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Oct 27, 2011

Weekly Legal and Business News from Asia (Week of 10/27/2011)

-As we know, China is far from being the most liberal country when it comes to freedom of speech. However, last year witnessed a large development of internet and blogs. The most famous blogger, Han Han, is  freely questioning the communist government.  The Chinese government decided to impose a tougher censorship on blogs' contents. “China Cracks Down on Bloggers and “Excessive” Entertainment,” The New York Times.
      -China may definitively lose its reputation as a cheap manufacturing country as its wages are rising. The minimum wage rose by 21.7%, in accordance with China's policy of boosting spending power and domestic consumption. “China minimum wage up by 21.7% despite economic cooling,” BBC News Business.
        -On last Wednesday 26, Seoul elected Park Won-Soon as its new mayor. Independent candidate, but supported by the liberal opposition, this election is seen for many as a forecast of the next Presidential election of 2012. “Critic of South Korean Leader Elected as Seoul Mayor,” The New York Times.
          -South Korea is also facing an  economic slowdown. Due to decreasing corporate investments, its economic growth has slowed. Slowing demand from EU and US may also affect the next quarter. “South Korea economic growth slows as investments falls,” BBC News Business.
            -Next year, in Singapore, skilled foreign workers holding an Employment Pass (E-Pass) will see their wage increase. The tough E-Pass rules aim to not disadvantage local workers, however, Singaporean's companies say they will retain and still hire well-trained foreign workers as they are valuable assets. “Firms likely to retain foreign workers despite new salary criteria,” Channel News Asia.