Dan Harris is a founding member of Harris Bricken, an international law firm where he mostly represents companies doing business in emerging market countries. Most of his time is spent helping American and European companies navigate Asia by working with the international lawyers at his firm in setting up companies overseas (WFOEs, Rep Offices and Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts, protecting IP, and overseeing M&A transactions.

In addition, Dan writes and speaks extensively on international law, with a focus on protecting foreign businesses in their overseas operations, especially in Asia. He is also a prolific and widely-followed blogger, writing as the co-author of the award-winning China Law Blog.

How to Draft Enforcable China Contracts

How to Draft an Enforceable China Contract

If you want to greatly increase your chances of being able to enforce your contract with your Chinese counter-party company, you should do the below. You should do a lot more than this, both within and outside your contract, but I am limiting this post to just those things directly and nearly always necessary for enforcing a Chinese contract and its terms) Have a written contract. Have the written contract set out how disputes will be resolved and, more importantly, set forth the right forum for those disputes; Have Chinese be the official language of your contract if it is going to be enforced in China, which usually (but not always) makes sense; Have the written contract set out in excruciating detail what the Chinese company must do to comply with the contract; Set out the damages the Chinese company must pay if it fails to comply with the contract; Make sure the Chinese company signs and seals your contract.

China online gaming IP

China Online Gaming IP

China presents a wealth of opportunities for foreign gaming companies, but (and this is true of pretty much every IP-laden industry), it also presents substantial risks. This post sets out the basics on how online gaming companies can protect their IP in China via China IP registrations. Though our law firm represents a host (sort-of-pun intended) of online gaming companies, we have been hesitant to write specifically about largely because it is not all that legally different from other industries. But because we have lately been getting emails requesting we do so, we will. Starting now.

China Cyber Hacking

China Cyber Hacking: The Full Story

China cyber hacking obviously affects companies that do business in or with China but it is becoming increasingly apparent that it also impacts companies with no direct business connections to China. This post explains the Chinese government's cyber hacking goals, how it does its hacking, and why it is virtually impossible for foreign companies to avoid being hacked by the Chinese government or to fight back against it.

How To Gift Your IP to China

How to Avoid Inadvertently Gifting your IP to your Foreign Manufacturer

My law firm represents a large number of foreign companies that do OEM manufacturing around the world — mostly China, but India, Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Cambodia as well.  In our discussions with our clients that manufacturing in foreign countries, we nearly always discuss what they can and should

International manufacturing price trap

The International Manufacturing Price Trap

Contract manufacturing is fundamentally the purchase of a product. For any product purchase, the key terms are price, quantity and delivery date. And yet many buyers treat these key term as secondary issues. As buyers focus on exciting issues like product design and "getting to market", buyers frequently fall into a trap. They assume that price, quantity and delivery terms will never be an issue. When these issues arise, as they virtually always do, the product buyer is in a situation where it has little to no room to negotiate. The overseas factory is now in control, and then it springs the price trap.

Omicron and supply chains

Omicron and Supply Chains: Buckle Up

Omicron is incredibly contagious and China is not well-equipped to slow it down to the same extent it has done with previous COVID variants. Omicron will likely lead to shutdowns of China's factories and convince more foreign product buying companies to diversify out of China.

Two contract international deals

Two-Contract International Deals

Two contract International deals. I have one word for them. Don't. If you feel you are being led down a complicated multi-contract or multi-company deal or structure path, you should stop, look, think, and get help from someone interested in helping and protecting you, not in creating complications to profit from you or to try to prevent criminal prosecutions. 

What lawyers should know about foreign legal matters

Foreign Legal Matters: Think Different

My goal with this talk was never to explain the laws in various countries so that they could handle all of their clients' foreign legal matters. More than anything, my goal was to get the lawyers in the audience to (with apologies to Apple and to grammarians everywhere) think different. I wanted to get the lawyers in the room (and I mean this literally, these talks being pre-COVID) uncomfortable about representing companies on foreign legal matters. I wanted their discomfort to get them not to lazily assume things. 

China dispute resolution clauses

China Dispute Resolution Clauses

There is no one size fits all solution for China dispute resolution clauses because they depend on so many factors, including, the location of the Chinese company within China, the nature of the transaction, the goals of the parties, the most likely dispute issues, the most important dispute issues, the type of dispute issues, the languages of the documents and potential witnesses, the law of the contract, and a whole host of other issues. 

international manufacturing product costs

International Manufacturing Product Costs

It should go without saying that international product manufacturing costs are key for nearly all companies that manufacture in or secure their products from a foreign country. Most companies that manufacture in China would love to move their manufacturing out of China. But doing so is difficult for nearly all, and impossible for many. Product manufacturing costs are a huge factor in choosing a location for product manufacturing or outsourcing.  Over the last year, I have had probably more conversations about where companies should manufacture their products than in the prior five years combined. And those conversations have reminded me that many companies have too narrow a definition of product costs.