Almost everyone was stunned when they found out that Luo Li, a founder of Qidian, was jailed for possible embezzlement. Things hasn’t been well for Qidian, a leading Internet literature site owned by Shanda. Mr. Luo and other members of Qidian’s founding class and management recently engineered an exodus to Tencent, where they plan to practice their former trade and take on Shanda’s Cloudary, where they used to work.

Accusations have been made regarding Qidian’s former management of siphoning precious recources from their former employers, so it’s no wonder Shanda, a notoriously tough and ruthless competitor, would hit back somehow at what they regard as betrayal. However, almost no one would expect possible jail time would be involved.

Using judicial system as a weapon during corporate conflict is surely one of the most unique Chinese characteristics. In other countries, things often come to a head, but they rarely end up in jail sentences. In China, however, things are often done differently. Even though China is “a nation of laws”, these laws are often murky and serve as another tool for knockdown. In addition, Chinese business conditions are as such that most businesses cut corners one ways or another. That means, when push comes to shove, almost anyone can be jailed, and often for the most trivial matters.

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Yang Wang

Yang is currently the brand and media director at Elitime Media & Consulting. He has published and translated seven books, and several of his works have been translated and published in areas such...