TMT: foreign firms in China

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells‘ fully integrated contentious and non-contentious practice advises TMT clients on a wide range of work over the full business life-cycle; and the team increasingly advises heavily regulated, institutionalised organisations (particularly those concerning financial services), in addition to non-traditional TMT players such as consumer brands, retail, life sciences and automotive, which rely on technology to gain competitive advantage and develop new revenue lines. In Hong Kong, Mark Parsons‘ practice covers the full range of commercial and regulatory work in technology and telecoms, along with other business sectors dependent upon technology as an infrastructure to generate business; and Andrew McGinty also has notable TMT sector transactional experience. On the mainland, Beijing partners Sherry Gong and Lu Zhou both act on TMT-related cross-border transactions; and Don Williams, who divides his time between the firm’s Shanghai and Silicon Valley offices, joined from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP‘s Shanghai office in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Mark Parsons

Key clients

HSBC

Prudential Holdings

Spotify

Tencent

Google

Kuaishou

Ping An Global Voyager Fund

ZTE

Work highlights

  • Advised Kuaishou (Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co), a Chinese video-sharing mobile app business provider, on its multi-jurisdictional and global data compliance project; and the launch of live streaming video in various Latin American jurisdictions.
  • Assisted (Ping An) with its Series C+ financing investment in Laiye.
  • Assisted Spotify with a range of commercial and regulatory matters, including media and advertising regulations, trade promotions and payment regulations, data protection, employment law and commercial contracts.

Morrison Foerster

Catering to a stellar list of industry-leading companies, Morrison Foerster‘s dedicated China TMT team has approximately two decades of on-the-ground experience. Leveraging robust venture capital and private equity fund practices, the practice is a go-to destination for leading technology investors and start-ups. Heading the firm’s Asia technology practice from Hong Kong, Gordon Milner advises a wide spectrum of clients, from international technology companies and banks to local start-ups, and has particular expertise in cross-border technology projects; and Chuan Sun in Shanghai focuses on sophisticated TMT deals, as well as complex IP and commercial matters. Also integral to the practice are Beijing and Shanghai managing partner Paul McKenzie, who ‘has very rich experience‘. In Hong Kong, Thomas Chou‘s recent experience includes leading on major TMT-related matters, and Marcia Ellis is global private equity chair. At the associate level, Shanghai’s Tian Zhou is ‘an exceptional lawyer‘.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Milner

Testimonials

Great local practice and industry-specific knowledge.

The firm provides practical advice that takes into consideration both business and legal aspects, and their solutions are feasible, while highlighting the relevant risks and how to mitigate such risks.

The team is professional, responsive and reliable, and it is willing to adapt to clients’ billing systems (for example CounselGo/Simple Legal) and other efficiency tools, such as Box, Zoom, Wechat) – they and can provide instant feedback when there is a need.

They are trustworthy advisers who have provided great legal support to us during critical deals.

They are very responsive and can provide a holistic view of deals and market practice, as well as valuable support during deal negotiations.

I am always impressed by Paul McKenzie, the managing partner of MoFo China. He has very rich experience in China corporate, PE/VC deals, and data privacy matters. Paul and his team provide a lot of value-added support that we could not obtain from other law firms.

Paul McKenzie and associate Tian Zhou are great collaborators and solution providers.

Tian Zhou is an exceptional lawyer, who is very dedicated to her work and can work and communicate well with her clients. She works long hours for her client and delivers high-quality legal work products within very tight timeframes.

Key clients

Airbnb

Alibaba Group

Dairy Farm

Oracle

Princeton Digital Group

Quraz

Roblox

SoftBank

SoftBank Vision Fund

Verizon

Unity

Work highlights

  • Advised Roblox on its joint venture with Tencent (Luobu) and the establishment and launch of the Roblox platform in China, marking the first foreign online game platform with user-generated games and revenue-sharing to obtain a government licence in China.
  • Advised the Dairy Farm Group, through DFI Development (HK), on establishing a strategic partnership with Hang Seng Bank to construct a new customer loyalty and reward programme.
  • Advised Alibaba Group Holding on Ant Group’s proposed IPO.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Consistently acting across multiple jurisdictions, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP‘s Greater China team is renowned for high-end and complex transactions across the full spectrum of M&A and private equity-related activities in the TMT space. In a recent 12-month period, the practice assisted both corporations and private equity houses (foreign and locally-based) with their investments, including game-changing matters such as acting for General Atlantic, a lead member of an investor consortium, on its acquisition of 58.com, which marked as one of 2020’s largest private equity buy-outs in China. The practice’s lead partners in Beijing, Judie Ng Shortell and Greg Liu, are both highly experienced in advising corporate players, up-and-coming Asian private equity houses and financial investors in the TMT space. Notable associate-level support is provided by Jack Sun.

