. Y, ¿saben qué? Tienen razón.

En mi último post, echaré una mirada al futuro. Específicamente, a cómo mejorar la relación económica y de negocios de México y China.

Este post fue escrito por Adrián Cisneros Aguilar. Adrián es el fundador y Director General de Chevaya (驰亚), una empresa de servicios de internacionalización para Asia-Pacífico. Adrián es Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad Jiao Tong de Shanghái y Maestro en Derecho Internacional y Chino por la Universidad de Wuhan.

China AttorneysBecause of this blog, our China lawyers get a fairly steady stream of China law questions from readers, mostly via emails but occasionally via blog comments as well. If we were to conduct research on all the questions we get asked and then comprehensively answer them, we would become overwhelmed. So what we usually do is provide a super fast general answer and, when it is easy to do so, a link or two to a blog post that may provide some additional guidance. We figure we might as well post some of these on here as well. On Fridays, like today.

I came across your blog while researching employment contracts in China. Is there a standard amount of notice employees are legally required to give their employer when breaking a contract in China, or does it depend on the company itself? Also if I am going to give less time than is legally required, is it standard to pay for those days to exit the contract professionally? And is it standard to give the full amount of time or even more?

You are asking essentially two questions. One is a social/employment/morale/reputational one and the other is a legal one. We don’t know the answer to the question of how much time you should give in your particular industry or locale (especially since we do not even know your industry or your locale), so we would urge you to ask around so as not to harm your future employment chances in China (and if yours is a small industry, perhaps worldwide as well). As for the legal side, it should be whatever the employment contract says, so long as the applicable national, provincial, or local laws do not override that, which any one or more of these very well might. I urge you to read our post, China Employment Law: Local and Not So Simple. Unlike in most countries, it is not uncommon for China employers to sue an employee who fails to provide the legally required notice for leaving, so it is generally a good idea either to give the full notice that is legally required, or reach a written agreement with your employer letting you off the hook (probably by your paying money) for not doing so.