Susan Ning

NING, Susan (Xuanfeng)

Areas of Practice

Susan Ning received a LLB from Peking University and a LLM from McGill University. She was admitted as a Chinese lawyer in 1988.

She joined King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) in 1995, where she is a partner and the head of the Compliance Group. Her main areas of practice include antitrust and competition law, and cybersecurity and data compliance. In addition, she also practices international trade and investment law.

Cybersecurity and Data Compliance

As the value of data for business competition increases, Susan Ning is one of the pioneers engaged in the cybersecurity and data compliance sector and leads a professional team of lawyers with interdisciplinary backgrounds. Susan Ning’s practice areas include: assisting clients in establishing enterprise data compliance system (including personal information protection); assisting clients in formulating and modifying privacy policy and compliance plans; assisting clients in developing cross-border data transmission plans; assisting clients in developing data commercialization compliance programs; assisting clients in self-assessment of cybersecurity and data compliance; assisting clients in conducting internal training on cybersecurity and data compliance; assisting clients in responding to cybersecurity inspections; assisting clients in responding to network security emergencies; assisting clients in telecom regulation and cybersecurity compliance concerning cloud services; providing clients with review and consultation services concerning cross-border transfer of evidence in litigation and arbitration; providing consultation services on data compliance in pioneer areas such as block-chain, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things.

Susan Ning specializes in assisting companies to establish and improve cybersecurity and data compliance systems in compliance with requirements of many jurisdictions including China, the European Union (GDPR), and the United States, to protect the global flow and commercialization of enterprise data. Susan Ning has assisted companies in sectors such as IT, communications, mobile payment, intelligent connected vehicle (ICV), finance, media, energy, aviation, chemical and manufacturing.

Representative projects are set out as follows:

Cybersecurity and Data Compliance under PRC Cybersecurity Law (“Cybersecurity Law”)

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  • Assist a domestic clearing institution in its data compliance system and provide legal advice on the legality of its overseas branch’s access to domestic data platform. 
  • Assist a renowned domestic internet news and information company in the personal information protection compliance project, including due diligence on internal network security and data compliance based on compliance obligations under the Cybersecurity Law and its supporting measures. 
  • Assist a famous domestic mobile phone manufacturer in the personal information protection project, including identifying relevant risk points, proposing corresponding rectification proposals and conduct compliance training for employee in accordance with compliance obligations under the Cybersecurity Law and its supporting rules. 
  • Assist a renowned international daily-use chemical company in due diligence on the data compliance of its suppliers regarding a data commercialization application project and provide data compliance consultation services.
  • Assist a globally renowned mobile Internet enterprise to communicate with government agency on data access issues, submit legal analysis and provide compliance advice on the collection and processing of personal information involved in its cloud computing services. 

GDPR Data Compliance

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  • Assist a famous well-known domestic fin-tech enterprise in the multi-jurisdictional data compliance project, including conducting due diligence on data processing activities of various business lines in accordance with GDPR requirements, identifying compliance risks in the data life cycle, proposing corresponding rectification opinions, updating and localizing the internal data compliance system for the company in accordance with diversified legal and regulatory requirements of other jurisdictions in which the company conducts its business.
  • Assist a globally famous automobile manufacturer in GDPR data compliance project, including sorting out collection, storage, use of personal data and cooperation with third parties possibly involved in the company’s European business, and analyzing the potential issues concerning GDPR and provide suggestions for rectification.
  • Assist a well-known domestic mobile phone operating system operator in the GDPR data compliance project, including revising privacy policy and the terms of use; formulating internal compliance management policies; identifying the country where the European data center to be located; selecting and appointing data protection officer; assisting the company in signing standard agreement concerning cross-border transfer of data; applying for third-party GDPR compliance certification, etc.
  • Assist a renowned international computer operating system developer in GDPR data compliance project, including reviewing the existing global privacy policy, identifying the compliance risks, which do not comply with the requirements of the Cybersecurity Law and GDPR, proposing a feasible improvement program and conducting GDPR compliance training for employees.

In order to grasp the latest developments and regulatory trends in big data legislation, the KWM cybersecurity and data compliance team, led by Susan Ning, joined the Information Security Management Working Group in the National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee, the Big Data Standards Working Group in National Information Technology Standardization Technical Committee and the National Artificial Intelligence Standardization General Group and actively participates in the formulation of industry standard of big data. 

Antitrust and Competition Law

With the implementation of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) on August 1, 2008, Susan Ning began to fully engage in the area of AML and anti-unfair competition law. Her practice in this area mainly includes merger control filings, antitrust investigations, compliance and antitrust litigation.

KWM officially established its Antitrust Group in 2003, which was the first specialized practice division in this area among Chinese law firms. Prior to the enactment of the AML in 2008, Susan Ning took a very active role in counselling the Chinese government on the drafting of the AML. Since the enactment of the AML, she continued to be actively involved in drafting regulations, measures for implementation and guidelines accompanying the AML. Through these consultations and her extensive experiences in helping clients to deal with antitrust investigations, Susan Ning built and maintained a close working relationship with the antitrust authorities in China.

