Antitrust and competition: foreign firms in China

Clifford Chance LLP

Acting for an enviable blue-chip client base, including both multinationals and major Chinese clients, Clifford Chance LLP‘s broad and longstanding antitrust practice has a strong name in the market for its experience in complex merger filings and antitrust investigations, as well as compliance work. Beijing-based antitrust and competition expert Yong Bai, who is highly familiar with the working practices of the various antitrust agencies in China and previously worked at the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), has notable experience advising Chinese and multinational corporations on business investment, regulatory matters, and investigations across a range of industries. Additional key support in mainland China is provided by Dayu Man, who was promoted to counsel in May 2021 and assists with merger filings and conduct rules; and senior associate Zibo Liu, who advises on merger control, antitrust investigations and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Yong Bai

Other key lawyers:

Dayu Man; Zibo Liu

Testimonials

YongBai has extensive experience and keeps up with the new trend of industry development. His legal opinions are practical and operational. He is considerate and has good communication skills.’

Key clients

GE

Abbott

Continental

CVC

Partners Group

KIRKBI

China Baowu Steel Corporation

Sinochem Corporation

China State Shipbuilding Corporation

Tencent

Work highlights

  • Advised Sinochem Corporation on merger control and foreign investment control filings and consultations in over 20 jurisdictions, which concerned its merger with ChemChina.
  • Advising GE on the disposal of its aircraft leasing business (GE Capital Aviation Services to AerCap).
  • Advised KIRKBI on obtaining antitrust clearance from The State Administration for Market Supervision in China for the formation of LEGOLAND® Resort in the Jinshan District of Shanghai, China.

Linklaters

Well-known for its expertise in the antitrust and competition law space‘, Linklaters‘ China practice works across the spectrum of competition and foreign investment control matters. On the merger control front, the team regularly advises on headline merger filings; and on the conduct side, it acts in major investigations and litigation, as well as advising on the safeguarding of interests and mitigation of potential risks. On the mainland, head of the Asia/China antitrust and foreign investment group, Fay Zhou, is highly rated for her advice to multinational and Chinese clients; and managing associate Arthur Peng is also noted. Through the firm’s joint operation partner, Zhao Sheng Law Firm, where the joint operation antitrust and foreign investment group is led by experienced partner Vivian Cao, and recently promoted partner Xi Liao,  the firm’s integrated service covers both international and Chinese law.

Practice head(s):

Fay Zhou; Vivian Cao; Xi Liao

Other key lawyers:

Arthur Peng

Testimonials

Well-known for its expertise in the antitrust and competition law space.

Acted in several high-profile cases and received very good appraisals from their clients.

Very familiar with legislative developments, as well as the most recent enforcement trends.

Fay Zhou and Xi Liao are both very professional and have very good knowledge of our industry. By continually asking questions, they seek to get all the relevant details at the beginning of a project; and by digging into details they do not miss any key points. What’s more, not only would they address the legal related issues, they also keep in mind the client’s business needs and find good solutions.

Fay Zhou and Xi Liao always share valuable insights they have gained from their daily work, and provide good reminders/suggestions.

Key clients

Alphawave IP

Ams

AstraZeneca

Bayer

BP

China Merchants Group

Covestro

CPP Investment Board

Glencore

Intel

Jingye Group

Johnson & Johnson

Linde

Nestle

Novartis

Peugeon

QIAGEN

Reckitt Benckiser

Rio Tinto

Siemens

Unilever

Work highlights

  • Advised Intel on the China merger filing of its $9bn sale of the NAND and SSD businesses to SK hynix.
  • Assisted Dialog Semiconductor with the China merger filing of its $5.6bn sale to Renesas.
  • Assisted a major China-based international company with a large damages claim, and the administrative procedures surrounding its dispute with a large internet-based conglomerate alleging monopolistic conduct.

Baker McKenzie FenXun

A leading practice for competition and antitrust matters throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Baker McKenzie FenXun‘s team is regularly instructed on cross-border matters. The broad practice is sought out to secure antitrust clearances for M&A, joint ventures and other arrangements in the PRC and across multiple jurisdictions in Asia and globally; and act in competition litigation. The department’s recent experience includes advising on a number of leniency applications, as well as ongoing investigations. Greater China practice head Stephen Crosswell chairs the Asia-Pacific antitrust and competition group; and has longstanding experience in running large and high-profile competition trials, dawn raids, cross-border cartel matters and merger clearance projects. Former special counsel Laura Liu left the firm in July 2021, but only to join the Beijing office of joint operation partner, FenXun Partners, which facilitates the provision of local PRC legal advice.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Crosswell

Other key lawyers:

Laura Liu

Testimonials

‘Baker McKenzie’s China and Hong Kong anti-trust and competition teams are well integrated and they generally provide a one-team experience.’

‘With extensive experience and profound theoretical guidance, the team can effectively point out the pain points of client cases.’