Other key lawyers:

Judie Ng ShortellGreg Liu; Jack Sun

 

Key clients

Didi Chuxing

General Atlantic

Wanda Sports & Media

Work highlights

  • Advised Didi Chuxing on the spin-off of Didi Freight, so as to strategically diversify its business, capture growth and capitalise market value.
  • Advised General Atlantic, a lead member of an investor consortium, on its acquisition of 58.com, China’s largest online classifieds marketplace.
  • Advised Wanda Sports & Media (Hong Kong) Holding Co on taking Nasdaq-listed Wanda Sports Group private.

Allen & Overy LLP

Highly active in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, Allen & Overy LLP‘s Greater China group works across the entire TMT spectrum, with a particular focus on digitalisation matters. The practice covers all practices areas that touch the TMT sector, including corporate, finance, capital markets, regulatory, disputes and antitrust issues. The team is also able to provide PRC law advice, further to the 2020 approval of the firm’s joint operation with Lang Yue Law Firm in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. TMT work accounts for a large part of the practice of Victor Ho, who is the managing partner of the Beijing and Shanghai offices and frequently advises on transactions with multi-disciplinary elements; and corporate partner Benjamin Crawford in Beijing regularly acts on TMT-related cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures, commercial agreements and complex shareholder arrangements. Will McAuliffe co-heads the Asia-wide TMT practice from Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Will McAuliffe; Victor Ho

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Crawford; David Norman

Key clients

21st Century Fox

Huawei

FIS Global

HP

WPP

Wolters Kluwer

Telenor

TripAdvisor

Clear Channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Advising HP on its global business and asset acquisition of HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company.
  • Assisted FIS Global, one of the world’s largest fintech companies with the sale of an enterprise payments business to Tech Mahindra, an Indian multinational subsidiary of the Mahindra Group.

Baker McKenzie FenXun

Acting for both users and producers of technology, Baker McKenzie FenXun‘s China TMT practice is ‘extremely responsive and diligent, and provides top-notch client service‘. With strength in IT, e-commerce, and fintech, the group handles transactional and advisory matters, covering cybersecurity and data privacy issues, M&A, outsourcing, development and procurement agreements. Other areas of strength include structuring invoicing and payment systems, technology licensing, venture capital, private equity and disputes. On the FenXun Partners side to the firm’s joint venture, Shanghai-based senior counsel Zhenyu Ruan is a member of the firm’s global TMT steering committee, rendering him particularly instrumental in the China TMT space. In Hong Kong, Paolo Sbuttoni‘s recent experience includes assisting with the establishment of e-commerce platforms in Asia; and Lex Kuo, who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP in 2020, is a seasoned TMT practitioner.

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Edmondson; Marcia Lee

Testimonials

The team is extremely responsive and diligent, and provides top-notch client service.

Zhenyu Ruan is responsive and diligent in providing commercially workable solutions to China’s complex environment of data laws. His team deserves a special mention as well.

Key clients

Abercrombie & Fitch

Accenture

Baxter

Booking.com

Cathay Financial Holding

China Eastern Airlines

Ctrip

eBay

Google

Renaissance Learning

Sportswear

Tencent Holdings

Zespri

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Tencent Holdings on multiple investments involving gaming and software companies, as well as digital startups.
  • Advised Cathay Financial Holding on the establishment of Ant Consumer Financing Co in Chongqing China.
  • Advised eBay on the establishment of a joint venture in Hong Kong with Orange Connex (International) Holdings.

Bird & Bird

With one of the leading TMT practices in the Asia-Pacific region, Bird & Bird‘s telecoms, IT and online services credentials represent a core strength for the Greater China group. Other areas of notable focus are data protection and privacy; fintech and payment advisory-related regulatory issues; and mid-market technology M&A and venture capital work. In Hong Kong, Michelle Chan is a seasoned TMT practitioner with longstanding experience in advising clients on IT, telecoms and data protection matters; Justin Walkey has extensive experience in the media, sport and entertainment sectors; and counsel Clarice Yue has been involved in TMT work in the Asia-Pacific Region for over 20 years. Shanghai’s Christine Yiu regularly guides companies through the monetising of their innovations through technology deals and licensing transactions.

Other key lawyers:

Christine Yiu; Alex Norman

Key clients

Riot Games

Football Marketing Asia

The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Work highlights

  • Advises Riot Games on a wide variety of commercial matters across the region, including marketing and sponsorship relationships, and business critical advice on publishing law and regulation.

