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Fangda Partners is well versed in media and technology law and has an enviable client roster which includes some of the largest companies in the PRC as well as multinational clients. Jonathan Zhou and Leo Lou represented Focus Media in relation to its backdoor listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. In another highlight, the team acted for Alibaba in its investment in Suning Commerce as well as its acquisition of the remaining shares in Youku Tudou. Chen Bao represented Capital Today in its $65m investment in the series C financing of Hangzhou Huxiu E-Commerce. Doris Tang, who specialises in corporate finance and direct foreign investment, is another name to note.

Steven Yu and Michael Yu lead Global Law Office’s team, clients of which include Alibaba, Focus Media and Northern Light Venture Capital. The practice handles the full range of financing, private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as commercial and IP work for clients in the TMT sector. Recent highlights include acting for Tencent in its formation of a domestic joint venture with Alibaba and China media Capital and acting for on its RMB2.1bn financing and offshore and onshore de-VIE restructuring. The team also handles fintech work and, in 2015, David Lee acted for Blue Run Ventures in the restructuring of, a China-based company providing financial services via the internet.

Han Kun Law Offices has a strong reputation in the TMT sector, where it continues to advise domestic and multinational clients on IP protection, financing, M&A and foreign direct investments. The team acted for on its $20bn corporation with through the joint establishment of a new company; it also acted for Uber China in its merger with Didi Chuxing. Charles Li, Gloria Xu, Dafei Chen and Tracy Zhou are key names to note.

Zhong Lun Law Firm handles regulatory and transactional matters for a variety of clients, including China Mobile, Tencent and Lenovo. Anthony Zhao, Michael Gu and Luke Zhang were part of a team which assisted China Taiping Insurance in connection with the series A financing of JD Finance. Zhao also assisted Shanghai Qijia Network Information Science & Technology with its red-chip restructuring and series B financing from Orchid Asia Group Management, SIP Oriza and other co-investors. The team is led by IP and antitrust specialist Jihong Chen, who advised on its entry into the Chinese market.

Guantao Law Firm advises TMT sector clients on M&A, outbound investment and IP transactions. Rong Liu and Wenliang Zhang assisted Hangzhou CNCR-IT with its share issuance and subsequent purchase of STARCOR. Elsewhere, Yang Wang acted for Beijing DingXing Venture Capital in its investment in Beijing Quantitative Health Science and Technology. The IP team has been assisting Beijing Closer Interactive Media Technology with its trade mark registration and international trade mark protection. Other notable practitioners include Shaosong Sun, Weimin Gan and Hong Kong-based Pengpeng Yan.

JunHe LLP’s recent instructions include acting on a number of private equity financings and a merger of two high-profile domestic e-commerce companies. Maochang Li has experience of assisting hi-tech and IT-focused private equity funds. Jun Gong and Zhenyu Niu are also key names.

King & Wood Mallesons has experience of advising clients on national broadband rollouts, regulatory reforms and compliance, and M&A. The team routinely assists domestic and international technology consulting and IT outsourcing providers, as well as international software developers. Recent highlights include assisting Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services with its RMB14.8bn series A and series A+ financing. Other clients include Leshi Internet Information & Technology, Orient Hongtai Zhihe (Beijing) Investment Management and NFME. Xiaohong Zhao heads the multidisciplinary team, in which Cecilia Lou and Ping Xu are also recommended.

TransAsia Lawyers’ clients include international telecoms companies and start-ups. The team advised Glu Mobile on its cooperation with a PRC-based mobile games company and acted for (the largest online travel search engine in China) on its seed financing and all of its subsequent venture capital financing. Philip Qu is recommended for advising on market entry, acquisition and compliance. Employment specialist Isabelle I H Wan is another key contact.

AnJie Law Firm stands out for the breadth of its venture capital and private equity investment funds expertise. Representative clients include Yuantai Investment Partners, Legend Capital, and Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China. Hang Cai assisted with a number of unlisted companies with their series B and series C financings. The team also assisted China Unicom with its RMB54.7bn sale of certain telecoms towers and related assets to China Tower Corporation. Founding partner Jeremy Dai and arbitrator Yu He are also recommended.

DaHui Lawyers attracts exceptional praise from clients for its ‘solid sector expertise’; the team regularly handles regulatory, IP, structuring and transactional work. Managing partner Richard Ma is assisting Netflix with the regulatory and IP aspects of its co-production of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Brendon Wu’s clients include Light Chaser Animation Studios, which he assisted with its first released film, Little Door Gods.

IP specialist firm Hylands Law Firm handles contentious and non-contentious matters in the entertainment and media industries. Clients include Alibaba, CCTV, China Film Copyright Association and Emperor Entertainment. Xiaogang Ma, Qun Xiao and Zhengning Li are the main contacts.

