Home > Analysis > Catching Shaun Rein’s “The End of Cheap China” book wave

Catching Shaun Rein’s “The End of Cheap China” book wave

We recently noticed a peculiar phenomenon over at the China Law Blog. Since about two weeks ago, they started publishing a series of articles with the title, “The End of Cheap China,” followed by something else. We also know Shaun Rein has been marketing his book for months now – “The End of Cheap China.” (Allen will be writing a review, by the way.) The interesting thing is that the China Law Blog makes no mention of the book whatsoever in their series of articles.

Now, do a search on “The End of Cheap China” on Google. Unsurprisingly, the book shows up at the top due to Amazon’s, Rein’s, and the publisher’s marketing efforts. However, look at the next five top search results (#2 through #6) from Google (results were at the time of this writing):

  1. Amazon.com: The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural 

    www.amazon.com/EndCheapChina-Economic…/dp/111817206X
    $12.98 – In stock

    China is known for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country’s vast supply of low-cost workers. But China is changing, and the glut of cheap 

  2. The End of Cheap China Is Growing Near – Forbes

    www.forbes.com/sites/…/the-end-of-cheapchina-is-growing-near/
    Dec 13, 2011 – This article is by Shaun Rein, whose book The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World will be 
  3. China Watch: Subversive Poem, the End of Cheap, More on Apple 

    blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/…/china-watch-subversive-p… – Hong Kong
    3 days ago – A poem threatens to send another dissident to jail, how to prepare for the end of cheap China, happier headlines for Apple and more.
  4. The End Of Cheap China, Part III. How YOU Must Prepare For It 

    www.chinalawblog.com/…/the_end_of_cheap_china_part_iii_how_y…
    4 days ago – We have been writing frequently regarding the end of cheap Chinabecause we are just about every day seeing how this impacts our (mostly 
  5. The End Of Cheap China, Part IV. More On How YOU Must Prepare 

    www.chinalawblog.com/…/the_end_of_cheap_china_part_iv_more_…
    2 days ago – In my previous post in this series on the end of cheap China, I noted that the risks relating to purchases from Chinese manufacturers are rising 
  6. Book Preview: “The End Of Cheap China” By Shaun Rein « Jing 

    www.jingdaily.com/…/book-preview-the-end-of-cheapchina-by-sha…
    Dec 1, 2011 – The End Of Cheap China: Economic And Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt  Hitting stores in March of next year, The End of Cheap China by 


Note that #3 is the WSJ’s China blog linking to one of China Law Blog’s articles.

Is this a coincidence?

As a topic, this is something the China Law blog writes about from time to time for sure. Could the blog use a different title and not obfuscate Rein’s book? Absolutely. Just use your imagination: “China is no longer cheap,” “Rising Chinese labor cost,” “Cheap China labor no more,” and whatever.

For those of us who blog, we think about optimizing our articles for search engines from time to time. So, if I want to ride the popularity of Rein’s book, I put his book in the article title. When someone hears Rein talking about his book on CNBC or some other big network, they might search for it on the Internet. If my article shows up in the search results, then I potentially benefit in gaining more traffic for the blog.

Now consider this. What if Rein and his book are less well known? What if the China Law Blog articles show up higher in the search on Google than the book? That would have a drowning out effect on the book and be damaging to sales prospects.

One may argue the China Law Blog didn’t know about the book. That’d be nonsense. Rein is a “China hand.” They have written against Rein’s views about China in the past.

I am not a lawyer and don’t know about copyright laws. So, legally, perhaps, book titles are just titles and unlike a trademark or service mark where others are precluded from using them.

And, sure, I am catching the popularity wave of Rein’s book, “The End of Cheap China” with this article. At least this article refers to the book!

  1. zack
    February 4th, 2012 at 00:32 | #1

    intriguing, yinyang,
    i’m going to go with Occam’s Razor and posit that China Law Blog and its owner Dan wotshisface is obviously butthurt over the treatment he’s gotten in the past regarding Rein or with some of us in hiddenharmonies.

    Anyway, given this piece of news, i’m definitely off to purchase Rein’s E-book/hardcopy; i wasn’t going to previously, but this just took the cake. Rein, if you’re reading this, you can thank Dan watshisface for earning yourself another customer for your book.

  2. aflame
    February 4th, 2012 at 02:29 | #2

    If you add the word “book” to the sentence, the result will differ greatly

  3. Eric Wong
    February 4th, 2012 at 03:01 | #3

    DAN HARRIS and CHINA LAW BLOG do the following:

    1) PARASITE other people’s blog articles by commenting on them and making it seem as if all the content is origianlly their own. If you read China Law Blog, go through the last months articles they wrote. 75% of them are comments on OTHER blogs articles and authors work and is NOT of their own ORIGIN. They practice “EXPERTISE BY PARASITE” – taking the original work of others to make it look as if they are the experts.

    2) They are extremely aggresive to other prominent online China commentators. They copied Shaun Rein’s book title to get their work on the google rankings, they have written nasty things about him and also been critical about other people as well. They use SEO tactics in UNETHICAL ways and ILLEGAL WAYS.

    3) They have a large blogroll which they have used to THREATEN PEOPLE with by saying they will DELETE their blog from that if that blog CARRIES WORK BY COMPETING BLOGS.

