In her post, “Hot Water in China? Don’t Get Burned: Part I” [link no longer exists], Aimee Barnes highlights how important it is for foreigners to follow the law in China. All of the laws. All of the time. No matter how much you may disagree with them, no matter how silly you may find them, and no matter how different they may be from those to which you are accustomed. Most importantly, you must strive to follow the law no matter how much you may see those around you disobeying them, particularly if those you see are not foreigners.

Ms. Barnes puts forth the following list of what to avoid if you “want to steer clear of a legal snafu and avoid hanging out with the Public Security Bureau or other inmates at a local jail” ….even if they’re not a big deal in your own country”:

  1. Driving without a Chinese drivers license
  2. Leaving “home” without your residency permit and passport
  3. Living or co-habitating illegall
  4. Letting your visa expire, visa overstay
  5. Participating in “under the table” deals in any way, shape or form
  6. Carrying or doing drugs, even if it’s just a plant that you picked off the side of the road
  7. Attempting to bring back large quantities of counterfeit goods to your home country
  8. Mouthing off or being generally uncooperative with a Public Security Bureau officer
  9. Taking pictures of military exercises, crime scenes or police activities
  10. Bribing a police officer or official to “let you off the hook
  11. Use of GPS devices
  12. Real-time blogging of protests or other police activities
  13. Openly criticizing China’s government, politics and/or leadership
  14. Conducting or operating a business without ALL of the necessary permit
  15. Working “under the table”

Trust us, we have dealt with or heard of criminal law type problems arising from most of the above. In fact, I was in the midst of writing a “just say no” post on kickbacks when I came across Aimee’s post. Last week, a client and I very quickly decided that it would not be worth it for him or his company to pay a 10% kickback to someone at the state owned entity that was about to sign a five year contract with my client. It did not take much analysis on our part for us to determine that the potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) repercussions from this deal dwarfed whatever money his company might make. We decided he had no choice but to go back to his contact and make crystal clear (in writing) that the only way to go forward with this deal would be on such and such terms.

I would add the following to Aimee’s list:

  • Importing something into China that is not supposed to be imported into China. This includes things for your business that might be perfectly legal elsewhere or even perfectly legal to use within China;
  • Doing business with a country with which you are not supposed to be doing business;
  • Selling something in China that foreigners are not supposed to be selling in China;
  • Conducting a business in China that foreigners are not supposed to be conducting in China;
  • Illegally raising funds in China;
  • Engaging in financial fraud in China. China’s definition of this can be fairly broad;
  • Engaging in environmental crimes

Now I know that many of the above are oftentimes handled with a slap on the wrist (sometimes even less than that) or deportation, but the problem is that the authorities have tremendous discretion to turn what “we “might think of as a civil matter into a criminal one.

My advice (once again) is as follows (yes, I know this is really basic, but please bear with me).

  1. Know the law and follow it, not what someone tells you they heard someone else get away with. There are murderers who never get caught, but that does not make it legal nor does it mean you will get away with it. Want to know the law? The best way is to read the webpage of your embassy or consulate or chamber of commerce and to talk to people at your embassy or consulate. Or hire a lawyer who deals in this arena every day.
  2. Keep a copy of your visa and your passport with you at all times. Make sure everything is current.
  3. Be civil. Be respectful. Keep your cool. Tell the truth. If you get caught in a lie you are done. Done. Do not make jokes and especially do not make jokes about China. Do not act arrogantly. Act respectfully (I am intentionally being repetitive). Make the job of the authorities easier, not more difficult. Just remember, the people in front of you are just doing their jobs and no matter what you do, your actions that day will not advance democracy or human rights or any other ideal one iota further in China.
  4. If nothing seems to be working, ask if you can call your embassy, your consulate, your lawyer, your Chinese joint venture partner, or anyone else you think might be able to help you. Immigration/law enforcement people in every country of which I am aware have amazing flexibility. They are human beings. Give them a reason to cut you a break. This does NOT mean paying a bribe, which has the very real potential of getting you in worse trouble than being deported.
  5. If you think you might have China visa or other legal issues down the road, deal with them now. Start your application, find the right lawyer, talk to your embassy or consulate. Whatever. Just do not wait.

If you ever get caught or ever get accused of committing a crime in China, my advice is to not make light of it in any way. This means you do not complain about the law, this means you do not talk about how what you did is legal somewhere else and this means you seek to hire a top-flight Chinese criminal lawyer as quickly as possible. There are definitely such lawyers, but our experience is that they virtually never speak English. This means that if you are not completely fluent in Chinese, you also need to retain someone who truly is bilingual.