In 2015, Jingtian & Gongcheng’s TMT team expanded its sector offering with the hire of capital markets specialist Jinjin Chen, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons. The team assisted Focus Media Information Technology with its RMB45.7bn backdoor listing and practice head Xiang Gao assisted JD Finance with its series A financing, and acted as the underwriter for Baidu on its note issuance.

Llinks Law Offices is well versed in capital markets and M&A transactions, with recent work including advising BesTV New Media on its RMB41.8bn merger with Shanghai Oriental Pearl. David Yu heads the team with the support of Wayne Chen and Leo Wang.

Tiantai Law Firm’s team regularly advises on project financing, distribution, exhibition and spin-off exploitations of large film and television projects. Jizhi Zhang has broad experience in film and television tax planning, M&A and IP-related transactions.

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Legal Developments in China

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  • What is the relationship between PPP and concessions?

    From fledgling concessions to PPP that is sweeping the country today, there are two major sets of regulations to be followed: one being regulations for concessions led by the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the other the series of regulations for PPP led by the Ministry of Finance (“MoF”).  However, to date, there is still not one law that expressly defines the relationship between the two, resulting in much confusion and many impediments in practice.  The relationship between concessions and PPP is an issue currently desperately needing clarification.
  • Thought on Developing Convention on Enforceability of Settlement Agreements Reached Through Concilia

    The UN Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) held its 47th session in New York on 7-18 July 2014 and the Author had the privilege of attending the conference at invitation of Mr. Yu Jianlong, President of the Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (“APRAG”). During the conference, the U.S. Government submitted a proposal suggesting Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) of UNCITRAL (“Working Group II”) to develop a multilateral convention with respect of the enforceability of international commercial settlement agreements reached through conciliation (“Enforceability Convention”) for the purpose of encouraging the use of conciliation in resolving international commercial disputes.  Read more
  • Impact of Article 43 of the Commercial Bank Law on PPP Projects

    With the widespread use of the PPP model in China, financing channels for PPP projects have also increasingly diversified.  Bank, trust, fund and insurance channels of capital have all rushed onto the stage of project financing. Subject to Article 43 of the Commercial Bank Law, banks, as the traditional big brother of financing, have always played the role of lender.  In practice, the opinions as to whether they can participate in the bidding on, and contributing capital to, PPP projects as private investors have been mixed.

    The current PPP tide in China driven by the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission witnesses the transformation and upgrading of large state-owned enterprises.  These enterprises that have traditionally only been familiar with bid invitation, bid submission, and construction, have started to have an impact on numerous new areas such as project proposal and planning, company establishment and acquisition, fund establishment and operation, etc.  Certain state-owned enterprises that got their starts fairly early have cultivated teams with extensive experience in investing, and certain enterprises that are just starting up are selecting young talent from various entities in all out effort to catch up.  Private enterprises also participate enthusiastically.
  • Transfer Pricing – New Risks in Declaring Price Impact of Special Relationship to China Customs

    China Customs recently requires that the importer or exporter of record declare the impact on the import or export price of its special relationship with the counterpart (“Price Impact”). Specifically the declaring party must state whether its special relationship, if any, would affect the transaction value or price as declared to the China Customs. Previously the special relationship was an item of declaration subsequent to a specific request from the Customs. However, the impact of the special relationship was not an item of declaration, and the declaration party even had a general defense right to disprove such Price Impact. The Price Impact, if any, has been a pre-condition for  the Customs not to accept the declared transfer price for the purpose of ascertaining dutiable price of a given import or export shipment, in which case, China Customs shall re-value the given shipment according to China customs valuation rules.
  • New China Customs Taxation Policy on Cross-Border B2C E-Commerce Imports

    The Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs and State Administration of Taxation of China jointly issued a circular (“Joint Circular ”) relating to the taxation policy on the cross-border e-commerce retailing imports, with effect as from April 8, 2016.
  • ICC and CIETAC Arbitration Practice Comparison - Case Study Note 1

    One of the most important negotiated points by parties in contract negotiations is the dispute resolution clause. If parties agree on arbitration, they often negotiate which arbitration institution or arbitration rules will apply in resolving potential disputes.
  • Interpretation of New Anti-monopoly Provisions in the Field of Intellectual Property Rights:

    Ren Qing and Wu Peng, Partners in Zhong Lun Law Firm

    By Steve Zhao
  • Zhong Lun Advises Chinese Consortium on $1.9 Billion Acquisition of OmniVision Technologies, Inc.

    On April 30, 2015, OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (OVTI, a Delaware company listed on NASDAQ) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a consortium composed of Hua Capital Management Co. Ltd. (“Hua Capital Management”), CITIC Capital Holdings Limited (“CITIC Capital”) and GoldStone Investment Co. Ltd. (“GoldStone Investment”) (collectively, the “Consortium”). Under the terms of the agreement, OmniVision stockholders will receive $29.75 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $1.9 billion. The agreement was unanimously approved by OmniVision’s Board of Directors.

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