    4) HARRIS & MOURE, the law firm who writes China Law Blog are NOT in China. They are NOT licensed to practice law in China, are NOT regulated by the Ministry of Justice and do NOT have any offices in China. They are in SEATTLE. This is MISREPRESENTATION. Their work is sub-contracted and means their clients will not be protected against wrongful advice in IMDEMNITY or LEGAL INSURANCE issues.

    5) Harris & Moure do NOT pay tax on their China income. Even though they don’t have an office in China, they should under Chinese tax law be subject to tax on “CHINA DERIVED INCOME”. They do not and this is UNFAIR to the foreign law firms who are registered and who abide by the law. Harris & Moure’s operations BREAK CHINESE TAX LAWS.

    6) HARRIS & MOURE have NOT invested in China, do NOT have a license and have NO financial exposure or legal or financial risk to China nor any investment there. WHAT does that tell you about their REAL COMMITMENT to their work and advice they give to clients?

    CHINA LAW BLOG is NOT the best or most informed blog about China law or business. It IS a cleverly run FACADE to make it appear as if it is and that their firm is legitimate but the REALITY is that it is all a FRONT. All this can be checked out. China Law Blog has NO substance and is NOT a good source of ORIGINAL CHINA LAW & BUSINESS content.

    AND THEY ARE NOT IN CHINA. If you want good China advice – LOOK ELSEWHERE there are far BETTER BLOGS and WEBSITES and CHINA LAW & TAX EXPERTS out there who are in China and PRODUCE ORIGINAL WORK.

    HARRIS & MOURE ARE PARASITES CHURNING CHINA BLOG ARTICLES TO PIGGY BACK ON OTHERS WRITINGS.

  4. February 4th, 2012 at 03:04 | #4

    yinyang, I understand where you are coming from and I myself noted something similar in a prior comment. But I’d say let’s not spend too much more effort on Dan’s practices. As my sis-in-law like to say:

    When you roll with pigs, you smell like pigs.

    Now that you’ve pointed things out, let’s let reader make his own judgement.

  5. Nigel Tufnell
    February 4th, 2012 at 05:18 | #5

    Dan Harris is only getting what he did to others. China Law Blog has been going downhill for months anyway.

  6. Dalai Kunt
    February 4th, 2012 at 10:43 | #6

    That’s nasty behavior by Dan, no doubt about that. His online presence seems to have affected his ego he behaving like a spoilt kid pretending to be something he not. Dan he’s a China wannabe no-one takes his blog comments very seriously in China these days it seems he’s gone for the student and cheap comments crowd like that racist shit he wrote about Chinese students. When FOARP considered an expert commentator on China Law blog you know you’re on the ropes man: he’s scraping the barrel trying to parasitize Shaun Rein’s book title. His last two articles also parasiting on another China expert, this time a Dr. Clarisse von Wunschheim an arbitration expert, none of the content is original from Harris & Moure its all just hearsay from someone else. Maybe his law firm is all fucked up, I never see how he has so much time to write anyways when accordings to him hes so busy with thousands of clients. I think hes all bullshit and he got found out now.

  7. Marketing Guru
    February 4th, 2012 at 17:48 | #7

    I think that Shaun Rein and Dan Harris are working together to take us all for a ride. Harris is always writing about Rein and vice-versa. Just check China Law Blog for this. Rein even comments there. Every time Harris writes about the end of cheap China, it’s free buzz for Rein and it drives the terminology ever further into the psyche. I think it quite telling that neither of them have come on here to comment and when I email them to ask what’s up, they both completely ignore more. I smell a scam here. And here’s the kicker: I saw the two of them lunching together in Shanghai last year! Just think about how much airplay the two of them are getting out of this.

  8. Cornelius Mueller
    February 4th, 2012 at 17:56 | #8

    The End of Cheap China? on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZStE5MUfCc, dd. Oct 16, 2008

  9. Dalai Kunt
    February 4th, 2012 at 20:33 | #9

    @Marketing Guru – I think you no follow the blogs it seems they hate each other. I don’t buy this conspiracy theory its too dangerous.
    @Cornelius – it true none have the sole right to the title “The End of Cheap China” but that doesn’t excuse Dan Harris from using the exact same phrase just when Shaun Reins book is coming out. Getting a free parasite ride on the back of someone else work is a bastard thing to do. And taking up high Google search ranking away from his book as seems deliberate is really nasty evil shit.

  10. Fact Man
    February 4th, 2012 at 20:34 | #10

    Eric Wong –

    Careful who you slander.

    Harris & Moure has a licensed office in Qingdao, headed up by Steve Dickinson, a widely respected lawyer with many, many years of China experience.

    yinyang – I think you should give Eric the opportunity to retract his comments.

  11. Dalai Kunt
    February 4th, 2012 at 20:39 | #11

    @Fact Man – What the Harris & Moure office address then? I live in Qingdao and can go check it out and see their China license they should have on the wall in their name.
    Strange their website http://www.harrismoure.com doesn’t list a China office don’t you think?

  12. Eric Wong
    February 4th, 2012 at 20:57 | #12

    So Harris & Moure DO claim to have an office in Qingdao. That’s very interesting.
    SO WHERE IS IT THEN????

  13. February 4th, 2012 at 21:57 | #13

    @Fact Man

    As far as I know, Steven Dickinson doesn’t have license to practice law in China. He may affiliate himself with an office that has a license (e.g. be a consultant to a Chinese law firm), but he himself does not – and certainly not Harris & Moure – have license to practice in China. I know of many American law firms that have legitimate real legal offices in China. There is no shame in admitting the above. Many lesser firms outsource work to local firms behind the scene – and they certainly can serve some client needs with those arrangements. (I know the above from personal correspondence with Dan).