‘Laura Liu has clear thinking, fluent English and extensive antitrust experience.’

Key clients

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company

Daimler

Kühne+Nagel International

Nuvoton Technology Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Nuvoton Technology Corporation (and its parent company Winbond Electronics Corporation) on the China merger control filings surrounding its acquisition of certain semiconductor business lines from Panasonic.
  • Advised Switzerland-based global third-party logistics services provider, Kühne+Nagel International, on obtaining the merger control clearances for the acquisition of a majority shareholding of Apex International Corporation.
  • Advised Archer-Daniels-Midland Company and Marfrig Global Foods on the China merger filing for the establishment of a joint venture between the parties in the US.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Well known for its experience across the full competition and antitrust spectrum, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s team works closely with the firm’s leading corporate and dispute practices (particularly its corporate crime and investigation group) on significant, complex merger transactions and high-profile competition enforcement cases, including those involving Chinese state-owned enterprises. Clients also benefit from both the firm’s provision of China legal services through its joint operation with Kewei Law Firm and its regular, cross-border collaboration with colleagues in Asia, Australia and Europe during merger clearance cases. Leading the Asia competition team from Hong Kong, Adelaide Luke‘s practice covers behavioural issues, regulatory investigations, merger control, and issues arising out of joint venture arrangements. Shanghai-based Frances Xu has notable experience in the pharmaceuticals, TMT, automobiles, luxury products, energy and public utilities sectors.

Practice head(s):

Adelaide Luke

Testimonials

They are competent and knowledgeable, but what I appreciate most is their practical and straight-to-the-point advice.

They try to anticipate what the client will need, and address it earlier rather than wait for the client to ask.

Good value for the legal fees paid.

Key clients

Boral

Genus

PJSC Gazprom

Sumitomo Corporation

Marriott International

Furukawa Electric Co

Work highlights

  • Advised Boral on the complex competition law issues arising from the proposed reorganisation of the Asia-wide joint venture between Boral and Knauf.
  • Advising Genus, a British animal genetics company, on its strategic collaboration with Beijing Capital Agribusiness.
  • Advising PJSC Gazprom on the complex competition law issues surrounding the proposed joint venture between PJSC Gazprom and Linde.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Fully integrated with other key antitrust jurisdictions, such as Washington DC, Brussels and London, Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s competition and antitrust practice comprises both merger and non-merger work, as well as government investigations and procedures, internal compliance investigations, and advisory work. The group is also particularly experienced in TMT sector matters; and many of its practitioners previously worked at agencies around the world, including Beijing-based partner Adrian Emch, whose career includes a stint at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition. Notable support in Shanghai is provided by senior associate Qing Lyu at the firm’s joint operation partner, Fujian Fidelity Law Firm.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Emch

Other key lawyers:

Qing Lyu

Jones Day

In addition to its merger review experience, Jones Day‘s standalone China competition and antitrust practice acts for both major Chinese and international companies in government and internal corporate investigations. It also assists Chinese clients with government investigations at regional and global levels, civil anti-monopoly litigation, and antitrust advisory and compliance work. The practice is additionally noted for its fielding of former Ministry of Commerce and National Development and Reform Commission officials, who can provide insight on Chinese enforcement agencies’ investigations and decision-making practices. Working across the firm’s Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, China antitrust and litigation practices head Peter Wang handles major US and Chinese government antitrust investigations of proposed M&A deals, as well as non-merger investigations and antitrust litigation; Yizhe Zhang divides her time between Beijing and San Francisco; Beijing-based Qiang Xue is another key partner.

Practice head(s):

Peter Wang

Other key lawyers:

Yizhe Zhang; Qiang Xue

Testimonials

‘It has strong advantages in litigation and cross-border dispute resolution.’

‘Xue Qiang, a lawyer with extensive knowledge on China’s legal system, supports Chinese companies in winning cross-border lawsuits and antitrust investigations.’

‘The antitrust team is very professional and efficient. It’s a pleasure to work with them.’

‘Peter Wang and Zhang Yizhe act quickly, actively and accurately when dealing with problems. Communication is smooth and feedback is accurate in cooperation.’