Clifford Chance LLP

Advising on many of the country’s most significant deals, Clifford Chance LLP‘s TMT specialists provide integrated advice across M&A, capital markets, data privacy, cybersecurity, regulatory, tax, antitrust, IP and dispute resolution; and the China team consistently works with the firm’s wider APAC and global teams on complex, cross-border TMT matters. The broad sector expertise of China's co-managing partner Terence Foo includes TMT; Tim Wang, who works across Beijing and Shanghai, acts on TMT-related cross-border M&A and capital markets deals; and Shanghai-based partner Kelly Gregory‘s recent experience includes advising Tencent on private equity and venture capital investments in the technology and fintech space. In Hong Kong, the recent highlights of Liu Fang include advising Bilibili and JD.com on their secondary listings, and further partner-level support is provided by Asia IP head Ling Ho. Notable growth includes the May 2021 elevation of Beijing’s Yufei Liao, a technology-focused transactions lawyer, to partner.

Testimonials

Clifford Chance’s separate regulatory and IP teams in Hong Kong enable them to provide professional and comprehensive legal support for any type of work that a project may involve.

Key clients

Tencent

Xiaomi Group

Ping An Good Doctor

JD.com

Haier Smart Home

Genetron

Harbour BioMed

Archosaur Games

Hang Seng Investment Management

CSOP Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent, as the co-lead investor, lead investor and existing shareholder of Yuanfudao, on the Series G, G-1 and G-2 financings of Yuanfudao, a Chinese online education platform.
  • Advised the joint sponsors and underwriters, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and China Renaissance Securities, on short video social platform Kuaishou Technology’s $5.4bn IPO and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Hang Seng Investment Management on the launch of the Hang Seng TECH Index ETF.

CMS

Advising clients in China and Hong Kong for over 40 years, CMS‘ Greater China department houses several specialists in TMT, network and IT infrastructure, internet and e-commerce, data protection and cybersecurity. Its client roster also includes clients in the automotive, industrial vehicle manufacturer, banking, and life sciences and healthcare sectors. Its Shanghai office is headed by Ulrike Glueck, who leads the corporate/ M&A and TMT teams; and global co-head of the life sciences and healthcare sector group, Nick Beckett, leads the sector-focused hub in Beijing, which is further strengthened by a Technology and Innovation Centre that comprises academics and specialists with expertise across technical areas of importance to the TMT sector. Further support in Beijing is provided by corporate and dispute resolution partner Falk Lichtenstein and associate Amanda Ge.

Practice head(s):

Ulrike Glueck; Nick Beckett

Testimonials

This team demonstrates exceptional overall performance in terms of speed of service, quality and value for money.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP fields an interdisciplinary practice acting for Chinese technology giants; it also acts for numerous other technology companies and leading investors on their investments, ranging from M&A/private equity transactions, financings, corporate and commercial work, to cybersecurity issues, regulatory matters, IP and data protection.  Xiang Wang leads the firm’s China cyber, privacy and data innovation and IP practice from Beijing, where Jinsong (Jeff) Zhang  (also a partner in the firm’s New York office) focuses on China-related inbound and outbound M&A and private equity transactions, with particular experience in the life sciences, fintech, and automotive technology and mobility sectors. Over in Shanghai, Jeffrey Sun has extensive experience in handling China and cross-border M&A matters in the TMT sector; and the chief representative of the Shanghai office, Yufeng (Ethan) Ma, provides further partner-level support on the IP side.

Practice head(s):

Xiang Wang

Key clients

Baidu

Sina Corporation

JD.com

Pactera Technology

Beijing Xiaomi Technology Corporation

Meituan

Tencent Technology

Trax Retail

KE Holdings

Perfect World Entertainment

Geely

Toyota Motor

Work highlights

  • Advised Toyota Motor on its investments in Pony.ai and Mapbar.
  • Advised several leading Chinese technology companies on their global privacy and data protection issues.
  • Defending Coolpad Technologies against several patent infringement cases.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has a well-established client base in Greater China, through its four offices in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, particularly within the TMT sector; and the Shenzhen office is especially well-positioned to support clients operating in the Pearl River Delta region, which is fast becoming an innovation and technology hub in China. The team advises on TMT-related issues such as global data compliance, regulatory, competition and employment matters, along with wider investigations work, corporate and commercial transactions, IP issues and commercial disputes. Working across Shenzen and Hong Kong, experienced partner Jingyuan Shi leads the firm’s Greater China TMT practice, advising several TMT corporations with a presence in Shenzhen; additional partner-level support is provided by George Chan, who heads the firm’s Beijing IP agency; and supervising associate Jenny Liu in Shenzhen is both PRC and England and Wales-qualified.

