Tax: foreign firms in China

Baker McKenzie FenXun

Baker McKenzie FenXun has maintained a tax practice in mainland China and Hong Kong for over 25 years. It advises multinational companies on tax planning for M&A, the establishment of new business presences, supply chain structuring, tax-efficient financing, and tax compliance and audits. The firm also fields experts in direct tax, transfer pricing, VAT, customs, and personal tax, and has a robust tax dispute resolution practice. In addition, the China transfer pricing group has conducted planning and documentation studies for global multinationals in the retail, technology, consumer electronics, chemicals, semiconductor, and fashion industries. Brendan Kelly, who has extensive experience advising cross-border clients on the tax and legal implications of investing and doing deals in China, heads the China tax practice from Shanghai, where Nancy Lai, whose practice involves a range of tax services for international and domestic companies in various industries, and senior associate Luis Zhang are also experienced advisers. Senior tax counsel Jinghua Liu and international tax directors Jason Wen and Abe Zhao, who work from FenXun Partners, are the key Beijing contacts.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Kelly

Other key lawyers:

Nancy Lai; Luis Zhang; Jinghua Liu; Jason Wen; Abe Zhao

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is 'extremely diligent in providing excellent, consistent and timely advice'. The practice is highly regarded for its structuring, planning and implementation of clients' global operations, including advising on international and domestic tax issues from corporate and individual tax planning to dispute resolution. Of note, the group recently experienced expansion in its transfer pricing, executive compensation, private banking and personal tax planning practices. The 'exceptionalWindson Li is the tax head for China; his experience includes advising a global new energy automobile manufacturer on China tax and transfer pricing matters, as well as creating domestic and cross-border transfer pricing arrangements for the company. Li has also provided tax and transfer pricing consulting services to several American equipment manufacturers on an ongoing basis. In Hong Kong, Daniel Chan, whose focus is on the supply chain management, distribution and retail sectors in China, is head of tax for Asia.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Chan; Windson Li


It is extremely diligent in providing excellent, consistent and timely advice‘.

It is very familiar with Chinese business-related laws and provides good advice to the client‘.


With significant experience in advising European clients doing business in China, CMS is known for its expertise in relation to the automotive, machinery and equipment, manufacturing and chemical sectors, as well as matters involving TMC, life sciences, consumer products, finance and insurance, energy and logistics. The practice advises on a broad spectrum of tax services and it is particularly well regarded for tax planning, tax compliance, and handling corporate restructuring, executive compensation and customs issues. Shanghai's Nicolas Zhu and counsel Gilbert Shen are the names to note; Shen is particularly experienced in the tax aspects surrounding the establishment of efficient holding structures, company mergers and restructurings, profit repatriation schemes, investment exit strategies, cross-border transactions, and tax due diligence.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Zhu; Gilbert Shen


It has a good understanding of both European (particularly German) and Chinese mentalities‘.

Pragmatic and reliable‘.



Iberian law firm Garrigues has a mainland China team that is exclusively focused on tax. Its main areas of expertise include tax advice for inbound investment and transaction projects, corporate restructurings in China, and management transfers to China. In outbound work, the practice assists with investment projects, particularly into the EU and Latin American countries, and wealth and income tax issues for returning expats. Diego D’Alma heads the Chinese tax practice from the firm's offices in Shanghai and Beijing, and associate Cynthia Zhou is noted for individual and corporate taxation, compliance, and customs and foreign exchange matters.

Practice head(s):

Diego D’Alma; Manuel Torres

Other key lawyers:

Cynthia Zhou 

Key clients

Aernnova Aerospace

CAF Power & Automation

Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos


Viscofan Technology (Suzhou)

Work highlights

  • Provides ongoing tax advice to Spain-headquartered aerostructures company, Aernnova Aerospace.
  • Assisted CAF Power & Automation with the tax aspects surrounding the design and manufacturing of systems for the railway sector in China.
  • Provided tax advisory services to Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos in relation to a parcel sorting and delivery centre.

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

The China tax practice of France-headquartered firm Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. covers group reorganisations, M&A tax planning and structuring, joint ventures and projects, project financing, business establishment, and tax-efficient financing; additional areas of strength are tax compliance, transfer pricing, tax audits and disputes, individual income taxation, and customs and foreign exchange controls in China. Beijing-based PRC taxation and accounting specialist Guo Min heads the firm's China tax practice; she has significant expertise in structuring the fiscal aspects of cross-border M&A and transactions, joint ventures, project finance, company restructuring and foreign investment projects, as well as assisting with tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Guo Min

Key clients

Agence Française de Développement











Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's Shanghai-based Roberta Chang is an international taxation expert who advises on the development of sophisticated tax strategies for international operations and transactions, as well as investments into China. Chang also assists high-net-worth families with international tax and estate planning. Fund and investment taxation specialist Larry Sussman is the key contact in Beijing.

Other key lawyers:

Roberta Chang; Larry Sussman


Cuatrecasas  is best known for advising Spanish and Portuguese companies on their investments in China; typical work includes restructuring, tax audits, negotiations with the Chinese authorities, and assisting with the Chinese tax treatment of transactions. Shanghai managing partner Omar Puertas and Grace Lin jointly lead the team; the latter advises on the tax planning surrounding cross-border and domestic transactions. Associate Ana Jorge is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Omar Puertas; Grace Lin

Other key lawyers:

Ana Jorge

Key clients






Tecam Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Iberia on  the Chinese tax implications of its international air transport business operations in China.
  • Acted for SEAT in the tax aspects of its China matters.
  • Advised Laboratorios Isdin on reorganising its activities in China, including the taxation of online and offline distribution channels.

Jones Day

Jones Day's Beijing-based of counsel Fuli Cao has over 20 years' experience in international tax; he is particularly focused on the tax and business aspects of international transactions between China and other countries, and his tax practice includes inbound and outbound China investments, M&A, reorganisations and restructuring, and dispute resolution.

Other key lawyers:

Fuli Cao