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PRC firms

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Fangda Partners has extensive experience in M&A, private equity investment and corporate finance; in this context, it has developed a strong TMT practice, advising on major transactions in the industry. Outside of transactional work, the team also provides advice on a host of commercial and regulatory issues including e-commerce, licensing, outsourcing and IP. Work highlights in 2016 included acting for Didi Chuxing in its acquisition of Uber (China) and advising Alibaba Group on its acquisition of app store Wandoujia. Doris Tang and Jeffrey Ding jointly lead the team, which expanded in 2016 with the hire of counsel Cathryn Jin, who has in-house and private practice experience. Jonathan Zhou and Peng Tan are also key figures.

The sizeable team of M&A and private equity specialists at Global Law Office has the capacity and experience to handle a range of contentious and non-contentious matters in the TMT industry, including private equity and venture capital investments, IP licensing and infringement, and regulatory and compliance issues. Recent developments include the departure of David Li to Han Kun Law Offices and the promotion of Robert Sun to partner, who has a strong focus on cross-border technology transfers, e-commerce and mobile healthcare. In 2016, Steven Yu represented Tencent as the lead investor in the series A investment in CKF Pictures. Michael Yu is also recommended.

The large TMT team at Han Kun Law Offices was recently bolstered through a number of hires from PRC and international law firms, including Wei Li, who joined from Global Law Office. Clients include leading conglomerates, IT companies, and private equity houses and venture capital firms investing in TMT companies. Charles Li and Gloria Xu have been advising a multinational client in the technology sector on a host of corporate transactions, including group reorganisations and spinoffs of business divisions. Li was also part of a team that acted as sole PRC counsel to on its strategic partnership with Walmart for the provision of products and services to customers in China; Tracy Zhou was another lead member of the team. Dafei Chen splits his time between Beijing and Hong Kong and is also a key contact.

Xiaohong Zhao’s team at King & Wood Mallesons covers the full gamut of TMT work. The ‘particularly responsive’ group has recently seen an uptick in interest in TMT investments in China, and has received a range of instructions spanning both contentious and non-contentious work. The firm’s broad office network is a particular draw; in particular, Steven Toronto has notable experience in cross-border M&A. The group was further bolstered by the arrival of Rocky Lee from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP; he is well versed in technology-related transactions and also has a strong practice in other key areas such as broadcasting, e-commerce and education. Liu Keer impresses with her ‘very good legal advice’.

Zhong Lun Law Firm has broad coverage across the TMT sector, including in a number of sub-specialisms such as e-commerce, new media, advertising and software. The multidisciplinary team comprises experts in corporate and M&A, private equity, antitrust and capital markets. In particular, the team handled a number of corporate and corporate finance transactions in 2016; in one highlight, Anthony Zhao, Michael Gu and William Jia advised Zhong Ji Electrical Equipment on its acquisition of InnoLight Technology. Jihong Chen has ‘comprehensive industry experience spanning intellectual property, technology, media and telecoms, which helps clients solve problems in a holistic manner’. Private equity, venture capital and TMT expert Luke Zhang is another key contact.

The ‘commercially driven’ team at AnJie Law Firm provides an ‘excellent service’. It recently expanded its TMT practice with several new hires, including that of ‘well-connected’ and ‘very practical’ partner Catherine Guo from Zhong Lun Law Firm and multiple new arrivals from international firms. Hans Cai regularly advises on private equity financing transactions, where he represents both private equity and venture capital firms and TMT-sector companies. Founding partner Jeremy Dai is another name to note.

High and new technology are focus areas at Guantao Law Firm, which is experienced in e-commerce, biotech, new materials and telecoms matters. Clients include TravelSky Technology, Xingyuan Environment Technology, Datang Telecom and China Unicom Network Communications. Weimin Gan heads the practice, which includes Yang Wang and IP expert Liang Chaoyu.

Telecoms and internet companies regularly turn to JunHe LLP, which has longstanding experience advising on regulatory issues, financings, investments and M&A in these fields. Among the key practitioners are antitrust and M&A partner Janet Hui, Maochang Li, who represents private equity funds with a focus on the hi-tech and IT industries, and Jun Gong, who has a broad contentious and non-contentious practice with particular experience in the media sector.

With a long history advising on TMT law, TransAsia Lawyers has a broad practice that is complemented by the firm’s ancillary expertise in sports, advertising and IP matters. The team has particular experience advising film and television companies on co-production projects and distribution. Clients range from major international companies to start-ups. Founding partner and TMT specialist Philip Qu is a key name; also in the team are Justina Zhang and a pool of associates with significant experience in TMT.