Practice head(s):

Jingyuan Shi

Other key lawyers:

George Chan; Jenny LiuRyo Lu

Key clients

Innovent

Wingtech

Bean Tech

TCL

DLA Piper

The scope of DLA Piper‘s Hong Kong-based practice ranges from day-to-day matters to technology procurement, outsourcing, and data protection and cybersecurity, to the adoption of novel, disruptive technologies and digital transformation projects concerning blockchain and digital assets. The team is also sought out for groundbreaking fintech matters. With a notable computer science background, practice head Scott Thiel has over 20 years’ experience in cutting-edge IT and outsourcing projects; and Carolyn Bigg has longstanding experience in advising on data privacy and technology-related matters. Associate Yue Lin Lee acts as the Singapore and South East Asia lead for regional TMT projects.

Practice head(s):

Scott Thiel

Other key lawyers:

Carolyn Bigg; Yue Lin Lee

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises both big-name and growing tech companies on funding rounds, employment issues, listings, joint ventures, M&A, competition law and disputes. The practice also assists investors with their investments into tech companies, while providing China legal services through its joint operation with Kewei Law Firm. In Beijing, of counsel James Gong leads the China TMT team, focusing on inbound and outbound investments, and is a data protection and cybersecurity specialist, while Isaac Chen advises on TMT-related M&A and capital markets transactions. Singapore-based Mark Robinson heads up the Asia TMT practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Robinson; James Gong

Other key lawyers:

Isaac Chen; Tommy Tong

Key clients

Alibaba

China Telecom

Ant Group

Bytedance

Standard Chartered Bank

Sun Art Retail

HGC Global Communications

NetEase

Axiata

Dentsu

PCCW

Telstra

Temasek

ICBC

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s Hong Kong-based TMT group regularly advises on technology transactions, including cloud computing, commercial contracts, security, data privacy, and IP and software licensing; and it is additionally sought out for its notable experience in digital and disruptive technology, e-commerce, fintech, outsourcing, payments and telecoms technology. The practice’s recent highlights include advising the buyer consortium (led by Tencent Holdings and Hammer Capital Opportunities Fund) on the $1.1bn going-private transaction of Bitauto Holdings. Frank Sun frequently acts on prominent buyouts and transactions involving Chinese technology clients; and associate Kieran Donovan leads the Hong Kong data and technology transactions practice.

Practice head(s):

Frank Sun

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Donovan

Key clients

Tencent Holdings

Tencent Music Entertainment Group

Tencent Mobility

Kuaishou Technology

HSBC

Bilibili

Xiaomi Corporation

Airwallex

Qihoo360

Prudential

Vipshop Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent Holdings (Tencent) on its proposal for Huya (Tencent’s controlled subsidiary) to enter into a stock-for-stock merger with DouYu International, in which Tencent is the largest shareholder.
  • Advised a buyer consortium (led by Tencent and Hammer Capital) on Bitauto’s $1.1bn privatisation.
  • Advised Tencent Holdings on privacy issues, commercial transactions and telecoms matters.

Linklaters

Building on Linklaters‘ TMT-related M&A, corporate and financial regulatory experience, the 2020 arrival of counsel Albert Yuen from Osborne Clarke as Hong Kong TMT head further strengthened its credentials. Forming the bedrock of the practice’s TMT work are its expertise in technology, telecoms, data, and commercial and regulatory issues; and the firm can leverage PRC law expertise through its joint operation with Zhao Sheng Law Firm. Other key figures are Shanghai-based counsel Alex Roberts, Singapore’s global co-head of TMT Niranjan Arasaratnam, and Hong Kong-based Alex Bidlake who has specialist fintech and technology sector knowledge.

Other key lawyers:

Alex Roberts

Testimonials

Extremely deep subject matter expertise.

Great for problem solving, commercially reasonable, and with flexible billing – second to none for professionalism and professional knowledge.

Key clients

Public Sector Pension Investment Board

Jardine Pacific Holdings

JTH (BVI)

Innovix

Uber Singapore Technology Pte

Fidelity Investments

Trumid Holdings

Two Sigma

CK Hutchison

PCCW Solutions

I Square Capital

Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board on its investment (through a consortium led by Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund) in AirTrunk, a data centre specialist.
  • Advised Trumid Holdings, a financial technology company, on its joint venture with the Singapore Exchange and Hillhouse.
  • Advised CK Hutchison, the Hong Kong-based conglomerate, on the €10bn sale of its large portfolio of telecoms towers assets in Europe to Cellnex, the Spanish telecoms infrastructure company.

