Recently I received a phone call from a friend asking how he could fire his office manager who, he discovered, was asking (and probably taking) bribes from the company’s suppliers. The full story goes as follows.
My friend is the general manager of a foreign-invested company in China. Thanks to the expansion of the company’s business, his company was relocating to a bigger office. Several service suppliers were involved in the renovation works of the new office. The problem was that, very strangely, the renovation works were progressing very slowly. The general manager called the suppliers complaining about the delays. The suppliers told him that the company office manager was requesting bribes to allow them to enter the new office premises and conduct the renovation works.
The entering into force of CIETAC (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission) new arbitration rules on 1 May, 2012 has prompted a fierce dispute between CIETAC Beijing and its Shanghai Sub-Commission (CIETAC Shanghai).
CIETAC Shanghai has publicly refused to apply the new arbitration rules. It has also announced the adoption of its own arbitration rules and list of arbitrators.
CIETAC Beijing has strongly condemned this move by CIETAC Shanghai. In particular, CIETAC Beijing has underlined that CIETAC Shanghai (like CIETAC Shenzhen) is a sub-commission and, as such, an arbitration body subject to CIETAC Beijing. (CIETAC Beijing’s statements are available on www.cietac.org.) Continue reading
CIETAC – the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission – is the best known Chinese arbitration body. When it comes to the choice of an arbitration body, for foreign companies doing business in China, CIETAC is usually a viable alternative to well-established international arbitration institutions (such as the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Arbitration Institution of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce).
CIETAC has recently revised its 2005 arbitration rules (“2005 Rules”). The revised arbitration rules will come into force on 1 May 2012.
China civil litigation proceedings and the conduct of Chinese judges can often seem very authoritative, almost intimidating. In reality, much of Chinese civil litigation procedure is not as clear-cut or well-defined as it may appear. These ambiguities may pose problems for parties unfamiliar with civil litigation in China. Outlined below are some of the key areas of Chinese civil litigation proceedings which require your attention.
First, in China, briefings and arguments from either party involved in a proceeding may be submitted to the judges during the hearing within tight time constraints. Consequently, parties may be surprised when new documents or requests appear during the hearing, and lawyers must be ready to deal with unexpected new information or circumstances on the spot. In most Western jurisdictions such information or requests must be submitted at certain times beforehand so each party can adequately prepare for the hearing. This Chinese litigation practice may create uncertainty for the parties involved, hindering their capacity to represent themselves to the best of their ability.