Dan Harris in Forbes

American entrepreneur Chip Starnes was held prisoner for nine days by employees of his medical supply company. During his captivity, he occasionally appeared at his office window, wearing the same clothes and looking increasingly wan. Some reports indicate workers used bright lights and loud noises to prevent him from sleeping, and that he may have signed contracts under duress.

Had this incident occurred in the United States, police would have arrested the perpetrators of such an act and charged them with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, or some similar offense. In China, however, authorities declined to get involved in what they said was a private dispute. Dan Harris of Harris and Moure PLLC, reports on his ChinaLawBlog that such hostage-taking to resolve disputes is relatively common, and police are not only unhelpful but sometimes actively assist the kidnappers.