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For those who would like to avoid this situation, Mike Monteiro (@Mike_FTW) has humorously useful advice for contractors:

F*ck You. Pay Me. http://vimeo.com/22053820

Fantastic video, but doesn't apply in the case of the OP, who was doing work for a client in China, where the legal system doesn't work the same way.

In China, if you have an ironclad contract and no other leverage, you have no leverage.

In cases such as this, it's best to take payment up-front for a portion of the work, either in the form of a deposit (for fixed-bid), or a retainer (for hourly work).

This means you get money up front, which is nice. More importantly, you get something I like to call fiscal inertia -- namely, if a client has paid once, they're far more likely to pay in the future.

Awesome video. Not safe for work, but if you're freelancing, I'd HIGHLY recommend watching it.

When this video was first released I forwarded it to my attorney, who laughed and laughed, and then said "everything they said in that video is true".

How is it not work safe? If you can't say fuck at work it's time to find a new job.

If you were in a day care center or school, it might not be a good idea ;-)

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