What would you add to the list?

For more on the criminal side of living and doing business in China, check out the following:

One Adam 12 …..

UPDATE: Off The Record Blog did a follow-up post on Aimee’s post, entitled, “When in Rome … follow the law, damn it!” This post makes a very good additional point. If what you are thinking about doing is illegal in your own country, it almost certainly is also illegal in China too, but the penalty for an infraction is likely to be much stiffer:

When you enter China, as with any other country, your visa has an invisible caveat emptor attached to it. You really do need to be aware of local laws and customs and abide by them; even if the locals do not appear to do so themselves.

One rule of thumb I have always followed is that if it is illegal in my own country, even as just a minor infraction there, it is probably illegal in a country like China. Here, however, particularly if you are a foreigner, the punishment is most likely going to be much more severe. For example, while your country’s own police might turn a blind eye to drunk and disorderly behavior or let the offender off with a small fine, Chinese police are more likely to see you as a foreign trouble maker they can do very well without. Visitors to Beijing should not be surprised to find themselves in a prison cell for several days followed by a quick deportation after a heavy night investigating the Sanlitun bar scene.

Very true.

Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog ( Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.

  • Dan,
    Thanks for the awesome additions to “Hot Water in China?” and some very crucial, timely advice. It is my impression that some foreigners tend to dismiss China’s legal systems due to the very fact that they are foreign and thus feel that they can get away with virtually anything. Unfortunately and as I have also witnessed firsthand, this is definitely not the case. The hot water really starts to pour when expats adopt a ru xiang sui su (when in rome, do as the romans do) attitude by participating in kickbacks, bribes, and even your “average night at the karaoke bar/brothel with new Chinese friends”- all things that are best avoided. I hope you move forward with the “Just Say No” post- can’t wait to read it.
    P.S. Very interested in your input regarding signing of contracts that one cannot read/understand under the gun of the PSB, in the event of a legal snafu.

  • Take care of your visa stuff early, and be very careful with visa agents.
    I had a friend waiting on a visa renewal until the last day of his current visa. The agent kept delaying and delaying, and on the last day took him to customs, gave him back his passport and ran out the door. He was deported that day.
    I’ve only been over on student visas so I haven’t had to worry about anything like that, any advice for the right way to extend one’s visa while over there? and how to not do it the wrong way?

  • All I can say is I do not know one expat living/working in China who has not done at least 2 or 3 of these. I almost never carried my passport on me for obvious reasons – it is easy to say that you should carry it, but since the inevitable result will be you losing it to either a pick-pocket or carelessness, leaving it at home is the better option.
    Cohabiting is another area in which many expats will find difficult to obey the letter of the law – mainly because it is an outrageously outdated one.
    The others, of course, are mere common sense, but it is their application which seems random. I know men who were convicted criminals in the west, and who then carried on a life of crime in China who have remained seemingly immune for years, and people who were perfectly innocent have their visas cancelled over a minor infraction.
    All the same, it does little good to complain, the Chinese have their laws and do not give a damn whether you like them or not. The best thing you can do is to avoid anything remotely controversial, and do your best to seem harmless and apologetic in dealing with the authorities.

  • david

    You should add “Especially if you are Black” to the title of this post. At least in Beijing, the JingCha always treat blacks – from Africa or wherever – with a significantly higher degree of suspicion. A year or two ago I believe the ambassador from Trinidad’s son was beaten and thrown in jail because he was in the wrong place – i.e. Sanlitun – at the wrong time. It’s not right but it’s just the way it is. Also, I’m not trying to start a fight, it’s just a fact of life in Beijing that is painfully obvious to the expat community.

  • Hank Gee

    In my dealings with the PSB (always voluntary and aside from having to report the theft of something, pleasant) they were quite happy to accept a photocopy of my passport. I’d advise against anyone carrying their passport around with them day-to-day. Keep a photocopy in your wallet instead. Unless they are looking to make trouble for you they should be quite willing to accept the photocopy. If they are looking to make trouble for you then having your permit/passport taped to your forehead won’t save you.