    My statement here is not meant to disparage Steven or Dan or Harris & Moure. Of course, if things have changed – and if I happen to be wrong now, Dan or Steven is always free to come forth to to this forum (or in their forum if they like, in which case we would love to get links) to publicly correct any statements I or others have made here.

  14. Fact Man
    February 4th, 2012 at 21:58 | #14

    [Deleted by Allen for swearing and mocking forum participants]

  15. China Jim
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:11 | #15

    This is getting interesting. All they have to do is publish their China Qingdao office address. What’s so hard about that? Otherwise it seems Eric Wong may in fact be right.

  16. Paul White
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:19 | #16

    @Allen – If Steve Dickinson and Harris & Moure don’t have licenses to practice law in China then the implication is they’ve totally misrepresented themselves. That’s a very serious matter if they’ve been handling US clients and advising them on matters of China law without possessing the necessary qualifications or licenses to do so.

    Also – I wonder if “Fact Man” was Dan? Maybe you could check the IP?

  17. Barry Bongaleu
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:21 | #17

    A very serious matter eh. If its so serious what are you going to do about it?

    You guys are pitiful.

    CDE, is that you???

  18. The View From Qingdao
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:25 | #18

    Word here in Qingdao and from mates at Red Star there (a local expat magazine) is that Harris & Moure use a local firm called Youhua in Qingdao and subscontract there work because they don’t have a license of there own and Steve Dickinson sometimes sits in the Youhua offices. But no-one I spoke to has seen Steve around Qingdao for a long time so maybe they’re not there anymore.
    Surely all they need to do is publish their office address and clear all this up.

  19. Barry Bongaleu
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:27 | #19

    Perhaps they dont care what half a dozen ex- PRC Chinese who live in america think….
    Just a guess

  20. February 4th, 2012 at 22:30 | #20

    @Barry Bongaleu

    If they don’t care – then there is no issue at all. Why waste your breath here?

  21. Secret Chef
    February 4th, 2012 at 22:58 | #21

    I find all of this so funny because Mr. Harris just spoke before my class THIS week here at Rice. We asked him about bad publicity and he said that he never worries about bad publicity and then he specifically mentioned this blog and how it did a post calling him a bigot. He then laughed and said how he got a call from someone who was referred to his blog by this blog who was so angered by your attacks against him and so impressed by him that they hired his firm for a big project. I’m convinced that Mr. Harris and Mr. Rein have teamed up together and are laughing all the way to the bank. Those two clearly understand what it takes to distinguish themselves in crowded fields.

  22. sushi chef
    February 5th, 2012 at 00:19 | #22

    Small minds are always easily impressed, and it’s awesome that – based on one blog post – a firm of uncertain credentials lands a BIG job in tough times. Bully for Dan Harris, I’d say, hahahahaha!!
    Not that I put you in that category of small minds. But, hey, did it occur to you, during Dan Harris’s address of your class THIS week, to question the premise of his post that was like a clarion call for American (mostly Caucasian) to put their racist prejudices on parade? Critical thinking,critical thinking, boy.
    Or did he bring that up in the class?
    His post makes a case of mainland Chinese who cheat in exams, are anti-social, etc. But I’d ask: can YOU tell a mainland Chinese from a Japanese/Thai/Vietnamese, let alone a Hongkong/Taiwan/Singapore Chinese? Bad behaviour happens in class, it’s not just a mainland thing.
    Or are you another of America’s brainwashed Best and Brightest who think that China is eating our lunch/taking our jobs/stealing our markets, just because your politicians and media say so?

  23. zack
    February 5th, 2012 at 01:36 | #23

    i’m sensing a lot of alts here from the same trolls who were previously banned. guess they can’t resist the allure of hiddenharmonies; no matter, so long as it gives this site more ad income, it won’t matter how many ‘alts’ come to get blocked.

  24. Scaramouche
    February 5th, 2012 at 23:13 | #24

    Any news of where the Harris & Moure China office is located?
    No?
    I thought not.

  25. LOLZ
    February 6th, 2012 at 06:58 | #25

    There is no doubt that the writers of Chinalawblog are aware of Rein’s book. I wonder if this is some sort of google bombing attempt.

    The China blogshpere is divided into two camps, one which focuses mostly on negative aspects of China (this group consists of most political Chinablogs) and the other focuses on the positive (Hiddenharmony). The anti-China blogs have taken turns bashing Rein (including CHinalawblog, although Dan’s criticisms are the mostly evenhanded). Reading the articles and comments most are complaining about

    1) Rein’s political position, which is not anti-CCP but in the eyes of many that means pro-CCP (Dan from Chinalawblog wrote that Rein has taken an “extreme position favoring China, although Dan apparently have no problems with folks who have taken extreme position against China)

    2) Rein’s arrogance and generally dismissive behavior against anyone who heavily criticizes Chinese government. This is true, although I find other Chinabloggers to be equally dismissive of anyone they perceive to be pro-CCP and especially of Rein

    3) Rein’s recognition (PKDuck often mentions about how Rein gets on MSNBC and Forbes, Chinalawblog mentioned has two articles which tried to debunk Rein’s TV ap). I feel that the latter upsets people the most, since most of the english Chinabloggers have pretty big egos.

