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Law and Legal Issues

Our site leaves most information on law and legal issues to the experts- - In this case, the lawyers. The internet contains sites with this expertise. Listed below are a couple of sites that will assist you in your search for legal information. We have listed a variety of interesting topics such as legal Chops, crime, land ownership and patents and trademarks.


Got Your Chop?

In China your signature isn't any good. You must acquire and register your "chop". A chop is a your Chinese name chiseled into a decorated stone. Using a stamp pad, you place your "chop" on a document. It serves as your official signature or "chop" on legal and other documents. Do it for legal purposes. or as a tourist, take one home for fun!


Foreign Trade Laws:

Gaining a basic understanding of foreign trade laws governing import, export, capital investment or even service is a valuable exercise, even for those of us non-lawyer types. It provides a framework of what you can and can not do in the PRC.


Legal System History:
The People's Republic of China is a communist government, coming into power after a prolonged civil was in 1949. Since the communist takeover, the constitution has been written and re-written a number of times.


Land Ownership:

Foreign firms can not own land in china. All land remains the property of the People's Republic of China. Corporations lease the land typically for a period of 50 years. It is re-negotiable at the end of that period. There are usually clauses in the lease that allow for certain levels of rent increases after a period of time and at pre-established intervals. Other clauses contain provisions for exiting the lease prior to the end of the contract. Obvious care and diligence should be given to reviewing, understanding and negotiating the provisions of this lease.

Even with a 50 year lease in hand, the PRC can largely do as they please. Most everyone is well aware of the first McDonald's in Beijing. After obtaining a lease, the government still removed them from the property a couple of years later as it was in the way of plans for a major mall. While this may seem drastic and illegal, it is not that much different from American laws of Eminent Domain.


Patents and Trademarks:

China Trademark Service is a Chinese government authorized agency that assists in trademark and patent information. It covers these issues internally in the PRC as well as procedural information for patents and trademarks for domestic firms for foreign activities. This site contains information on process and procedure, what is covered and what is needed to gain appropriate approvals.


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