  • One more item for the list:
    22. Don’t put off registering at the local PSB after arriving in China.
    The law says you’re supposed to do it within 24 hours of arrival (unless you’re staying at a hotel, in which case your guest registration usually takes care of it), and I know plenty of people who’ve put it off for days, weeks, months, forever – and without penalty. But I also know plenty of people who have found that lack of registration provides local gov’t with a very convenient excuse to cause all kinds of problems. I’ve seen it go down that way.
    In re to carrying a passport and visa at all times: I carry a photocopy of both in my wallet, and in the couple of cases where I’ve been asked to show it, those pieces of paper have been more than sufficient. People asking seem to understand the risk of loss/pick-pocket.

  • Thanks for putting the fear of China back in me 😉

  • Didion

    You need a good lawyer in China. Better you go to a reputable international lawfirm’s office in China before you start any business or activities in China. It’s worthwhile.

  • ScottLoar

    Most especially do not proselytize, organize, demonstrate, or remonstrate which in any way could be interpreted as a challenge or affront to Chinese authority.

  • Kim Jung IL

    Chinese lawyers can’t even defend their own interests. It is not reasonable to expect Chinese lawyers to defend yours.

  • PL

    About 10 years ago I had my passport stolen when I was in Beijing. I needed to get a copy of a police report to get a new passport, which was complicated by the fact that, while I was there on a student visa, I had dropped out of school. And I wasn’t registered with the PSB at the hotel I was staying at. I had to go to the PSB office several times before they decided to cut me a break, but all it took was me to be friendly, cooperative, and let them know that I was just a poor student who needed them to help me out.
    When I was walking out the door with my report I passed a guy who had a Visa issue who was screaming at a cop in really good Beijing hua. Somehow I suspect he didn’t do as well as I did.

  • Very apt post, esp. as things tighten up towards Sept.
    I’d add, keep calm, keep smiling and don’t get angry.

  • I don’t understand point 3 (“Living or cohabiting illegally”) or FOARP’s comment that the law is “outrageously outdated”. I presume what is meant is “living together in a relationship that includes sex with someone with whom you’re not married.” What law or regulation does this offend? I ask this of anyone who uses the term 非法同居 but nobody has ever been able to give me an answer.

  • Kim Jung IL

    Don Clarke,
    Please see Article 3 of 中华人民共和国婚姻法

  • Betty

    Don Clarke wrote: “What law or regulation does this offend? I ask this of anyone who uses the term 非法同居 but nobody has ever been able to give me an answer.”
    We need to organize a conference of Chinese law experts to better educate foreigners, particularly foreign academics, as to what is required by law of foreigners in China.

  • Chris

    I lived in Japan before I lived in China. Although this advice would be inappropriate for businesses, for the standard gaijin, the most important thing to learn was how to apologise really really well. A good apology in Japan goes a very long way. In situations where you might not get permission to do something, acting first and apologising for acting when caught can be very useful.
    When dealing with the police in Japan, the standard advice is to apologise regularly, even if you have done nothing wrong. Don’t kick-up a fuss, don’t be awkward, don’t be a pain. Apologise for making work for them and for the hassle that they are going through, even though it is their job, and even if it turns out to be their mistake.
    While an apology won’t get you as far in China, and you need to be more careful about what you apologise for, I think that this same attitude would be very useful in China – especially as a foreigner.
    The first time that I had to do the police registration process myself, rather than through a hotel, I forgot about it for maybe 4 days. My wife (local Chinese) and I went to the local police station, and were very apologetic about forgetting to register. The result was that I was registered smoothly, and didn’t have to pay any fine.
    Being humble and apologising – it works wonders.
    As for breaking the law…
    In a small city that I worked in (which I shall not name for reasons which will become clear) the only foreign teachers who had proper Z visas were teaching at the local university – myself included. The local police understood that if they were strict about enforcing proper working visa rules, the private English schools would not be able to hire any foreign teachers.
    One of the police officers responsible for foreigners – reasonably high ranking in the city – went to English classes and English corners in one of the private schools. He came along to some of the meals that the foreigners had as a group, and at one such meal the topic of visas came up. One of his remarks was along the lines of “Well, nobody here is working as an English teacher…”
    So, everything ran smoothly.
    One day, one of the foreigners was late for a class, and rushing along on his scooter when he hit an old lady getting out of a taxi. Her son wasn’t happy with the foreigner just paying the hospital bills – he wanted much more compensation. So, the local police visited this foreigner’s apartment and took away his passport. When he said “You can’t do that”, they replied “We know you are working illegally….”
    A 1 second lapse of concentration, and your life collapses before your eyes. Best not to be on the wrong side of the law in any foreign country, especially China.