    Sadly (or happily), this thread and the comments here attacking Chinalawblog will likely to further polarize. Still, the pattern seems to be that most bloggers in the anti-China camp are non-Chinese (with a few HK/Taiwan persons thrown in), while the bloggers who in the pro-China camp are mostly overseas Chinese. Although the later group is small in size now, because the Chinese overseas student population has exploded recently I expect to see the later group to grow in the coming years.

  26. LOLZ
    February 6th, 2012 at 07:53 | #26

    I just read the whole “The end of Cheap China” series on CHinalawblog. I have to say that it’s actually an excellent read, very detailed and technical. There is no doubt that the name of the series was selected to contrast the stuff which the lawyer bloggers wrote with the stuff which Rein wrote. It’s actually a pretty neat way to indirectly bash Rein.

    Still, both Rein and the lawyer bloggers are pretty good at advertising themselves. In a separate article named “China’s Product Quality Problem?” the lawyer blogger wrote:

    “Here is how I suggest you proceed: If you are ever going to buy product from China again, you should hire us” 🙂

  27. Scaramouche
    February 6th, 2012 at 20:21 | #27

    The reason China Law Blog are being attacked is because Dan Harris misrepresents his firms true status in China. They are not registered with the Chinese Ministry of Justice. Talk of their “office in Qingdao” is bullshit and lies. They are not regulated in China.

  28. zack
    February 6th, 2012 at 22:50 | #28

    i propose a series on China Law Blog, an expose if you will of just how China Law Blog misrepresents and misadvertises themselves.

  29. February 6th, 2012 at 23:03 | #29

    Just saw this take from IPG Legal, which has representation in China as a law firm:
    China Experts are Everywhere?: According to the “Experts” Only

  30. Scaramouche
    February 7th, 2012 at 01:09 | #30

    @Zack – maybe a good idea. You can’t go around saying “Our office in Qingdao” or “Our lawyer in Beijing” when you don’t have an actual office there. But it’s Harris & Moure who Dan keeps saying has an office and lawyers. They never suggested China Law Blog has an office, I think everyone knows thats written in Seattle from the Harris & Moure office there. It also raises questions as to who Steve Dickenson and this Matthew Alderton guy are actually employed by it can’t be Harris & Moure they have no offices and cannot hire lawyers in China. So they either are employed by another firm entirely or those two are working illegally on tourist visas.

  31. The All Seeing Eye
    February 7th, 2012 at 03:07 | #31

    Dan Harris lied about Harris & Moure’s status and that they had an office in Qingdao. They don’t – the Chinese Ministry of Justice list of Foreign Law Firms in China is here and they’re not on it as at 31st December 2011: http://www.moj.gov.cn/lsgzgzzds/content/2011-12/31/content_3257731.htm

  32. February 7th, 2012 at 11:42 | #32

    @YinYang
    I’m linking it in a comment in your original post regarding the topic of Chinese students.

  33. Nayok Guru
    February 9th, 2012 at 18:52 | #33

    Dan Harris knows people are watching him carefully. He and his two China lawyers Steve Dickinson and Matthew Alderton cannot afford to make mistakes in their situation or their house of cards might come tumbling down if they piss off anyone else in China. I guess it’d only take a few calls and complaints to mess them up big time.

  34. Scaramouch
    February 10th, 2012 at 04:50 | #34

    Thinking this through further, as Steve Dickinson and Matthew Alderton cannot be working for Harris & Moure in China as that firm has no licensed office to employ people, they must either be working for another firm in China but representing Harris & Moure as well (which is illegal under the Ministry of Justice regulations on legal representation, article 18 of the regulations here: http://www.china.org.cn/english/DAT/214778.htm ) or they are practicing as lawyers while on tourist visas in China. Having US and Australian lawyers working in China practicing Chinese law while actually on tourist visas is obviously not a very professiocal thing to be condusting legal work. Neither is saying you have an office and staff in China when you do not.

  35. Kashabian
    February 11th, 2012 at 21:32 | #35

    It apppears Dan Harris’s aggressiveness towards other online China commentators is in direct proportion to the dubious nature in which he seems to operate his Harris & Moure law firm.

  36. Scaramouch
    February 19th, 2012 at 21:13 | #36

    It also appears Harris & Moure China business is winding down, Dan Harris seems now concenrating on US weird end legal work with moonrock plaque theft in Alaska: http://community.adn.com/adn/node/157506
    and defending anti whaling activists:
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/02/16/Judge-wont-stop-anti-whaling-activists/UPI-56661329445366
    Bit of a long way from China ‘eh?

  37. Jim
    February 23rd, 2012 at 21:53 | #37

    Guys, it took me less than one minute to find this information on Steve Dickinson’s business address in China:

    Harris & Moure PLLC c/o Wincon Law Firm
    10-11 Floor Sunshine Tower Office Bldg
    61 Hong Kong Middle Rd
    Qingdao 266071
    China

  38. February 24th, 2012 at 01:27 | #38

    @Jim

    Not that I want to get into this witch hunt, but I think you just found the contact info of Steve in China, not their elusive office in China. If you read the above, you will know that I know that Steve is at most a consultant (not a practitioner) in China. But a lot of people seem to think that Harris and Moure has misrepresented in advertising that they have an office in China (a licensed lawyer’s office) – that Steve is licensed top practice law in China.

