KWM London – Our Legal Experience in China

The emergence of China as an economic superpower is undoubtedly the main story of the 21st century. In the last 30 years China has produced not one economic miracle but many.

China is now too big to ignore. However, deriving the right strategy can be challenging – with over 1,000 lawyers in 12 offices across mainland China we can assist clients to navigate China. Whether it is entering the market, dealing with day to day issues, protecting their IP or even ultimately listing their China company. In addition, as a fully licensed PRC law firm we can also directly support clients in respect of disputes with partners, their customers or the authorities.

Why you need a Chinese Law firm in London

We seek to demystify China and facilitate business between China and the West.

The London office has lawyers with decades of on-the-ground experience in dealing with all types of China projects. Our bilingual team plays an important role in advising UK and European headquarters to formulate, adjust and implement their China strategy. We work seamlessly with our colleagues in China to realize such projects.

China is expected to be the world's largest economy by 2028. In this year, Beijing has more billionaires than New York. China is the largest trading partner of more than 120 countries around the world. China is already the largest global market for a variety of products such as mobile phones, automobiles, food and retail goods. It is expected to become the largest global market for clothing by 2023. China is no longer content to be the world's workshop but is also producing its own tech champions such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Bytedance and many more.

The future of Chinese growth?

Despite all this growth and size, this is still an economy with a long way to go. 1.4 billion consumers keen to participate in the finer things in life and creating demand for Western products and services. A massive infrastructure project in the Belt and Road initiative linking China with 70+ countries. A still growing manufacturing base which forms a key part of the supply change for almost all advanced manufactured goods. Domestic companies thirsting for foreign technology.

In short, China is no longer the opportunity of tomorrow but very much the opportunity for NOW. For most Western companies China is a key growth market, for some it is a second home market.

This article was written by Barri Mendelsohn and Greg Stonefield.

20 January 2022

This article was written by Mark Schaub and Atticus Zhao

08 November 2021

The growth of the digital economy has led governments around the world to seek to regulate cybersecurity and privacy of individuals. The digital economy has eroded national boundaries, accentuated possible risks to infrastructure and allows for personal information to be collected on a scale undreamt of and to be used in ways few understand. China's authorities tackled cybersecurity with the PRC Cybersecurity Law (Cybersecurity Law) which came into effect on 1 June 2017. This law also touched upon privacy concerns and marked that regulating of the digital economy and cyberspace was a serious objective. On 1 September 2021, China Data Security Law came effect. The focus of this law is the protection and security of critical data in relation to national security and the public interest. China's new Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) which comes into effect on 1st November 2021 deals in a much more comprehensive manner with individual data. The Cybersecurity Law, the Data Security Law, PIPL and a plethora of other regulations need to be considered as a whole when international companies operate in or with China. However, as we explain in this article PIPL will likely cause much more concern for international businesses as 1) it is coming soon; 2) it applies much more broadly; 3) it establishes very legitimate rights for individuals vis a vis their personal data but such rights will need to be reflected in business processes; 4) the penalties have real teeth; and 5) one can expect very active enforcement due to a mix of motivated regulators and concerned individuals being empowered to take action. In this article we seek to provide an overview as to how PIPL will hold companies accountable and also what measures we believe need to be taken.

15 September 2021