  • @Betty – When I arrived in China the Jiangsu provincial government gave me a nice little blue booklet detailing all the things forbidden for foreigners to do. It was nice that they had thought to give all foreign visitors (women included) a booklet warning them not to take advantage of local women, take drugs, live in sin or harm national security. Real thoughtful and welcoming.
    The law on cohabitation is basically ignored by most of the population, and most foreigners treat it the same way. If the police decide to enforce this law against foreigners then there’s little you can really do except be as apologetic and submissive as possible. Chances are that even if they weren’t guilty then they would still be vulnerable to it – essentially it is only the kind of thing you can get into trouble for if somebody wants to cause you trouble.

  • Chris

    Don Clarke and Kim Jung Il:
    Translation curtsey of Google translation and my sketch understanding of Chinese characters.
    It’s a long list of forbidden things:
    No selling of marriage, or other actions that impinge on somebody’s freedom to marry. And obtaining property through marriage is prohibited – the character 借 is used, which is used for ‘lend’ but also can be used for ‘by means of’, so it might mean ‘don’t obtain property by lending marriage’. My wife’s in bed, so I can’t check.
    Bigamy is prohibited, and if you already married, then you are prohibited from living with someone else. Domestic violence is prohibited, as well as mistreating or abandoning family members.
    I think that the main point of difference with the law of ‘Western’ countries is that in China you need to get a divorce in order to even co-habit with someone else, not just marry someone else. Foreigners would need to check that their Chinese partners really are divorced, not just separated.
    I wonder if that law would be applicable to two foreigners who were separated from, but not divorced, their spouses back home, and were living together ‘in sin’ in China….

  • Hunxuer

    All good info for newbies and vets of China above.
    I would add that no matter how good you think your language skills are, just don’t speak Chinese if you’ve been taken into the local pai chu suo and make the local PSB call in their “foreign affairs cop” that can act as translator. Also be prepared to lose many hours in wasted time.

  • Chris

    Re: FOARP, and others.
    I’ve done some more searching.
    “He said that the term [illegal cohabitation] was coined at the end of the 1980s in order to denounce couples living together without marriage, and was more of a moral censure than legal judgment. At that time, when such cohabiting became a surging trend, the society was largely intolerant with such a behavior. The notion of “illegal cohabitation,” according to Mr. Han, does not make much sense in legal terms and China’s Marriage Law does not prohibit man and woman living together without marriage.”
    I’m not convinced that Chinese law says that simply living together without getting married is illegal. Could someone provide more evidence?
    “lawyer Han Deyun, recently pointed out that unmarried cohabitation only became seen as illegal in 1989 and is not actually against the Marriage Law. Since that time, according to Han, people have seen the practice as both immoral and illegal.”
    So was this change in 1989 enshrined in written law, or was it a change in police action unbacked up by law, or was it a change in the beliefs of the population about what was legal and illegal?

  • neil

    This is very good advice on day to day matters, but the point about corruption and ‘under the table’ dealings are, in my opinion, pretty much impossible to follow. It overlooks the basic reality that, if they want to get you they will and you are taking a big risk simply setting foot in China. Its probably worth baring this in mind in your dealings as you fervently try and live by the ‘rules’. You have to ask the question just how disadvantaged you are being a foreigner in China, and what is the actual point of being there? My conclusion is that China is actually a very closed society and it is impossible to really integrate into it as a foreigner. I am ultra cautious about any business dealings because, as an outsider, you cant protect yourself. I doubt having a Chinese lawyer is much use. A Chinese wife on the other hand might be slightly more helpful.
    On a side point, does anyone actually have any statistics on imprisonmnet and deportation of foreigners in China?

  • My question is only slightly related but do any of the regulars here have a sense for how frequently the U.S. government is taking action on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations?

  • pug_ster

    I didn’t know what you have to register locally with the PSB within 24 hours after your arrival. Where do you do it like in say Shanghai? Do you go to a local police station and do this?