    Anyways, I don’t know if he has or has not. But I am going to butt out now, because it’s not worth my time. But I thought you deserve a response from me in helping me out in the other thread…

  39. Jim
    February 24th, 2012 at 07:11 | #39

    @Allen

    Allen, thanks for the reply. I provided Steve’s business address in China mostly because there is at least one person on this thread who have implied that he just can’t be found in a law firm setting in China.

    On the issue of whether Harris & Moure has a licensed Chinese office– Has Dan ever actually represented that his firm has a licensed law office in China? I’ve been reading China Law Blog since December 2006 (yes, I remember exactly when I started reading), and I don’t recall ever having read that his firm has a licensed law office in China. I’ve known from the beginning that none of the lawyers at his firm could hope to be licensed in China, and so I never read any of his comments on Steve’s location to mean that Steve is licensed to practice law in China.

    I just ran a bunch of searches through google, e.g. “site:Chinalawblog.com steve qingdao,” “site:chinalawblog.com harris moure china office,” “harris moure china office,” and more. I couldn’t find a single asertion that Harris & Moure has a licensed law office in China. Instead, I found many phrases like, Steve Dickinson in Qingdao, Steve spends most of his time in Qingdao, etc.

    I also recall reading many times on CLB that they associate local Chinese lawyers to perform legal work in China (and in other countries like Korea). For example, in one one blog post, Steve mentions how his firmed hired a local (Chinese) lawyer to file a lawsuit in China.

    I’d love to stay and hash this out, but I have an appointment with the doctor. But I’d really like to see any example of Dan or Steve’s actually representing that they have a licensed law office in China. They’re permitted to say where Steve works. It’s not their fault if some people — with either innocent or bad intentions — read more into that sort of simple statement. Indeed, it just shows that CLB fills a void because most people in America don’t understand the various ways in which an American business can have a presence in China.

  40. February 24th, 2012 at 09:50 | #40

    @Jim

    Thanks for providing that. That makes sense. In my mind, it just doesn’t make sense to me that Dan would knowingly misrepresent himself publicly that way – espeically in a professional setting. There may be a lot that Dan and I disagree on, but I know he’s too smart to do something like that!

  41. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 14:05 | #41

    Interesting that Dan Harris and Steve are not licensed to practice law in China, but they still “advise” client on Chinese legal matters (one can read their own admissions on the blogs about advising this and that client on what they should/shouldn’t do in China legal matters).

    Seems like a bit of un-authorized practice of law in China by Dan Harris.

    If Dan is not licensed to practice law in China, what kind of “advice” is he selling to his clients??

    If Dan and Steve are just subcontracting to actual Chinese lawyers to do the “advising”, then how can Dan and Steve claim they “advised” clients on their blogs? (That IS misrepresenting other people’s work as their own)!!

    Oh BTW, the link provided by JIM, blog written by Steve, first line reads, “When we draft contracts in China…”

    Pretty sure that was an admission of unauthorized practice of law in China. Pretty sure that “DRAFTING CONTRACTS”, especially in a difficult legal subject as Chinese law, require special training and licensing, and is in the area of practice of law.

    **

    Corpus Juris Secundum Attorney & Client § 31 has to say on the subject (footnotes omitted):

    The preparation of legal documents involves difficult or doubtful legal questions which, to safeguard the public, reasonably demands the application of a trained legal mind. Thus, acts and services which constitute the practice of law include drafting, and preparing legal instruments and documents, such as trust documents, real estate contracts, deeds, notes, mortgages, and releases, drafting, preparing, and causing a will to be executed, preparing, or advising in the preparation of, income tax papers and returns, and preparing and prosecuting patent applications. A lay person’s preparation of a corporate charter, bylaws, and related documents, which are important contractual documents and legal instruments, also constitutes unauthorized practice of law.

    On the other hand, the drafting or preparation of simple, elementary, legal papers or documents may not constitute the practice of law. For example, the completion of a legal form which has been prepared by an attorney, where all that is done is filling in the blanks with missing information, does not constitute the practice of law. Moreover, a person ordinarily may draw a legal instrument to which he or she is a party without being engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

  42. Jim
    February 26th, 2012 at 16:36 | #42

    @raventhorn
    Even if your point were interesting, it wouldn’t warrant any jump to asserting that Dan misrepresents his firm’s status in China; neither would your point warrant any jump to questioning whether Dan and his firm’s attorneys actually perform substantive legal work for their clients.

    Drafting a contract for a corporate client is the practice of law, but an attorney’s drafting a contract that contemplates a client’s contacts with other jurisdictions in which the attorney is not licensed is not necessarily an unauthorized practice of law; indeed, in American jurisdictions this generally isn’t an unauthorized practice of law.

    You need to consult each jurisdiction’s rules of professional responsibility and case law (or whatever the equivalent is in China), not Corpus Juris Secundum Attorney & Client. In general, transactional lawyers have more leeway with deal work than litigators have with litigation. Also, a common practice is for a deal lawyer in one jurisdiction to draft a contract that touches mostly on another jurisdiction and associate a lawyer from the other jurisdiction to make sure everything in the contract is OK.

    The safer assumption here is that Dan and Steve do a lot of the legwork and then associate Chinese lawyers to to refine the work and meet the requirements of Chinese law concerning the practice of law. But that’s just an assumption based on what I’ve read on Dan’s blog. Again, I’ve never seen any statement from Dan that implies to me that his firm has a licensed law office in China.