Key clients

NVIDIA Corporation No

Bombardier

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

SunPower Corporation

Diodes Incorporated

Nutrien

China Eastern Airlines

China Cargo Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advised NVIDIA Corporation on the China merger control aspects of its $6.9bn acquisition of Mellanox Technologies, and its ongoing compliance with the conditions imposed by The State Administration for Market Supervision on the transaction.
  • Advised Bombardier on antitrust filings and investigations, which concerned the approximately $6bn acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom.
  • Assisted Diodes Incorporated with the China merger control aspects of its approximately $446m acquisition of Lite-On Semiconductor Corporation.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

With longstanding experience in anti-monopoly and competition law, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advises on complex, cross-border transactions and clients particularly benefit from the practice’s ability to co-ordinate antitrust merger control notifications, reviews and approvals from antitrust merger control agencies around the globe. Dividing his time between Hong Kong and Beijing, Andrew Foster's merger control work focuses on technology, telecoms, aviation and chemical and industrial sector clients; and he also regularly assists with litigation and compliance matters. In Beijing, Kexin Li was promoted to counsel in July 2021; and experienced associate Julia Zhu, who splits her time primarily between the Shanghai and Beijing offices, frequently plays lead roles in merger control reviews.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Foster

Other key lawyers:

Kexin Li; Julia Zhu

Key clients

Willis Towers Watson

Cisco Systems

Coherent

SK Hynix

Konecranes

Xilinix

DSV Panalpina A/S

Dupont de Nemours

Bytedance

Grab Holdings

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s Greater China team works seamlessly with dedicated domestic PRC law experts through the firm’s joint operation with Shanghai-headquartered Lang Yue Law Firm (to where former senior associate Jiaming Zhang recently moved to lead the joint China antitrust practice); the firm’s Greater China litigation team is also regularly part of the antitrust team which they handle cartel investigations and litigation. Among the firm’s broad range of caseloads, it recently handled two international arbitration cases involving antitrust issues, including abusive conducts related to SEPs. Experienced partner François Renard spearheads the firm’s Greater China team from Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

François Renard

Testimonials

Strong knowledge of competition law across Asia-Pacific.’

François Renard can clearly and succinctly break down and explain complex competition law issues for both lawyer and non-lawyer audiences.

Key clients

SAMR

Novatek Gas & Power

Cinven

NTT Global Data Centers Corporation

Plastic Omnium

Tokopedia

Refinitiv

Work highlights

  • Advised the State Administration for Market Regulation on two international antitrust know-how projects concerning abuses of dominant position and merger control matters across various jurisdictions, including US, EU, UK, Germany, and Australia.
  • Advised Novatek Gas & Power on the establishment of a liquefied natural gas marketing and trading joint venture, as well as in relation to its filing in China.
  • Advised Refinitiv (and its shareholders Blackstone and Thomson Reuters) on its sale to the London Stock Exchange Group, including the Singaporean filing of the transaction.

CMS

CMS‘ China competition practice group advises on a mix of merger control filings, antitrust compliance programmes, and other antitrust law issues. The team is led from Shanghai by experienced China managing partner Ulrike Glueck and counsel Aiping Bao, who frequently assists with merger control filings and provides training on China competition law to clients; and the Beijing team is led by Nick Beckett who split his time between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Ulrike GlueckAiping Bao

Other key lawyers:

Nick Beckett

Testimonials

CMS has dedicated lawyers with good knowledge of China’s antitrust and competition-related laws.

They are able to provide valuable advice to enterprises.

Practical advice and solutions that take into consideration local market circumstances.

We work very closely with Ulrike Glueck and counsel AiPing Bao – they are very dedicated lawyers who demonstrate good business sense, understand the China market well, and are able to provide valuable advice and solutions to us.

Key clients

BP

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.‘s active mainland China competition team assists with issues that are crucial to clients’ business and market positions in China, including notifications to the Chinese competition authority; compliance issues concerning the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law; reviewing corporate and commercial policies and contracts for non-compliance risks; and competition and antitrust law training for clients’ employees. Beijing-based counsel and merger notification and compliance expert Xi Chen leads the practice, which is able to leverage partner-level support from Shanghai’s David Boitout and Jiannian Fan, and Guo Min in Beijing.

Other key lawyers:

Xi Chen

Key clients

Accor

Air Liquide

Alstom

Lacoste

PSA Group

Renault

Total

Valeo

Vallourec

O'Melveny

Regularly handling the competition issues facing multinationals, O’Melveny‘s antitrust and competition team is particularly focused on merger control transactions in the technology, semiconductor, automotive and telecoms industries; and in relation to investigations, the practice represents some of the world’s leading technology companies in sensitive price-fixing, abuse of dominance, and investigations throughout Asia. It additionally provides strategic advice on compliance and enforcement risks. With over 15 years’ experience in competition law practice, Philip Monaghan heads the Asia antitrust and competition practice from Hong Kong; and Scott Schaeffer and Lining Shan are well-regarded antitrust counsels in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Philip Monaghan

Other key lawyers:

Scott SchaefferLining Shan

Key clients

II-VI Incorporated

SMART Global Holdings

TTM Technologies

Work highlights

  • Assisted II-VI with the implementation of remedies imposed by the China State Administration for Market Regulation, in relation to its acquisition of Finisar Corporation.
  • Advised SMART Global Holdings on the merger filing for its acquisition of Cree’s LED Business.
  • Advised TTM Technologies on merger review proceedings concerning the sale of four significant subsidiaries to Xiamen Haicang Development Group.