  • Chris

    Re: Neil
    Having a Chinese lawyer who you can trust and communicate well with will do you much much more good than having a Chinese wife. Well, on the legal front anyway.
    Re: Ted Cruise
    That is not a question that I would ask while providing a link to your website offering consulting services. While I’m sure that it isn’t, it gives the impression of being motivated by the desire to find loopholes.
    Stepping into the realms of idealistic dreams – if every foreign company operating in China refused to engage in any corrupt practices, then there would be a significant change in the practices of Chinese companies. This may be a dream, but isn’t something that is worth aiming for?
    Not following the rules really opens up foreign businesses to attack. Yes, foreign companies are vulnerable even if they follow the rules- but so are Chinese businesses. But if the company follows the rules, then it is highly unlikely that any of their staff will end up jailed for considerably lengths of time, or even executed. The central Chinese government would step in to intervene in high profile cases which were harming the image of China overseas. If the foreign defendant has clearly broken the laws, then they will not benefit from that intervention. If the foreign defendant has followed the law, then they are likely to benefit from intervention.
    While there may be short-term financial benefits from bending the rules, from both an idealistic position and a risk-assessment position, no-one should suggest that bending the rules in China can be considered.
    Errrmmmm…… This post isn’t aimed at anyone, just at possible suggestions of positions that might be read from posts. Don’t take the preaching the wrong way.

  • Chris

    Re: Pug_ster
    In the two different places I’ve done it, I had to find out which local police station was responsible for the apartment block I was in. Write down your address, take a translator, and walk into the closest police station to your apartment.
    And if you didn’t register when you moved in, be really really apologetic about it.
    But if you’ve just been staying in hotels, then they will have done it for you.

  • Ted Cruise

    I always advise clients not to engage in any practices that could even remotely be considered shady. I ask about FCPA because it is another tool to remind people engaged in China trade that they should not try to get creative when it comes to legal compliance.
    I would hope than anyone getting advice on how find a loophole in the FCPA would have the sense to fire whoever gives them that advice.

  • ScottLoar

    Yes, just go to the local police station to register (申報), just like Chinese visiting must do. If the local police station doesn’t handle it they will direct you to the proper place.
    Do register. Registry in Shanghai is now entered into a computer at the station, a copy is printed out for you to review and if all is correct you sign two copies which are retained by the police and a third is stamped for you to retain. Upon re-entering the country on the same visa you must bring along that copy to again register.
    If you haven’t registered understand 1) you’ve violated the rules and pleading ignorance is no excuse, 2) contrition and courtesy will go a long, long way in resolving your error. But do register. If you think living low-key on the local economy in a Chinese neighborhood somehow goes unnoticed you are dead wrong.

  • JL

    Re: ‘illegal cohabitation’;
    I’d like to second Chris in asking for more info. As far as I know, it has never actually been against the law to live with a sexual partner with whom you are not married, providing neither of you are legally married (and that neither of you are a prostitute). But a lot of people seem to believe that it is against the law, perhaps because of the expression that it is feifa 非法, which I think originally meant that such were relationships were non-legal, as in not recognized by the law, rather than illegal.
    From a practical point of view, I’m not sure how anyone could be convicted even if it were illegal, given that it’s quite normal for non-sexual partners to share rooms.

  • Kim Jong IL
  • Kim Jong IL

    “Illegal Cohabitation” also includes unmarried persons who live together and, thereby, hold themselves out as being married.
    In other words, it’s not enough to just “check” that your “partner” is not married.

  • neil

    I also notice how this stuff about ‘not openly criticising the government’ appears to have passed without comment. There are in fact windows for constructive criticism in China – take the ‘peking duck’ for instance. You have to be careful, but I completely reject the suggestion that you should avoid criticising the government for fear of ending up in jail, as a principle. To do so is cowardly and pathetic.

  • ScottLoar

    Neil, foreigners prating away in English about China on a forum like The Peking Duck or similar blogs which audience mostly comprises expats reaffirming each other is not the same as an antagonistic attitude and critical speech in Chinese on a Chinese forum showing up the political shortcomings of the Party to the much wider audience; the internet examples of Chinese citizens, Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese censured or imprisoned for such pointed criticism marks the difference. Most especially do the mainland Chinese resent foreigners’ criticism in Chinese, but jailing? Hardly. Likewise, I see no evidence that the public’s windows of constructive criticism in English have any effect on the Party or Chinese in general other than to occasionally goad more antagonism.

  • Old Wise Man

    I guess you have missed an important one in the list for the “Avoiding Chinese Jails”, especially for the people who run the blog inside China. That is:
    Some foreigner thought he has lived in China and he knows everything about China. He pretends he is an expert on, say, northwest region of China. He thought he knows the languages (which he doesn’t), he knows the cultures and histories (which he learnt only from the comments made on his blog), He might get some faithful followers on his blog because not everyone in China could do the search on the old achieve of New York Times or copy-and-paste the latest news release from Radio Free Asia (RFA). He jumps at every opportunity to instigate the ethnic hatred, and generates the rumors that picked up and used by RFA couple of days later. He could not explain why his living and travel expanses didn’t match his “foreign expert” income as an English teacher. But he does know to delete all the comments that expose the minority issue in his own country.
    It is well known in the intelligence community that the blogging is the most efficient way to collect and spread information. Don’t ever think “they don’t read English, they don’t know what I have put in my blog”. Remember, the most scaring thing is: The population to be able to read English in China will soon be greater than the total population of all the English-speaking countries in this world.
    So don’t overestimate yourself if you are a foreigner in a country like China.