TMT is a core area at DaHui Lawyers, which has experience in inbound and outbound transactions. Richard Ma recently led a team in advising The BMJ (British Medical Journal) on its market entry into China; work included advising on matters concerning publishing and licensing deals with local partners. Elsewhere, Brendon Wu has been advising Light Chaser Animation Studios on film production and distribution.

Dentons China has carved out a space for itself in the burgeoning field of fintech in China. The team expanded its client base by picking up work from several new clients in the TMT sector, many of which have operations in crowd funding, internet loans, big data and e-commerce. Xinyu Liu and Qianwen Zhang have been advising a client active in the internet finance space on a range of IP and corporate issues.

Hylands Law Firm has a strong media practice, and is regularly instructed by international film and entertainment companies during M&A transactions, film co-productions and disputes. In one recent case, Zhengning Li and Yingshan Zhang defended a singer/actor in litigation concerning an exclusive brokerage agreement. The firm’s IP practice is another draw. Xiaogang Ma heads the TMT group, which also includes Zhitong Zhu.

Jingtian & Gongcheng is well known for its corporate and capital markets expertise in the TMT sector; the workload typically includes listings, de-listings, financings and M&A. The team recently expanded its client roster after establishing relationships with several new companies, including NIO Capital, Global Logistic Properties and Elite Capital. Guanchun Dai has developed an active practice in internet healthcare transactions and also handles media and entertainment-related matters. Managing partner Xiang Gao oversees the team, in which Jinjin Chen is a key figure.

Llinks Law Offices’ David Yu has significant experience in transactions involving technology companies. The practice expanded its sports law practice through the hire of David Wu, and also invested in the broader TMT team through several promotions, including that of Cathy Huang to counsel. In a recent highlight, Grant Chen advised a Chinese media group on its acquisition of a film and TV production and distribution company. Elsewhere, Nicholas Lou acted for a venture capital group in a joint investment in a cloud computing business.

The ‘outstanding’ media and entertainment group at Tiantai Law Firm regularly advises on TV and film productions in China, and is also well versed in private equity transactions in this field. Litigation and arbitration also feature among the team’s varied workload. Jizhi Zhang and Donghua Gao advised a client on its investment to build a film and TV industry base; the team’s advice included reviewing studio and location license agreements.

Foreign firms

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  1. TMT: foreign firms
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    • Benjamin Crawford - Allen & Overy LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Foreign firms clients in China using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Forming part of the firm’s global IT and communications practice, the Greater China TMT team at Baker McKenzie FenXun covers M&A, IT and outsourcing transactions and regulatory and compliance advice. It regularly has a hand in large, high-profile deals in the market, where it is instructed by its longstanding clients across the technology, financial services, telecoms and transportation sectors. In one recent transaction, Howard Hao Wu and the ‘pragmatic and balanced’ Zhenyu Ruan acted as sole deal counsel to SAP in its alliance deal with Lenovo for the provision of enterprise cloud solutions in China. Nancy Leigh jointly leads the practice alongside Wu and is based in Hong Kong, where e-commerce and data privacy expert Paolo Sbuttoni is also situated.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s renowned TMT group comprises lawyers with multidisciplinary expertise spanning corporate, competition, regulatory and IP matters. Among its sub-specialisms are the developing fields of fintech, e-commerce, social media and cybersecurity. Recent work highlights saw Liang Xu act for Guangzhou Auto in a minority investment in Uber’s China operations. New clients include Foxconn, which Adrian Emch advised on the acquisition of Microsoft’s feature phone business, including the acquisition of Microsoft Mobile Vietnam. Other key figures include Hong Kong-based Mark Parsons and Andrew McGinty in Shanghai.

Morrison & Foerster LLP is experienced in cross-border M&A and other corporate transactions, and regulatory and operation advice in the TMT sector. The team saw increased workflows in telecoms and broadcasting related work, and maintained its buoyant technology and outsourcing practice. On the transactional side, a cross-office team from the firm’s Greater China and US offices, which included Gordon Milner and Chuan Sun in Hong Kong, advised Wal-Mart Stores and its e-commerce division on the establishment of a strategic alliance with Beijing-based partner Paul McKenzie has notable expertise in privacy and data security. Other clients include Oracle, Tencent and Intel.

With a longstanding presence in the TMT field in Greater China, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP maintains a dominant position in the market and its global reputation for M&A and cross-border investments ensures a steady flow of high-profile transactions. In 2016, it expanded its corporate and M&A team further through the hires of Judie Ng Shortell in Beijing and ‘superstar’ Betty Yap in Hong Kong; the pair were previously at Linklaters. Practice head Jeanette Chan, who is based in Hong Kong, and Shortell advised key client Tencent on its investment in Zhuan Zhuan, a Chinese used goods trading platform.

