international law

This is part 6 of our series on eight+ things to read about China and a lot more. We constantly get emails from readers asking what to read on China and all sorts of things related and even barely related to China and this series is intended to constantly and consistently answer these questions.

As we said in our initial post on this, our plan is to list out eight (or so) articles we benefitted from reading and think you our readers would also benefit from reading, along with a very brief explanation as to why the particular article was included. More specifically:

The articles will likely include many on China and on Asia and a few on international trade, international politics, Spain and Latin America, economics and really just anything else we believe might benefit our readers or even that we just want people to read. We do not plan to choose articles that push our or any other political agenda or any other agenda for that matter, but having said that, we are not objective and our views may creep through. Our goal though is to focus on articles that are important or helpful or — most importantly — that make you think. Our posting of an article will NOT mean we agree with all of it or even any of it. Most of the articles will be from the week preceding the post but we will also sometimes throw in older articles (classics if you will) as well.

Please do not hesitate to comment at the end of this or any other post. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your comments, good, bad and indifferent.

Here we go, in absolutely no particular order.

1.  World’s Top Bicycle Maker Says the Era of ‘Made in China’ Is Over. Bloomberg. Because that era is indeed over (or will be in a few years, depending on how you define it) and because the sooner everyone realizes this, the sooner everyone can move on to the next questions, which include, where will companies go to have their products made? What will this mean for China? What will this mean for the world?

2.  Is Catalonia the next American dream? Generalitat de Catalunya. Because it is amazing (even though our law firm has a thriving Barcelona office) how much American investment there is in Barcelona and how fast it is growing. 28% of all tech investment is coming from America. Because when we opened our first Spain office  back in 2016, people often asked, why Spain and not England or Germany? My response was because Spain is growing faster, is more central, way less expensive, and it will help our Latin American clients. We don’t even get the “why Spain” questions any more.

United States Languages other than Spanish3. Chinese Cash That Powered Silicon Valley Is Suddenly Toxic. Wall Street Journal.  “As U.S. startups reject their money, Chinese venture-capital firms in U.S. are dialing back investments.” Because there are a lot of reasons for this and because this holds true  for more than just tech: China is doing whatever it can to stop foreign currencies from leaving China, Western companies are wising up to China IP theft, Western governments are closely scrutinizing such deals, and teaming up with Chinese companies does not play well politically or in the market.

4.  Watch Bob Dylan perform ‘Hurricane’ live for the very first time, 1975. Far Out. Because this is one of the best protest songs by one of the best protest (or other) songwriters. Because my father was born and grew up in Patterson, NJ, where this took place.

5.  Inside China’s ‘thought transformation’ camps. BBC. Because this 12 minute video will let you watch and decide for yourself.

6.  This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish. Business Insider.  Because this map is interesting and important and — for me anyway — surprising. For example, I had no idea Vietnamese is the most common language spoken in Oregon (after English and Spanish), even though we have an office there and I go there all the time.

7.  What Do You Call Those Plastic Tubes of Colorful Ice? Food Network. Because, as George Orwell said, “if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” Because the correct answer is Otter Pops and the best color is blue and it is important the world know this.

8.  Google tried to prove managers don’t matter. Instead, it discovered 10 traits of the very best ones. Inc. Magazine. Because management shapes your company and because Google is good with analytics.

9.  Genius hid a Morse code message in song lyrics to prove Google was copying them. Because Google is not infallible. Because when I was a young lawyer I helped defend Rand McNally in an antitrust case in which we damaged plaintiff’s credibility by showing it had copied a Rand McNally map. We did this by proving plaintiff had copied a subdivision from a Rand McNally map that did not actually exist, but had been put into the Rand McNally map  to catch copycats. These fake map portions were known as “traps” and, lucky for us, this IP theft was made more memorable for the jurors because Rand McNally had named the streets of the non-existent subdivision after the various members of the Von Trapp family.

10.  What Hong Kong Protests Mean For Business. Global Finance Magazine. Because not only are companies thinking twice about China, they are thinking twice about Hong Kong as well. Because our own Steve Dickinson has the money quote:

Steve Dickinson, an attorney with law firm Harris Bricken which specializes in corporate law in China, added that the protests, coupled with the growing integration of Hong Kong with the PRC, will likely push financial professional and multinational to other Asian hubs.

“Singapore will be the most likely beneficiary, but Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul will also benefit,” he tells Global Finance. “The PRC would like these folks to move to Shanghai. But recent actions on the part of the PRC government driving away expats of all types means that a move to Shanghai is not going to happen.”

11.  It’s a Winner-Take-All World, Whether You Like It or Not.Atlantic. Because I am still mulling over and discussing whether this is true or not, but either way, I know/feel this is an important issue and I would love your thoughts on it.

Your thoughts on any or all of the above?

Please don’t be shy!

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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 AVVO.com (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 (www.chinalawblog.com). 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.