Weekly Roundup: 850,000 Lawsuits in the IPR Pipeline, Little Investors Beware, and Confessions of a Sweatshop Inspector

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 20:26
Posted in category The Big Picture

With so much going on in China, and only a limited amount of bandwidth, I have created this weekly post to highlight articles that I feel are (1) important, (2) relevant, and (3) interesting.

This week there are 3 articles that I have chosen to highlight as each are quite interesting, they are all relevant, and there are issues within each that I think you the reader should be aware of.

If you have an article that you feel needs to be mentioned, please do so in the comments section. We all have different areas of interest and bandwidth, so I hope you will take some time and post those articles!

850,000 lawsuits in the making
At one point, IPR was the most frequently debated issue when it came to China being a threat to foreign firms. reporters, consultants, politicians, and industry groups have historically lamented China for its inability to protect foreign IPR. Last year though, when I wrote IPR Protection in China’s Second Tier, I looked at how things might be changing, and this economist article I think does a great job of showing how things my be picking up steam.

China has since opened more than 50 courts that deal solely with intellectual-property cases, and Chinese firms are using them.

China Leaves Small Investors Behind on Road To Capitalism
If there is one ongoing fear I have had about China’s stock market it was that the little guy was going to get screwed, and this article gives some insight into what happens when they do… and Credit Suisse’s Vincent Chan really summed up why I don’t trust banks and analysts to look out for me with his quote

“You lose money, you jump out the window, too bad. It’s your problem”

As someone who has taken a bath before (think May 2000), I will accept that I was an idiot, but in hindsight I had access to the information and I read it wrong. The same cannot be said in China, where things that can have a significant impact on a stock price occur behind closed doors and out of the control of investors.

Confessions of a Sweatshop Inspector
A very interesting article on the factory audit / social compliance side by someone who was once an inspector himself. While I have dedicated more time on this article at Crossroads, I think All Roads readers would benefit a great deal from reading it as well as it deals with issues that anyone manufacturing in China should be thinking about when visiting suppliers.

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2 Responses to “Weekly Roundup: 850,000 Lawsuits in the IPR Pipeline, Little Investors Beware, and Confessions of a Sweatshop Inspector”

  1. dezza says:

    May 6th, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I must say I’m not sympathetic with Chinese investors. They (should) know that the companies they are investing in are largely government controlled, opaque, accounting practices aren’t up to international standards and most of the ‘little guys’ play the market like they would at a Macau casino so it’s a case of buyer beware.

    Many ‘little guys’ are wising up and coming to Hong Kong to set up stock brokerage accounts here which is what I advise all my mainland friends to do if they want to ‘invest’ rather than gamble on the market.

  2. Rich says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Dezza,

    I see your point, and I myself have tried to convince several of my friends to be more careful. Where it becomes difficult is when you look at “Blue Chip”. Most locals believe that these firms are on solid ground and can be trusted…. until something happens behind closed doors.

    R