    Why don’t you call or email Dan and ask what the real deal is?

  43. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:12 | #43

    @Jim

    I just made a separate point, I did not make “any jump to asserting that Dan misrepresents his firm’s status in China”.

    whether Dan and his firm’s attorneys actually perform substantive legal work for their clients, That depends on Dan’s and Steve’s own claims.

    “an attorney’s drafting a contract that contemplates a client’s contacts with other jurisdictions in which the attorney is not licensed is not necessarily an unauthorized practice of law”

    Really? That’s NOT “substantive legal work for their clients”??

    Well, I guess your “not necessarily” doesn’t really say much. So my question obviously is warranted.

    So according to you, Dan MIGHT be authorized to draft a contract for his US clients involving in Chinese legal matters, even if Dan is NOT licensed to practice law in China?!!

    Oh, I think plenty of people are already emailing or calling Dan and asking his “real deal”. We will hear about it soon enough. 🙂

  44. Jim
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:38 | #44

    @raventhorn

    raventhorn :
    I just made a separate point, I did not make “any jump to asserting that Dan misrepresents his firm’s status in China”.

    I was nipping the bud the perpetuation of both unfounded assertions from this thread: 1) others’ assertion that Dan has misrepresented the status of his office in China; and 2) your assertion that Dan’s firm engages in an unauthorized practice of law.

    raventhorn :
    whether Dan and his firm’s attorneys actually perform substantive legal work for their clients, That depends on Dan’s and Steve’s own claims.

    No, whether Dan and his firm’s attorneys actually perform substantive legal work for their clients does not depend on Dan and Steve’s claims; rather, whether Dan and his firm’s attorneys actually perform substantive legal work for their clients depends on what they actually do for their clients. Your comment doesn’t make sense. Also, learn how to punctuate sentences.

    raventhorn :
    Really? That’s NOT “substantive legal work for their clients”??
    Well, I guess your “not necessarily” doesn’t really say much. So my question obviously is warranted.

    I have no idea why you asked this question because I never said that drafting contracts is not substantive legal work. I said that “an attorney’s drafting a contract that contemplates a client’s contacts with other jurisdictions in which the attorney is not licensed is not necessarily an unauthorized practice of law; indeed, in American jurisdictions this generally isn’t an unauthorized practice of law.” You omitted the part in bold font.

    raventhorn :
    So according to you, Dan MIGHT be authorized to draft a contract for his US clients involving in Chinese legal matters, even if Dan is NOT licensed to practice law in China?!!

    I never made the point that Dan might be authorized to draft a contract for his U.S. clients involving Chinese legal matters, even if he’s not licensed to practice law in China. Rather, I indicated that I think it’s unlikely that his work constitutes the unauthorized practice of law in any jurisdiction. But here’s something definite for you: Dan definitely is permitted to draft contracts for his U.S. clients involving Chinese legal matters, even if he is not licensed to practice law in China — look back to my comment on deal work to understand why.

    raventhorn :
    Oh, I think plenty of people are already emailing or calling Dan and asking his “real deal”. We will hear about it soon enough.

    I’m sure he’ll appreciate your calls. I’ve been thinking about submitting a FOIA request to your employer.

  45. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:45 | #45

    Oh, here is some good reading,

    http://chinaconfidential.blogspot.com/2006/05/china-poised-to-crack-down-on-foreign.html

    Foreign law firms are specifically accused of engaging in the following illegal activities:

    (2) Drafting and interpreting contracts under Chinese law; consulting on and providing opinions on Chinese law, and directly engaging in negotiations regarding investments, and mergers and acquisitions.

    (4) Controlling “the whole procedure of litigation, such as investigation, evidence collection, providing legal opinions” in litigation matters, bringing in Chinese lawyers only to make court appearances.

    (5) Doing all of the work for their clients involving registrations, applications, and filings, with Chinese government agencies even though they are prohibited from doing so.

    (6) Working as partners or consultants to offer Chinese legal services by establishing or controlling Chinese law
    firms.

    (7) Issuing “illegal and misleading propaganda,” the purpose of which is to offer services concerning Chinese law and to mislead potential clients into believing their firm is a Chinese law firm with Chinese licensed lawyers on
    staff.

    (8) Tax evasion. The memo accuses foreign firms of not paying taxes on money earned in China from services provided to multinational clients that allegedly pay the firms abroad so as to evade Chinese taxes. “Tax evasion is severe,” the memo stresses.
    *

    Another link: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/china_law_prof_blog/2006/05/complaints_abou.html

    Apparently, Dan wrote about this on China Law Blog, but some how his article is no longer available.

    Hmm…

    Oh, specifically, Steve’s article also describes how he was doing exactly what #(4) stated was NOT allowed.

  46. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:52 | #46

    @Jim

    OK, this is your statement:

    “Dan definitely is permitted to draft contracts for his U.S. clients involving Chinese legal matters, even if he is not licensed to practice law in China”.

    So to get that clear.

    I’ll let others judge your stated claim above.

  47. Jim
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:53 | #47

    @raventhorn
    Dan is licensed to practice law in Washington. Try taking your complaint to the Washington Bar.

  48. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:53 | #48

    “an attorney’s drafting a contract that contemplates a client’s contacts with other jurisdictions in which the attorney is not licensed is not necessarily an unauthorized practice of law; indeed, in American jurisdictions this generally isn’t an unauthorized practice of law.”

