Middle Kingdom muddle

China may be an economic superpower, and any firm will tell you how important the country is to its global strategy. But the painful truth is that few of them make much money in the PRC, and some has already started mulling over potential exits or downsizing exercises.

This week’s cover story in The Lawyer sheds some light on the unprecedented pressure on revenue and profitability among international firms in China. Apart from external factors such as the economic slowdown, regulatory restrictions and fierce competition, some consider international firms’ business model as their own worst enemy.

But not everything is gloomy in China. The newly-launched free trade zone in Shanghai, poised to be a pilot scheme in the country’s further economic reforms, will bring a new horizon of opportunities to international advisers. Perhaps Vinson & Elkins, which is closing in Shanghai, will now have second thoughts?

Lastly, today marks the beginning of a week-long National Day holiday in China and Hong Kong. A good time to sit back, relax and maybe catch up on some reading.

Also on TheLawyer.com:

Environment – King & Wood Mallesons: Direct Action — Australia’s new carbon policy
Litigation –DLA Piper: Australia: GST clause held to be void for uncertainty
Employment – DLA Piper: Summary dismissal in Hong Kong — an expensive lesson learnt
Banking & finance – Ince & Co: Letters of credit — strict compliance and the use of banking ‘shorthand’
Litigation – King & Wood Mallesons: Suppliers beware: Supreme Court of Victoria strikes out ‘uncertain’ GST clause