Allen & Overy LLP provides a ‘top-notch service’ to its TMT clients, many of which are leading regional and global players. The 15-strong team is equipped to provide English, Hong Kong, US and Australian law advice from its offices in Greater China. It is regularly instructed in standout corporate transactions in the TMT field; for example, a cross-office team, including Victor Ho in Beijing, advised Shanghai Giant Network Technology on its consortium-led acquisition of Caesers Entertainment’s online gaming arm, Playtika. Hong Kong-based Will McAuliffe jointly heads the practice alongside Ho. Also recommended is Beijing-based of counsel Benjamin Crawford. Ji Zou and senior associate Taoye Ye are key names in Shanghai.

With a strong focus on – and organisation around – key industries, Bird & Bird has an international reputation in the TMT sector. Most of its key lawyers in Greater China operate out of the Hong Kong office, including highly experienced practice heads Michelle Chan and Justin Walkey. Developments included the promotion of data protection expert Clarice Yue to of counsel in 2017. Richard Keady is representing a leading technology company in litigation against an outsourcing agent, and Pádraig Walsh is another key contact.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

The sizeable team at O'Melveny is spread across its Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices, and cooperates closely with the firm’s IT and media specialists in the US. The firm’s roots and experience in Los Angeles and Hollywood means it has built up an enviable client list of media and entertainment companies. Other clients include Asia-based start-ups and private equity and venture capital firms. Ronald Cheng heads the white-collar and data privacy practices and has significant experience both in US and Chinese criminal law enforcement; he splits his time between Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Other key figures in the practice include Ke Geng in Beijing, Walker Wallace in Shanghai and Nima Amini in Hong Kong.

In 2017, Simmons & Simmons demonstrated its investment in its TMT practice in Greater China through the promotion of Beijing-based Jingyuan Shi, whose corporate and commercial practice is rooted firmly in this sector. Fintech is a growth area for the firm. Shanghai-based of counsel Xun Yang advised Baxter (China) Investment on cybersecurity and patient data issues, as well as negotiating IT service outsourcing agreements. In Beijing, IP specialist George Chan is also recommended. Davis Wang left in 2017 to establish his own advisory firm.

The ‘very professional’ team at CMS provides ‘realistic solutions’. Ulrike Glueck heads the TMT group, which comprises lawyers with IP and corporate and commercial backgrounds. Its client base includes domestic and foreign companies, particularly those with European roots, where the team’s English, French and German language skills are an important asset. Nick Beckett recently advised a multinational client on cross-border e-commerce matters. Falk Lichtenstein is also recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s TMT practice is hinged off its strong reputation in the corporate and M&A space. In a major transaction, a cross-office team – including Jack Wang in Shanghai and Richard Bird in Hong Kong – advised Starbucks on its strategic collaboration with Tencent to launch a new program that allows customers to make purchases using WeChat Pay. Alan Wang, who splits his time between Beijing and Shanghai, has a broad, cross-border corporate practice.

Clients across the technology, automotive, retail and media sectors turn to MMLC Group for advice on IT, licensing, privacy and security issues. Its practice also takes in corporate and commercial transactions and litigation. In 2016, the team advised numerous clients on outsourcing agreements for data processing and call centres. Matthew Murphy is the practice head.

Under the leadership of IP and TMT expert Gabriela Kennedy, Mayer Brown JSM provides advice to TMT sector clients from its base in Hong Kong. Areas of sub-specialism include e-commerce, fintech and cybersecurity. The team recently assisted a household-name company with global operations in a data privacy and security audit spanning China, Hong Kong and South Korea. Xiaoyan Zhang joined Reed Smith LLP in November 2017.

Norton Rose Fulbright excels in technology, outsourcing, data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. The team is particularly involved in advising foreign companies on regulatory compliance in Greater China, including in the context of cross-border projects concerning e-commerce and data transfer. It saw an uptick in queries concerning cybersecurity following the enactment of China’s first cybersecurity law; Beijing-based Barbara Li is the key contact in this area. Anna Gamvros is a leading figure for technology and data privacy and is based in Hong Kong.

Paul Hastings LLP is recommended for high-value and high-profile technology transactions, as well as a range of media and entertainment deals. A recent highlight was advising Samsung Electronics on its acquisition of Harman International Industries – Samsung’s largest acquisition to date; David Wang and Jia Yan advised on the Chinese aspects of the transaction. Elsewhere, corporate finance and M&A expert Nan Li advised education tech start-up Xuebajun on its $100m series C financing.

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