    I like to see a citation, Jim.

  49. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:56 | #49

    @Jim

    I’m just asking questions about Dan’s practice, in terms of his own claims of what he does and whether he’s authorized.

    I’m sure Washington Bar can do their own questioning and investigations, far better than I can.

    But hey, let’s just record Dan’s blog for record of investigations.

  50. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 19:01 | #50

    @Jim

    “I was nipping the bud the perpetuation of both unfounded assertions from this thread: 1) others’ assertion that Dan has misrepresented the status of his office in China; and 2) your assertion that Dan’s firm engages in an unauthorized practice of law.”

    Well, keep “nipping”. I’m sure all the questions will just go away!

  51. Jim
    February 26th, 2012 at 19:21 | #51

    @raventhorn

    You’re relying on a memo from the Shanghai Lawyers Association — they were just lobbying for a crackdown on foreign lawyers in China!

  52. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 19:25 | #52

    @Jim

    All I said was “good reading”.

    Dan himself was pretty freaked out about it back in 2006. He thought it was pretty serious, and he anticipated an official crackdown.

    Obviously, some folks in US took it pretty seriously because of Dan’s warning.

    I guess, now, we can gauge Dan’s “advising” abilities in matters of Chinese law, based upon his 2006 predictions. (guess, maybe that’s why he removed his 2006 post. :))

  53. Jim
  54. raventhorn
    February 27th, 2012 at 16:49 | #54

    @Jim

    Those are Dan’s reaction posts to China Confidential’s post, which referred to an earlier post by Dan, which no longer exists.

    China Confidential wrote, “China Law Blog says its legal sources in Shanghai are taking the memo quite seriously. They predict a major crackdown on foreign firms operating there, with rumors flying that one or two large rep offices will be shut down to set an example.”

    So, where is this article that China Confidential was referring to??

  55. raventhorn
    February 27th, 2012 at 17:36 | #55

    @Jim

    Oh here is a kicker,

    Steve himself admits in interview in 2006: http://www.chinalawblog.com/2006/05/chinas_crackdown_on_foreign_la.html

    “The most worrisome allegation made in the memorandum is foreign firms hiring Chinese-licensed lawyers and using legal assistants to provide legal services, such as drafting and interpreting contracts, project investigation, or providing interpretations and opinions of Chinese laws.

    Many legal documents, such as opinions on how Chinese law applies to a transaction, can only be rendered by a Chinese attorney, which foreign law firms are prohibited from employing.

    (BTW, Dan and Steve’s law firm openly advertise that they have a Chinese lawyer in Qingdao, http://www.harrismoure.com/our-people/li-xiuhua. “PROHIBITED FROM EMPLOYING”? STEVE??!!)

    Potentially, all transactions that have taken place to date, including contracts, financing agreements and IPOs, that have used documents drafted by foreign law firms as their legal basis could be declared null and void by the government on the grounds that the firms lacked the authorization to issue such documents, said Dickinson.”

    Hmm… So 2006 Steve Dickinson says, if a US law firm drafts transaction documents involving Chinese law, the transaction may be “null and void”, but 2008 Steve Dickinson admits, http://www.chinalawblog.com/2008/08/why_we_love_chinese_litigation.html, that he’s been drafting contracts for clients involving Chinese law??!!

    So, Steve has been selling work products that he knows might be “null and void”??

  56. Jim
    February 27th, 2012 at 19:25 | #56

    @raventhorn

    raventhorn :
    @Jim
    Oh here is a kicker,
    Steve himself admits in interview in 2006: http://www.chinalawblog.com/2006/05/chinas_crackdown_on_foreign_la.html
    “The most worrisome allegation made in the memorandum is foreign firms hiring Chinese-licensed lawyers and using legal assistants to provide legal services, such as drafting and interpreting contracts, project investigation, or providing interpretations and opinions of Chinese laws.
    Many legal documents, such as opinions on how Chinese law applies to a transaction, can only be rendered by a Chinese attorney, which foreign law firms are prohibited from employing.

    You’re hitting around interesting questions, but as usual, you’re not quite hitting the mark. Steve’s comments aren’t an admission of any fault. His remarks are about a memo from the Shanghai Lawyers Association, and the whole point of that memo was basically for Chinese lawyers in Shanghai to whine about foreign lawyers — note that Steve refers to “allegations,” not laws or other rules.

    Also, Steve wouldn’t be prohibited from playing a role in the drafting of a contract for a U.S.-based client who does business in China even if Chinese law provides that “[m]any legal documents, such as opinions on how Chinese law applies to a transaction, can only be rendered by a Chinese attorney, which foreign law firms are prohibited from employing.” Drafting and giving legal advise are not the same as rendering an opinion letter. Do you know what it means for a lawyer to give his opinion? Basically, the lawyer makes representations about his own client’s compliance with certain laws or rules, and the lawyer gives this opinion in his own name, even if he works at a law firm or is in-house counsel. There is some sense in needing a lawyer licensed in a particular jurisdiction to make a representation about a client’s compliance with laws in that jurisdiction. “Many legal documents” does not equate to “all work a lawyer does for a client.”

    I’m not sure about Ms. Li’s status with Dan and Steve’s firm, and I don’t know all the laws that govern her employment at their firm. Perhaps the situation is that Chinese law prohibits Chinese-licensed foreign firms that have an official office in China from employing Chinese lawyers at that office in China, and potentially such a rule wouldn’t touch the activities of foreign-located law firms. I mean, really, why would American businesses hiring in America give a shit about China’s laws? (That last comment is a little tongue-in-cheek, if you can’t tell.)

