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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. TMT: foreign firms
  2. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Baker McKenzie FenXun is a market leader for regulatory matters and global transactions. It has a particular focus in the fintech space which it advises on privacy, cybersecurity and financial services regulation and compliance. Practice head Howard Wu assisted Ningbo Joyson Electronic with raising $250m equity financing from Future Industry Investment Fund in connection with Joyson’s acquisition of Takata Corporation; Zhenyu Ruan is assisting Chinese clients with formulation and implementation of an EU GDPR compliance programme and advised a cloud computing company on China regulatory requirement pertaining to its internet data centre related business models; Vivian Wu advised Merck Sharp Dohme on data mapping and compliance issues. It works closely with its Hong Kong team which includes Nancy Leigh and Paolo Sbuttoni, with notable expertise in M&A transactions and regulatory matters respectively.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is singled out for its 'excellent knowledge of the Chinese market'. Coupled with its global network of offices, it is a poplar choice among multinational and major Chinese TMT sector companies which regularly instructs the team on big-ticket cross-border M&A, antitrust, and data privacy regulation mandates. Practice head Andrew McGinty 'understands client's needs' and recently assisted a US technology company with China cybersecurity and compliance issues relating to data localisation and export; he also acted for a financial institution on facial recognition project for credit card applications. Antitrust specialist Adrian Emch and transactional lawyer Roy Zou advised a social media company on antitrust matters in China and Hong Kong as well as export control matters. Associate Wensheng Ren is 'a bright, young lawyer who has a sophistication beyond his experience'.

Morrison & Foerster LLP is highly regarded for cross-border transactions, particularly involving US clients looking to enter into the China market, as well as domestic clients on outbound mandates. Its dedication in the TMT space, coupled with its strong venture capital and private equity practice, makes it the 'go-to' firm for technology investors and start-up companies. Among its recent highlights, it advised SoftBank on its $9.6bn investment in Xiaoju Kuaizhi, and assisted Tencent with its patent cross-licence with Google covering a broad range of products and technologies. Data privacy matters also feature. The practice is led by Hong Kong-based Gordon Milner and Beijing-based Paul McKenzie which also includes the 'commercially minded and very experienced' Thomas Chou who focuses on private equity transactions.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP maintains a leading position in the market and is praised for its 'commercially savvy and technically excellent advice'. Leveraging its solid reputation in handling cross-border investment and M&A transactions, 2017 saw the team advising on a steady flow of big-ticket transactions. It continues to advise Tencent on its various multimillion-dollar TMT investment globally, handle Didi Chuxing's investment in Grab and act for Nasper in its disposal and placing of issued share capital of Tencent. The team also assisted Rackspace with its incremental loan in connection to its acquisition of Datapipe, a cloud server management company. The five-partner team is led by Hong Kong-based Jeanette Chan who is 'unbelievably responsive with huge energy', and includes Judie Ng Shortell and Greg Liu in Beijing who focus on M&A and private equity investments.

Allen & Overy LLP handles a healthy mix of transactional and regulatory work including financing, M&A, data protection and cybersecurity. The team advises on English, Hong Kong, US and Australian law from its network of offices in China. It advised FIS, an international provider of financial services technology and outsourcing services, on the sale of its subsidiary Sungard Kingstar Data Systems to Zhongping Capital; acted for Baidu on its investment in Bitauto, a provider of internet content and marketing services for China’s automotive industry; and handled the China antitrust clearance aspect of Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade. Victor Ho is the key contact from its Beijing office and works closely with Will McAuliffe in Hong Kong. Ho is particularly experienced in the fintech space, advising on cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, cross-border payments, initial coin offerings and blockchain technology. Counsel Benjamin Crawford who splits his time between Beijing and Hong Kong is also a name to note.

CMS provides 'pragmatic and insightful advice in an accessible and actionable fashion'. The practice is led by Shanghai-based Ulrike Glueck and includes lawyers with IP, data protection, and corporate and commercial expertise. Glueck recently advised a Chinese manufacturing company on the risks of a guarantee provided by a Chinese company for an offshore sales contract and assisted a multinational software developer with its software development and license in China. Beijing managing partner Nick Beckett is another key contact and advised an energy sector client and a navigating service provider on cybersecurity and data protection matters as well as high-profile patent infringement disputes. Falk Lichtenstein is another name to note.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

O'Melveny has a wealth of experience advising complex cross-border transactions, litigation and regulatory issues in the IT and media industry. Its client roster features well-known US IT and media companies, start-ups as well as private equity and venture capital firms specialising in technology start-up investment. Beijing office managing partner Ke Geng recently assisted a management consortium with its $200m leveraged acquisition of ATA Online (Beijing) Education Technology and advised China Securities (International) Corporate Finance Company on the IPO and listing of Digital Hollywood Interactive on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Walker Wallace handled ForceShield Software's series B financing led by Eight Roads Ventures, with SB China Venture Capital being a co-investor, and advised a US-based gaming and media streaming website on the licensing of its content to Chinese companies. Hong Kong-based Nima Amini is also a main contact, and acted for Seek in its $1bn acquisition of Zhaopin, a online recruitment platform.

