Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's blog

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Loco about Localization: The Obvious is Not for Chinese Companies

It is de rigueur today that Chinese companies need to become more localized. At a minimum, they need to become more aware of local laws, regulations, and customs and abandon the idea they can do things like they do them at home. At the maximum, they need to hire more local workers and managers, source more goods locally, transfer technology, and become better corporate citizens, adopting meaningful corporate social responsibility programs.

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US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) Negotiations: Still Nothing to Sink One’s Teeth Into

Prior to the opening of the just concluded 7th U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) there was some hope the two countries might make progress on a BIT. China fed the optimism somewhat, with a Chinese official lauding the fact the two sides had exchanged negative lists and were working to improve and shorten their lists.

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Chi-Cham USA! The Potentialities and Limits of PRC Company Business Associations in the US

Chinese companies from the People’s Republic of China in the US have been organizing to promote their interests as shown by the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC)’s expansion. The rise of the CGCC mirrors the development of foreign business associations in China such as the American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham China). The CGCC’s mission is to “promote the brand of Chinese companies collectively, protect their legal rights, and advocate for fairer regulation” and to serve a bridging function.

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Giving Foreign IT No Credit: China’s New Banking Technology Rules and Possible Responses

China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) have begun to implement rules designed to ensure that by 2019 seventy-five percent of the technology in China’s banking system is “secure and controllable.” The rules are wide-ranging, covering hardware such as mainframes, personal computers, and point-of-sale systems as well as software like operating systems and anti-virus programs.

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Banned Nazi P#%N on Taobao? Global Firms Are Local

In early February an American law firm filed a class action lawsuit against Alibaba for violating the US Securities Exchange Act by concealing information about regulatory problems it faced in China. The case linked to a spat between Alibaba and China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce over the amount of counterfeit goods on Alibaba’s website and the adequacy of Alibaba’s measures to address the problems.

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Et tu, Zuckerberg? A Complex “Friending” Story

In July, news reports revealed Facebook, blocked in China, was working to expand its presence in China with the signing of a multi-year office lease in Beijing. Since then, media have reported Facebook staff appearing at major conferences in China, meeting with Chinese Internet regulators, and intensifying efforts to provide services to Chinese companies.

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The WTO and China: Still of Relevance for Foreign Investors?

China has been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member for almost thirteen years. The titanic battles over its admission to the globe’s leading international economic organization have long passed. While some were anxious about China’s WTO accession, many were exuberant. They foresaw new markets for the goods they manufactured outside and inside China, new opportunities to invest in China’s automobile, banking, insurance, telecommunications, and wholesaling sectors, and better protection of their intellectual property (IP).

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Shanghai Free Trade Zone Still Nowhere Near “The Zone”

The launching of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) approximately one year ago generated considerable excitement. Months before its launch, Chinese media began to talk of an area that would be “grander and bolder than anything that has ever been conceived.” As far as foreign investors were concerned, the SFTZ’s marquee idea was a “negative list,” which essentially let in foreign investors automatically unless otherwise prohibited.

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Trying to Turn Gold into Lead: Mislabeling Chinese-American FDI in Africa

The first US-Africa summit took place in August. It afforded the US an opportunity to show it was not completely distracted by events in Gaza and Ukraine. It also gave US businesses, encouraged by US President Barack Obama, a chance to strike deals with giants like Coca-Cola, General Electric, and IBM and investors like Blackstone pouring $14 billion into Africa. Not surprisingly, Western media seized upon the summit to raise the issue about the US-China competition in Africa (even Chinese media jumped on this bandwagon) and whether or not the summit showed the US was catching up.

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Nuggets of Wisdom about Beefing up Cooperative Compliance

Roughly ten days ago, Shanghai authorities carried out a raid on Shanghai Husi Food Co. (owned by US-based OSI Group), a supplier of beef, chicken, and pork products to fast food chains such as KFC, convenience store FamilyMart, and coffee chain Starbucks. The raid occurred after undercover reporting revealed the use of expired meat and poor safety practices at Shanghai Husi. Various Shanghai Husi employees have charged the firm used meat that had passed its expiration date, mixed dirty meat with clean meat, doctored expiration labels, falsifying reports, and violated employment law.

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