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Covington’s offices in Beijing and Shanghai are fully-integrated components of the firm’s global capabilities. For our global clients entering or operating in China, the offices provide a breadth of corporate, investigatory, government affairs and regulatory capabilities and experience unmatched by our peer firms. For our Chinese companies and investors, the offices manage the broader firm’s legal and strategic advisory services for all stages of the globalization process—outbound investment transactions, navigating commercial and regulatory challenges to overseas operations, and resolving commercial, intellectual property and other foreign disputes.
Our Beijing and Shanghai teams are built on a strong foundation of Chinese nationals trained both in the United States and China as well as lawyers and advisors from the United States with deep China experience. The managing partner of our Beijing office, Tim Stratford, is a member of the first generation of U.S. lawyers that came to China in the early 1980s and the most senior former U.S. trade official in the business community in China. The vast majority of our professionals in China are native speakers or fluent in Mandarin, and many of them speak Cantonese, Shanghainese, and other Chinese dialects.
Our capabilities in China include:
We advise global clients from a range of industries, with a particular focus on energy and natural resources, infrastructure, life sciences, telecommunications, and IT, media and Technology.
Advising Lenovo in securing approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States on its U.S. $2.3 billion acquisition of IBM's server business.
Advised Tencent Holdings Limited in connection with its investment activities relating to public and private companies.
Representing a leading U.S. pharmaceutical company to set up a joint venture in China with a Chinese biotech company to research, develop and commercialize a late-stage clinical product for the Asia market.
Advising a leading multinational pharmaceutical company on the acquisition of diabetes drug assets in China and the transfer of related employees from a multinational drug company.
Advising a leading multinational pharmaceutical company on its agreement with a Nasdaq-listed drug manufacturer to develop and market its linaclotide capsule in China.
Advising a U.S. biotech company on its sino-foreign joint venture with a Chinese life sciences company to focus on RNAi-based drug discovery, and related license agreement.
Advised a sovereign state and other stakeholders regarding a WTO dispute with respect to China’s restrictions on the export of commodities and “rare earth” minerals.
Represented JLG in its $3.2 billion merger with Oshkosh Truck.
Represented Joy Global in its $1.5 billion acquisition of International Mining Machinery Holdings Ltd.
Represented Wanxiang America in separate transactions involving the acquisition of certain assets of A123 Systems, Inc., a lithium ion battery company, and the sale of the Energy Solutions Business of A123 Systems to NEC Corp.
Prepared for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce a framework for analyzing WTO consistency of China’s approval process for inbound foreign direct investment.
Represented Pioneer Natural Resources in the sale of leasehold interests in Wolfcamp Shale to Sinochem.
We represented a freight railroad company in an antidumping and countervailing duty proceeding at the International Trade Commission covering certain intermodal containers from China. We assisted the company in successfully opposing the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on the Chinese containers.
Represented BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Limited in its $151 million acquisition by Diodes, Inc.
Represented China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. (CNOOC) in separate investments in the Eagle Ford and Niobrara shale properties held by Chesapeake Energy.
Represented Enstrom Helicopter in its acquisition by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co., Ltd., a company owned by the Municipality of Chongqing, China.
Represented Nexen in its $15 billion acquisition by China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd.
Represented Align Aerospace in its acquisition by a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the Chinese state-owned aerospace and defense company, in a transaction worth $220 million.
Represented Lenovo in various matters, including acquisition of x86 server business from IBM for $2.1 billion.
Represented IBM in the $1.75 billion sale of its personal computers division to Lenovo.
On behalf of one of the world’s leading consumer electronics and technology companies, we completed a comprehensive global privacy audit under the laws of the United States, the European Union, and China, including an assessment of the data
collection, use, and sharing practices of numerous business units (including HR data), cross-border data transfers, and adopting a going-forward privacy governance and risk-management approach and corresponding policies and procedures.
Represented Forest City Ratner Companies in a joint venture with Shanghai Greenland Group to develop the Atlantic Yards site in Brooklyn, NY.