Simmons & Simmons gives 'commercial and practical advice in a timely fashion'. The 'vastly experienced' Jingyuan Shi assisted a Chinese smart phone producer with its global data privacy compliance matter and advised a fund manager on a series of TMT early stage investments. Its Greater China team was also part of a global team that acted for a Chinese manufacturing company on EU competition, global data compliance, IP and corporate and commercial matters. IP partner George Chan is also recommended.

Bird & Bird advises on an increasing number of data protection mandates including privacy and protection of trade secrets and GDPR. It recently assisted Ustwo with the licensing of the sequel to the mobile game Monument Valley. The practice is predominantly based in Hong Kong, which includes Justin Walkey, Michelle Chan and counsel Clarice Yue. Shanghai-based Christine Yiu is recommended for technology litigation and has notable experience with regulatory issues relating to inventor remuneration policy and technology transfer in China.

Highlights for DLA Piper saw a global team advising a large media company on a multi-jurisdictional data protection compliance mandate. It also advised a US software company on the establishment of a joint venture in China and assisted with its content purchase arrangement with third-party service and technology provider as well as content licensing and onwards distribution. Qiang Li and Horace Lam are names to note, based in Shanghai and Beijing respectively. Hong Kong-based Scott Thiel and of counsel Carolyn Bigg are also recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a highly-regarded transactional team from its Hong Kong office, which handles an array of China-related matters including corporate and M&A deals, financing transactions and IP matters. The team advised Starbucks on a series of digital collaborations with Tencent and Alibaba including acceptance of Tencent and Alibaba’s digital payment services in Starbucks’ Chinese stores; assisted Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong with the $1.86bn sale of its fixed-line telecoms business Hutchison Global Communications to I Squared Capital; and acted for China Development Bank on the restructuring of its $245m loan to Nextel Telecomunicações, a wireless communications service provider in Brazil. The team also counts Lenovo as a key client and advised it on the JP¥25.5bn acquisition of part of Fujitsu’s PC business. Corporate lawyer Alan Wang splits his time between Beijing and Shanghai, and is recommended along with Hong Kong-based Richard Bird.

Latham & Watkins LLP handles transactional and compliance work for clients in the media, technology, gaming and technology sectors. The team counts Tencent as a key client and advised it on its data governance structure, its negotiations with financial institutions, and its payment and cloud service. Other highlights include acting for Caesars Entertainment in its sale of Playtika to a consortium of investors led by Shanghai Giant Network Technology, and advising Qianxin Technology, an affiliate of Qihoo 360, on the acquisition of a minority stake in Beijing NetentSec, a provider of Internet control and content management solutions. Hong Kong-based Frank Sun and counsel Lex Kuo are names to note.

Mayer Brown JSM's transaction-focused team is highly regarded in the technology and telecoms space, handling outsourcing, data privacy and regulatory matters. It is also active in the fintech space and recently advised on a number of mobile payment mandates for financial institutions and retailers. On the transaction side, it acted for a Hong Kong-listed technology and service company on the multimillion-dollar issuance of shares and convertible bonds. Alibaba also features in its client list which the team assisted with telecoms licensing, domain name, and cloud offering and associated data privacy matter. TMT specialist Gabriela Kennedy heads the practice from its Hong Kong office.

Norton Rose Fulbright 'provides precise and detailed as well as practice and highly operable advice'. It has particular expertise in advising international companies (particularly US-headquartered technology companies) on regulatory and compliance matters in China; it continues to receive a steady flow of cybersecurity matters. Barbara Li is singled out for her 'deep understanding of the sector and the China regulatory environment' which enables her to 'accurately grasp the legislative intent of the newly enacted laws and regulations from multiple dimensions'. Anna Gamvros is a leading figure for technology and data privacy and is based in Hong Kong.

Paul Hastings LLP's client roster features international technology giants, investment funds, SOEs and conglomerates. Leveraging its M&A capiblity, it is well placed to handle high-value M&A, joint venture and capital markets transactions. Among the recent mandates, it assisted Ping An Trust with its $1.6bn acquisition of AutoHome, an automobile trading and information website. David Wang, Jia Yan and Nan Li are the key names to note.

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