Mayer Brown

Fielding ‘a deep bench of experts in the TMT space‘, Mayer Brown‘s Greater China team advises on technology outsourcing, data privacy, telecoms issues, domain name disputes, and regulatory and contentious media matters. In Hong Kong, co-leader of the global IP practice, Gabriela Kennedy, also leads the Asia IP and TMT group, in which recently promoted Amita Haylock is ‘a standout partner‘.

Practice head(s):

Gabriela Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Amita HaylockKaren Lee

Testimonials

The team has a deep bench of experts in the TMT space – knowledgeable, very reputable and highly recommended in the market.

They have good technical expertise as well as client-care skills.

We have always found them to be responsive to client needs.

Very knowledgeable about HK, China and cross-border issues.

Gabriela Kennedy has a (well-deserved) solid reputation for expertise and technical quality in her areas of practice. Our clients are very demanding and we want to make sure that we get a sound, balanced view that also takes into account a practical feel for issues – Gabriela is that rare practitioner who can offer such perspectives.

Gabriela Kennedy is a longstanding expert in the region.

Amita Haylock is a standout partner.

Key clients

Adobe

Airport Authority Hong Kong

AVIA

Burberry Group

Chanel

Cargill

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Hong Kong

CASH

Daimler

eBay

StubHub

Entertainment One

Fung Group

Hysan Development

Jardine Matheson & Company

LVMH Asia Pacific

McDonald’s Corporation

Mandarin Oriental

Naxos

StubHub

Television Broadcasts

Toys “R” Us

Xperi Corporation

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ TMT work spans multiple practice areas; and the firm’s large corporate team, which has expanded in recent years across Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, regularly acts for large names in the technology sector, as well as the investment funds and financial institutions that power the industry. Heading the firm’s corporate/M&A and private equity practice in Hong Kong, Maurice Hoo acts for prominent companies in the mobile technology, e-commerce, semiconductors, telecoms and enterprise software sectors. Edwin Luk, who splits his time between the firm’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices, also has an active TMT practice.

Practice head(s):

Maurice HooEdwin Luk

Key clients

Sequoia Capital

Warburg Pincus

GIC

China Distance Education

Boehringer Ingelheim

Work highlights

  • Advised Warburg Pincus on Yuanfudao’s $2.2bn Series G1 and G2 round investment.
  • Assisted GIC with a Series G2 financing in Yuanfudao, an online education platform.
  • Advised Warburg Pincus on its $70m investment in Yatsen Global, a direct-to-consumer beauty group in China and owner of cosmetic brand Perfect Diary.

Norton Rose Fulbright

A prominent participant in the China TMT space, Norton Rose Fulbright‘s practice is particularly appreciated for its advice to financial institutions, and technology and fintech start-ups, on the technology and regulatory aspects of transactions and projects. In Hong Kong, Anna Gamvros focuses on technology agreements and outsourcing transactions, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity, and telecoms and internet regulatory issues; and Etelka Bogardi is an esteemed fintech and global payments specialist. On the mainland, Shanghai’s Lynn Yang assists with the transactional and regulatory aspects of PRC-related fintech matters. In 2020, former Beijing partner Barbara Li departed.

Practice head(s):

Anna Gamvros

Key clients

Accenture

AXA

Tencent

HSBC

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC Insurance on the launch of its first wholly-owned fintech services company, HSBC Fintech Services (Shanghai) Co.

Paul Hastings LLP

With strong roots in technology, telecoms and media and entertainment, Paul Hastings LLP‘s team advises on the full spectrum of TMT-related transactions. Shanghai-based David Wang frequently acts on deals that sit at the nexus of technology and innovation; and in Beijing, Jia Yan is sought out by global companies that are active in the TMT sector, and Meka Meng is a key corporate partner. In Hong Kong, Neil Torpey (also a resident in the firm’s New York office) handles TMT transactions across the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Testimonials

The TMT corporate team is very knowledgeable about industry/market practices, rules and regulations, in terms of investor- and company-side representation.

David Wang stands out as a partner who provides strong, commercial legal advice and solutions for difficult problems. He communicates directly and efficiently for busy clients and doesn’t get bogged down in legalese.

Key clients

Fosun Tourism Group

City Football Group

Universal Studios Beijing

Ping An

China Media Capital

CDH Investments

ICBC Asset Management

Binance

H3C