    @raventhorn

    raventhorn :
    (BTW, Dan and Steve’s law firm openly advertise that they have a Chinese lawyer in Qingdao, http://www.harrismoure.com/our-people/li-xiuhua. “PROHIBITED FROM EMPLOYING”? STEVE??!!)
    Potentially, all transactions that have taken place to date, including contracts, financing agreements and IPOs, that have used documents drafted by foreign law firms as their legal basis could be declared null and void by the government on the grounds that the firms lacked the authorization to issue such documents, said Dickinson.”
    Hmm… So 2006 Steve Dickinson says, if a US law firm drafts transaction documents involving Chinese law, the transaction may be “null and void”, but 2008 Steve Dickinson admits, http://www.chinalawblog.com/2008/08/why_we_love_chinese_litigation.html, that he’s been drafting contracts for clients involving Chinese law??!!
    So, Steve has been selling work products that he knows might be “null and void”??

    Again, Steve was just commenting on “allegations” made by bitter Chinese lawyers. You did learn the word “hypothetical” in law school, right? If there’s any problem here, it’s with China’s failure to provide clear rules.

  57. raventhorn
    February 28th, 2012 at 19:03 | #57

    @Jim

    “Many legal documents, such as opinions on how Chinese law applies to a transaction, can only be rendered by a Chinese attorney, which foreign law firms are prohibited from employing.”

    I don’t believe Steve was talking this as “allegation”. He was making his own conclusions, in a separate paragraph. (Blame Dan for the paragraphing on his blog).

    “I’m not sure about Ms. Li’s status with Dan and Steve’s firm, and I don’t know all the laws that govern her employment at their firm. Perhaps the situation is that Chinese law prohibits Chinese-licensed foreign firms that have an official office in China from employing Chinese lawyers at that office in China, and potentially such a rule wouldn’t touch the activities of foreign-located law firms.”

    I think you are just speculating now. So I think you should just leave it at that.

    “Steve was just commenting on “allegations” made by bitter Chinese lawyers. You did learn the word “hypothetical” in law school, right? If there’s any problem here, it’s with China’s failure to provide clear rules.”

    Allegation in the 1st paragraph, Steve’s own comments in others.

    You know what I know about “ethics” rules, it’s written by lawyers for lawyers. Chinese lawyers can make up their own rules, as much as US lawyers can. Not their problem, if you can’t understand their rules.

    Not clear enough for you? go complain to the Chinese Bar Association.

    Hey, you can always offer your “hypothetical” to defend Dan and Steve if it comes to it.

    I’m sure they will feel great about your explanations.

  58. raventhorn
    February 28th, 2012 at 19:08 | #58

    @raventhorn

    You must have missed this part:

    “Potentially, all transactions that have taken place to date, including contracts, financing agreements and IPOs, that have used documents drafted by foreign law firms as their legal basis could be declared null and void by the government on the grounds that the firms lacked the authorization to issue such documents, said Dickinson.”

    Seems like Steve knew the rule CLEAR enough!! (He might have liked it, but he certainly knew the consequences well enough)!!

    So, 2008 Steve violates the rules he knew clear enough in 2006!

    I guess even “ignorance of the law” is not a good defense.

    “You did learn the word “hypothetical” in law school, right? If there’s any problem here, it’s with China’s failure to provide clear rules.”

    I don’t know about your “hypothetical”, but mine are relevant to REAL laws.

    Of course, if Steve’s “hypothetical” are irrelevant to real laws in China, then I don’t know why he would make such conclusions, based upon Chinese laws that apparently you say he’s not clear on.

    He seems pretty clear about the consequences of the laws to me.

    So, I’ll chalk it up to your “not necessarily” say much category of comments. Apparently, you think that, Steve was just imagining a doom and gloom prediction about a crack down and “null and void” contracts, based upon no real knowledge of real Chinese laws.

    Mighty low opinion you have of Dan and Steve.

  59. raventhorn
    February 28th, 2012 at 19:29 | #59

    @Jim

    “Hypothetical”?

    Did you learn the difference between a REAL “allegation” and “hypothetical”?

    Steve was discussing “allegation”, and REAL “potential” consequences. He mentioned nothing about “hypothetical”.

    “Hypothetically”, the “hypothetical” was in your imagination.

  60. Marsupial Joe
    March 4th, 2012 at 15:14 | #60

    Here’s what I find so fucking funny. While you idiots are arguing the fine points as to what Dan may or may not have said or whether Harris & Moure is or is not operating legally in China, Dan just keeps plugging ahead in ripping Mr. Shaun Rein (a/k/a Intelligent Designer) a new asshole by flooding Google with “End of Cheap China” blogs. Harris just did another one and now when you go to Google you need a fucking microscope to find Rein’s POS book anywhere on the first page. I will also add that everyone I know who has read the book has found it lame-ass boring and it’s only got 3 stars on Amazon as it is so no matter how hard you lame-ass ABC push it to make yourselves feel better, it is pretty much already DOA. Take that!

  61. raventhorn
    March 4th, 2012 at 18:25 | #61

    @FenQing Joe

    It’s hard to see the funny, when you are just being angry and foul-mouthed.

    Sounds like you are just upset about something “lame”.

    Take a chill-pill.

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