Since 2003, Susan Ning and her team have undertaken hundreds of merger control filings on behalf of clients, mostly consisting of multinational corporations from industries such as chemicals and manufacturing, semiconductors, luxury goods, transportation, hotels, automobiles, high technology, finance, trade, telecommunications, energy and the Internet. Susan Ning has also assisted a large number of clients in confidential investigations involving cartel conducts, resale price maintenance and abuse of dominance and advised on several landmark litigation cases in relation to monopoly agreements and abuse of dominance. Susan Ning has also advised a number of clients on the establishing and improving of their antitrust and competition compliance systems and internal audits.

Her representative projects include: 

Merger Control Filings

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  • Represent both Toyota and Panasonic in the merger filing of the establishment of a joint venture by Toyota and Panasonic in the area of electric car batteries.
  • Represent Praxair in the merger filing of Praxair and Linde.
  • Assist Tronox, a globally renowned supplier of inorganic minerals and chemicals in the merger filing of its acquisition of the titanium dioxide business of Cristal, another leading company in the same industry and obtain clearance without condition. 
  • Assist Hisense in the merger filing of its acquisition of equity of Toshiba
  • Represent Mead Johnson in the merger filing of Reckitt Benckiser Group’s acquisition of equity of Mead Johnson.
  • Represent Lam Research in merger filing of merger of Lam Research and KLA-Tencor.
  • Assist Chinese shareholders of Blueair in merger filing of Unilever’s acquisition of Blueair.
  • Assist Sherwin Williams, a leading brand in the U.S. coating industry in merger filing of its acquisition of Valspar, another industry-leading company for $ 11.3 billion. 
  • Assist Alcatel-Lucent in the merger filing of Nokia’s acquisition of equity of Alcatel-Lucent.
  • Assist in the merger filing of establishment of a joint venture by Corun, Toyota China, PEVE, Xin Zhong Yuan and Toyota Tsusho. 
  • Represent Nokia in the merger filing of Microsoft’s acquisition of equipment and services of Nokia.
  • Assist Pfizer in the merger filing of Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth.

Antitrust Investigations and Compliance

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  • Represent a RORO shipping company to apply for leniency in an investigation initiated by the NDRC against an international cartel and assisted the client to obtain full immunity.
  • Represent an auto part company to apply for leniency in an investigation initiated by the NDRC against an international cartel and assisted the client to obtain full immunity.
  • Represent a multinational smelting company on a complex antitrust dispute involving three different types of legal proceedings (international arbitration for IP infringement, civil antitrust litigation and administrative antitrust investigation), and assisted client in reaching settlement with the plaintiffs, and the client eventually received no penalties from the NDRC.
  • Represent a Standard Setting Organization in an antitrust investigation initiated by the NDRC on alleged abusive conducts, and assisted client to settle with the whistleblower and investigation agency, and the client eventually received no penalties from the NDRC.
  • Represent a technology licensing company in an antitrust investigation initiated by the NDRC on alleged excessive pricing and other abusive conducts and represented client before the NDRC, and the client eventually received no penalties from the NDRC.
  • Represent a pharmaceutical company in an antitrust investigation initiated by the NDRC and represented client before the NDRC, and the client eventually received no penalties from the NDRC.
  • Represent an international pharmaceutical appliance company in antitrust investigations initiated by the SAIC and the NDRC, and the client eventually received no penalties from the NDRC.

Antitrust Litigation

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  • Represent the client in bringing a suit before the Higher People's Court in Jiangsu province against IDC (InterDigital Technology Corporation) and several other defendants accusing them of abuse of dominance in relation to SEP license issues. KWM assisted the client to reach a favorable settlement agreement with the defendant at lasts.
  • Advise Huawei in its lawsuit again IDC for abuse of dominant position. This is the first antitrust litigation in China involving intellectual property issues relating to SEPs.
  • Represent Qihoo in bring a suit again Tencent with respect to abuse of dominant position. This is the first antitrust litigation in China involving comprehensive analysis of competition law and the first competition case heard by the Supreme People’s Court.

International Trade and Investment Law

Susan Ning started to practice international trade and investment law since 1995. She was one of the earliest Chinese lawyers engaged in this area and has been widely recognized among her peers. Susan Ning's areas of practice in international trade include foreign direct investment (FDI), anti-dumping and countervailing duty. In 1997, Susan Ning represented the client in the first anti-dumping investigation case in China. In 2002, Susan Ning handled the first WTO case after China’s accession to the WTO where Susan Ning represented SAMR’s filing against U.S. safeguard measures on steel imports from China.

In 2008, Susan Ning led the firm's Olympics legal counsel team - the firm was chosen as the sole Chinese legal counsel to the Beijing Organising Committee of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. As the head of the team, Susan Ning provided a wide range of legal advice by reviewing, drafting, and revising various Chinese and English legal documents as well as participating in many key negotiations.

