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Chinese laws

What new Chinese laws can mean for your business

December 31, 2012

Chinese laws

International implications of new Chinese laws

As the aging population in China swells, laws have been put in place to address the needs of the elderly and their care. When new Chinese laws go into effect in 2013, here are some ways to be prepared and make the most of the changes.

On July 1, 2013, an amendment to the 1996 Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly will go into effect. The purpose of the amended Chinese laws is to strategically confront the rising elderly population and the associated issues. According to the Chinese news syndicate, Xinhua News, China’s elderly population (60 and over) will exceed 200 million by 2013. The Chinese government plans to intervene by encouraging better elderly care, improving nursing home supervision and increasing the elder-friendliness of public facilities, all of which has major implications on international businesses and employees alike.

As a business owner/entrepreneur, you should know:

These new Chinese laws have great implications for new types of businesses to start or invest in. As China becomes more Western, more and more children are neglecting their parents or putting them in nursing homes (which was a foreign concept as recently as 30 years ago). With government support and access to this large market with a definite need, this could be an great opportunity for someone looking to invest overseas.

As a business owner, it’s rare to have a government supported initiative at your fingertips prepared to equip you with the necessary tools to be successful. A myriad of business ideas spring to mind, some of which are already being started, here are just a few:

  • Virtual Nursing Homes: fully monitored cameras installed in the homes of loved ones (think of Brinker security on steroids)
  • Adult Day Care Centers: the sky’s the limit here, where offerings can be as varied as the clientele they serve
  • Urbanization Improvement Organizations: elevator installation, among other useful upgrades to high-rise apartments

As an employer, you should know:

The Chinese laws stipulate that supporters of the elderly should visit them often and take care of their needs. Article 11 states, “The supporters referred to here are the sons and daughters of the elderly and other people who are under the legal obligation to provide for the elderly. The spouses of the supporters shall assist them in performing their obligation to provide for the elderly.”

It’s important to note that, once this law goes into effect, the HR implications are astronomical. There’s no mention of what responsibility employers will have to employees requesting time off, but knowing what’s coming can help you get ahead of the curve. As the new year begins, take some time to evaluate your company’s personal time-off policies and how any overseas employees may be affected.

Monica Moffitt, founder and Principal Cultural Consultant at Tianfen Consulting, Inc., has traveled the world and enjoys linguistics and all things culture. Having split her career between project management and business analytics, Monica merges logic, fluency in Chinese and creativity in her new role as cultural consultant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies/Chinese from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration (International Management and Marketing) from University of Texas at Dallas.

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