  • Old Wise Man

    If you can’t help yourself but to criticize something in China in order to show off your own superiority, make sure that something didn’t happen in your own country. Mostly likely you really don’t know too much about the dark side happened in your own country unless you Google it.
    Google it before you criticize! This is the age of information highway, no one can be sure he is superior than others.

  • Kevin Herrick

    I have a good deal of personal experience with various police in various places in China.
    Take this attitude: China has invited you to dinner and you are China’s dinner guest in China’s house. Behave accordingly.
    The interesting thing about China and legality is, as reflected above, that one quite literally may not be able to exist in China without breaking some laws or regulations. Given that most of us are not perfect, the average person is breaking more laws than required. Most of us probably consider ourselves to be substantially law-abiding citizens of our home countries. So it is a situation of novice law-breakers engaged in illegal activity on a consistent basis.
    From my experience, I’d say dealing with Chinese authority doesn’t differ greatly from dealing with American (criminal) authority. But what differs is the type of person involved in the activity and his or her perspective on the legitimacy/rationale of the authority.

  • Mk

    You have to be careful, but I completely reject the suggestion that you should avoid criticising the government for fear of ending up in jail, as a principle. To do so is cowardly and pathetic.
    I don’t agree with this assessment from Neil.
    I blog about China news in English while living in China. I consciously avoid putting things on there that would antagonize the people in charge of China.
    Specifically, I avoid anything to do with the “3 Ts” and that religious sect that tends to ruffle feathers. I also avoid taking direct shots at China or Chinese policy.
    That’s not to say that I don’t talk about mildly controversial stuff. The one-child policy, pollution, and migrant workers and the economic crisis are all are things that I deem OK to talk about. Although even when I discuss these things, I am never flamboyant in my conclusions and/or criticisms.
    I suppose my question to this forum is this: Should the western English-language China blogger who stays away from the obvious lightning-rod polarizing issues, yet still delves into some bad news, feel OK about what he or she is doing?
    Neil mentioned the Peking Duck. That site goes way beyond what I go into and Richard seems to be doing fine. So I reckon that what I’m doing is fine.
    Although the paranoid person inside me knows that my site is at least being monitored for content. And if that content were to start focusing on more controversial things, I reckon something could happen to me.

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    the police always can find the reason to keep u in the jail .money…..can help and i dont think china has good police .

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    For days now, I have been planning to write a “moderate” post on the state of FDI in China. By moderate, I mean one between the “sky is falling down everyone flee now” lines being pitched by some (mostly those who are actually not involved in China) an…

  • Bob

    Concerning the response to living together or cohabitating illegally in China to reference Article 3 or the marriage laws. That deals with bigamy. Have heard it specifically stated before and especially by some hotels that foreigners are not allowed to stay together (unmarried) with members of the opposite sex who are Chinese. I find no such law anywhere on this. Why then do Hotels in Guangdong insist there is such a law and it supposedly closely enforced there?

  • Great article! I thought it provided information deeper than most are able to find. I thought the part about OEM contracts with a focus on delivery times is a key to a successful sourcing experience.

  • You are saying that China has strict for foreigners, If i want to come back to China then I should follow these rules very hardly so you gave addition “HOT WATER IN CHINA” but I almost never carried my passport on me for obvious reasons so thanks for sharing the lifelong news.

  • Will Dickson

    Hi – I am planning on going to China and need some legal advice. I am not going there to work in a paid or academic capcity. I want to spend three months in both China and Hong Kong.

    That said – whilst in China I will want to visit and learn about the country and its social issues. I have spoken to a couple of friends based in HK and shanghai and they’re unsure if by doing so it’s a risk and a breach of going in on say a ‘tourist’ visa.

    I’m aware being critical of China’s policing or live blogging protests are all sensitive matters and so would refrain from that but am looking for the most agreeable solution which will let me do what I intend on doing but without risk of being jailed or in a risky situation with govt officials.
    Is this a viable thing for ‘tourism’ and being a ‘tourist’ re visas or do I need another one?

    thanks in advance,