When we first started writing this blog we were more free-wheeling than we are today for one very simple reason: the odds of our having problems with the Chinese government were a lot less back then, though there were definitely times where we would “go blank” in China for weeks at a time for having crossed some arbitrary and capricious line. For a whole host of reasons we want to stay live in China and so — like many others — we have toned down and learned not to walk too close to various lines. We don’t like this one bit but this is the China world in which we and everyone else lives.
We don’t have that same line on Facebook or Linkedin or Twitter.
And so we have ramped up what we do on social media. We have a thriving China Law Blog Group on Linkedin that serves as a 99.99% spam-free forum for China networking, information, and discussion. This group is always growing and we are now less than 100 members short of 12,000.
More importantly, we have had some great discussions there, as evidenced both by their numbers (we’ve had discussions with 50-100 comments) and their substance. Our discussions range from people asking and trying to answer questions like, “why is it so difficult to do business in China” or ”what do I need to do to get my Chinese counter-party not to breach my contract” to the ethereal, like “when will we know China is taking innovation seriously?”
The group is nicely split between those who live and work and do business in China and those who do business with China from the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and other countries in Asia. Some of our members are international lawyers but more than 90 percent are not. We have senior level personnel (both attorneys and executives) from large and small companies and a whole host of junior personnel as well. We have professors and we have students. These mixes help elevate, enliven, and enlighten the discussions.
What truly separates us from most (all?) of the other Linkedin China groups is how we block anything and everything that even smacks of spam. We have become so proficient at not allowing spam to show up on the discussion page that it is the rare person who even tries to tempt fate by trying to sneak anything past us anymore. This means postings are relatively rare there (1-2 a week) but this also means it will not waste your time.
If you want to learn more about doing business in China or with China, if you want to discuss China law or business, or if you want to network with others doing China law or business, I urge you to check out and join our China Law Blog Group on Linkedin. The more people in our group, the better the discussions, so please go here and join us!
My personal Linkedin page has more than 8,500 followers and in response to that I have started posting more often there on China, though still a bit irregularly. I welcome any new followers, especially as I plan to start posting more often there (even if it is only to share some of the truly great stuff that others are posting on Linkedin about China.
Our China Law Blog Facebook page, which until only fairly recently was little more than an afterthought, has more than doubled its followers in less than a year. It has more than 23,000 followers (I base this on its number of “likes”) and it is the rare post that does not engender discussion, often heated. With no government there to restrain us, we can be a lot more free-wheeling there than anywhere else and we do take advantage of that. With all the tension that has been going on between China and the US these days (much of which cannot be discussed here without repercussions) our Facebook page has truly become a key source for helping to figure out what is happening. It also has its lighter side as we often will just post cool pictures of China there or really whatever strikes our fancy about China. I urge you to go there and “like” us so you can consistently benefit from what we are doing there.
I am also on Twitter (here, as @danharris) though I am there more to learn than to post.
See you online….