Why [Ken] Left China
Some of the "old-timers" might be interested in Ken's Nov. 7, 2012 blog post, Why I Left China.
aimeebNovember 25, 2012, 07:37 PM
Sounds like he was in quite the situation, which has taken 3 years to resolve. (Google Kai En language school if you're interested)
I don't know the details of who was responsible for what in the whole Kai En situation, but I will say this - it's really hard to be an entrepreneur anywhere. It seems about 10 times harder in China than in the US. I suppose startup costs might be less, but it appears there just aren't the same protections for small business owners or consumers when trouble strikes. Or small business employees, for that matter.
I really hope that Chinesepod continues to grow and thrive - no one else comes close to offering what Chinesepod does in terms of creativity, passion, and dedication.
bodaweiNovember 26, 2012, 09:39 AM
I don't know much about bankruptcy but I found this site which is an easy read on the subject (note that it is selling the benefits of bankruptcy.) See http://www.fredappleton.com.au/
I wonder how different it is going bankrupt in China? Ken is returning to China after three years - in Australia you are bankrupt for three years (during which time you cannot get a loan.) Coincidence? There is another four years during which getting a loan is extremely difficult.
You are not limited on earnings during bankruptcy but 50% of what you earn over a threshold goes to the bankruptcy trustee - some form of justice. Also some debts don't go away even for a bankrupt - in Australia this includes the debt to the Government incurred when you study at university.
Im sure Ken did what he had to do. Your posted link involves personal bankruptcy in Australia. I read it and it is similar to what we call chapter 13 in the US. China passed its first (post economic reform) corporate bankruptcy law in 2007, and it was modeled after US and international law, but application and enforcement (with Chinese characteristics of course) is all very new to them. There is no personal bankruptcy law in China. This could make financial problems very sticky for a foreigner, especially if one lets personal and business debts co-mingle to any degree.
Thanks for your insight RJ. Looking at the cultural context, we have bankruptcy laws in US and Aust for I guess multiple reasons, but I think a major reason is that it reduces the likelihood of entrepreneurial spirit being stifled by failure. It is hard to imagine that anything would stifle entrepreneurial spirit in China. Also, most Chinese people don't like debt - so I guess there hasn't been the same imperative in China.