Re-Writing the Rules

Assessing Civil Servants’ ‘Political Quality’ Will Influence the Rules they Make for NGOs
Against a backdrop of talk of a “new cold war” between China and the U.S., it is more important than ever for international NGOs, scholars, and policymakers to understand the dimensions of the environment in which their Chinese counterparts work. In this context, two political trends in China merit attention: first, changing incentive structures for government officials, including those who are charged with overseeing civil society affairs; and second, narrowing definitions of permissible civil society...Read more
Hong Kong legislators are currently engaged in a fierce struggle over the proposed passing of a bill that would expand Hong Kong's policy to allow for extradition, on a case-by-case basis, to countries with which the territory does not have formal agreements. One such country is China. Since the 1997 handover, Hong Kong’s extradition law has explicitly excluded the possibility of extradition to mainland China, but the amendments currently being debated would change that.Read more

Business, Charity, or Something Else?

How Do Social Enterprise Models Fit into Legal and Social Conceptions of ‘Charity’ in China?
Around the world, the concept of “social enterprise” has blurred the line between doing business and doing good. Social enterprise seeks to combine traditional for-profit business practices with products or services that primarily aim to benefit the public. In many countries, these social enterprise organizations occupy a legal gray area, not fitting neatly into binary non-profit or for-profit regulatory categories. In China, given the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly tight controls over all aspects of society,...Read more
One key question many foreign NGOs continue to ask is whether they will be able to reliably use temporary activities to carry out multi-year or other types of long-term programs or grants in China. The China NGO Project has found that around 90 activities appear to have been “renewed” through a second temporary activity filing.Read more
As we greet 2019, we have now seen two full years of Foreign NGO Law implementation in China. If foreign NGOs thought that 2017 had a “crossing the river by feeling for stones” sense to it, 2018 was the year that registration and filing processes became more regularized, for better or worse. Looking back to compare registration and filing data for the first two years of implementation, it is clear that the biggest difference between...Read more