Work Experience

Susan Ning was the deputy director of the Antitrust Committee of the All China Lawyers Association before she works as a consultant to the Professional Committee of Foreign Legal Services of the All China Lawyers Association. During her tenure as the first chairman of the Antitrust Committee of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, she engaged herself in the antitrust forums held by Inter-Pacific Bar Association and American Bar Association. Her articles on the AML have been published by many renowned international competition law journals and publications, including Euromoney’s Competition & Antitrust Review and Global Competition Review. As the author of the Practice Guide to China Antimonopoly Law (published by CCH) and other works in law, she won Antitrust Writing Award by Concurrences in 2019.

Susan Ning and her team are highly acclaimed in the Chinese antitrust practice. She has been included into the Global Competition Review’ list of top international law practitioners for many years and continuously ranked as Band 1 leading competition lawyer in Asia Pacific by top international legal directories such as Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Susan Ning was named the Market Leading Lawyer by Asialaw Profiles and was listed in Who’s Who legal experts in 2017. In 2016, she was commended as “In-House Community External Counsel of the Year” by In-House Community based on the votes and recommendations of hundreds of in-house counsels.

Thanks to her commendable efforts, KWM has been recognized as a top-tier law firm for its competition practice by Chambers Asia Pacific, Legal 500 Asia Pacific, IFLR1000 and Asialaw Profiles for many years.

Major Publications

Cybersecurity and Data Compliance

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Cybersecurity and Data Compliance

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  • International Comparative Legal Guide to Data Protection 2019 China Chapter;
  • International Comparative Legal Guide to Cybersecurity 2019 China Chapter;
  •  “The Wise and Informed Adapts to the Changing Time and Circumstances Discussing the Issues on ‘Information Technology – Personal Information Security Specification’ from a Practical Perspective”, LexisNexis China Legal Review, January 2018;
  •  “Observations and Perspectives on the 1st Year Implementation of CSL, on 2017 Final Issue of LexisNexis China Legal Review”, LexisNexis China Legal Review, December 2017;
  • “Cybersecurity and Data Protection Issues in Chinese Enterprises’ Outbound Acquisition in the Context of ‘One Belt and One Road’”, Journal of Shantou University Journal of Cyber Affairs, Vol. 7, 2017;
  • “Brief Analysis on the Impact of Data on Competition in the Big Data Era”, Journal of Shantou University Journal of Cyber Affairs, Vol. 5, 2017;
  • “Data Compliance Series 1 -- Reflections on the Facebook Incident”, KWM China Law Insight, March 2018;
  • “Important Things Must Know Since Cybersecurity Law Took Effect”, KWM China Law Insight, August 2017;
  •  “Brief Analysis on the Regulations for the Security Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure (Draft for Comments)”, KWM China Law Insight, July 2017;
  • “Whether ‘Big Data’ Could Facilitate Monopoly in the Platform Economy and How We Shall Step In”,Competition Policy International, June 2017;
  • “Petya Attack Makes It A Proper Time to Prepare Emergency Plan for Cybersecurity Incidents”, KWM China Law Insight,June 2017;
  • “Security of ‘NEW’ Internet services remains under ‘Supervision’”, KWM China Law Insight, June 2017;
  • “The Cybersecurity Law and its Supporting Rules Take Off Today”, KWM China Law Insight, June 2017.

Antitrust and Competition

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Antitrust and Competition

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  • “China Anti-Monopoly Law Guide”, published by CCH;
  • “GCR Know-how—IP & Antitrust 2017”, Global Competition Review;
  • “GCR Know-how—Private Litigation 2017”, Global Competition Review;
  • “Practical Law Global Guides: Competition Guide—China Merger Control Q&A”, Thomson Reuters;
  • “Practical Law Global Guides: Competition Guide—China Restraints of Trade and Dominance Q&A”, Thomson Reuters;
  • “Practical Law Global Guides: Cartel Leniency Guide—China Q&A”, Thomson Reuters;
  • “The Cognizance of Vertical Price Monopoly Agreement—The Fusion of Administration and Judicature, KWM China Law Insight, KWM China Law Insight, July 2017;
  • “On the Revision of Measures for the Administration of Automobile Sales—From the perspective of Anti-monopoly”, KWM China Law Insight, April 2017; 
  • “Focusing on the Antimonopoly Guide of State Council on Intellectual Property”, KWM China Law Insight, March 2017; 
  • “Regulation on ‘Exclusive Arrangements’”, KWM China Law Insight, March 2017;
  • “Monopoly Issues in Sharing Economy”, KWM China Law Insight, December 2016;
  • “Analysis on Abuse of Comparatively Advantageous Position”, KWM China Law Insight, November 2016;
  • “Abuse of Dominance: New Developments in the Tetra Pak Decision”, KWM China Law Insight, November 2016; 
  • “Anti-Monopoly Laws and Regulations On Information Exchange in Major Jurisdictions”, KWM China Law Insight, August 2016; 
  • “Chinese Court Rendered Final Judgment on Rainbow v. Johnson & Johnson – the First Antitrust Private Action of Vertical Monopolistic Agreement”, KWM China Law Insight, August 2013. 

AQ Contact

AQ Contact
Susan Ning is one of our AQ contacts.
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