Representation of Danish company ROCKWOOL Group in trademark infringement litigation in China involving its claim to the “ROCKWOOL” trademark and trade name.
A global air cargo company wanted to enhance its political influence as a respected industry voice on public policy issues in order to advance its global business objectives. We helped the company resolve difficult regulatory disputes in several countries, including a fast-moving dispute in China that endangered its business model. We also achieved legislative success for the company in the U.S. Congress on defense policy matters in the authorization bill (NDAA).
Assisting a major U.S. tech company with an entrance into China, including providing a comprehensive analysis of privacy and data protection issues in connection with that entry.
Advised a New York-headquartered investment bank on an international assignment from the UK to China.
Advised Keanu Reeves and Stephan Hamel’s production company, Company Films, on China projects.
Advised actor John Lone (of "M. Butterfly," "Rush Hour 2" and the Academy-award winning "The Last Emperor") in exploring China opportunities.
Advised private equity firm Cyrte Investments on a major investment in a co-production with a Chinese studio.
Advise start-ups such as producers of original Web content and digital music services.
Representation of a satellite provider in seeking broader access to markets in China, Mexico and elsewhere, which allowed us to combine our trade and communications expertise.
Advised a state-owned Chinese media group with respect to an international co-production project to be produced by a leading Hollywood producer.
Production counsel for “The Karate Kid” (Columbia Pictures, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan), box office hit “Let the Bullets Fly” (actor-director Jiang Wen), and leading Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige’s “The Orphan of Zhao.”
Production counsel for Keanu Reeves’s directorial debut, "Man of Tai Chi," a co-production involving Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia and China Film Group, which was picked up for release by Universal.
Chief outside counsel to a leading independent producer of Chinese reality television shows, including "Pepsi’s Battle of the Bands" and the "Miss Universe China Reignwood Pageant."
Advising a global online travel company in relation to the company’s expansion in the Asian markets, including compliance with laws regulating the Internet.
Advise U.S. software company, Adobe, on a media-related project in China.
China Filmed Entertainment in production, financing, and distribution arrangements for films including The Painted Veil, Forbidden Kingdom, and Crazy Stone; and Season 15 of CBS/Mark Burnett’s Survivor (shot entirely in China).
Advised Celestial Pictures on certain PRC regulatory issues in connection with the formation of Celestial Tiger Entertainment, the joint venture Celestial formed with Lionsgate and the Saban Capital Group in late 2011.
Advising one of the world’s largest specialty chemicals companies regarding its manufacturing joint venture activities in China.
Providing legal advice to a subsidiary of Legendary Pictures as China production counsel for “Great Wall,” to be directed by Zhang Yimou and possibly the largest budget picture ever to be produced in China.
Advising major Hollywood studios on film projects in China.
Conducting a compliance risk assessment of the China operations of a global auto parts company, including overseeing forensic transaction review, and interviews of more than 60 employees at facilities in mainland China and Taiwan.
Conducting internal investigation on behalf of a multinational pharmaceutical company into whistleblower allegations of corruption at its Chinese subsidiary.
Representation of Baidu, Inc., China’s leading search engine, with respect to a media venture.
Copyright and IP advice to Celestial Pictures, the owner of the Shaw Brothers library, the largest Chinese-language film collection in the world.
Advice regarding sponsorship and financing negotiations for the proposed USA Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Wide ranging advice to Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia, which has co-produced leading Chinese box office hits such as Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West.”
Retained by a WTO member to assess the consistency of certain Chinese requirements affecting the licensing of intellectual property rights with its obligations under WTO/TRIPS.
Represented Hong Kong Aircraft and Engineering Co. (HAECO) in its acquisition of TIMCO Aviation.
Defending Huawei, a Chinese mobile handset maker, in a putative class action alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and various state laws. The suit stems from the allegation that third-party mobile analytics software transmitted data about mobile device users’ activities to other parties without authorization.
Advised several leading U.S. companies in responding to existing and proposed Chinese trade barriers, including in the areas of intellectual property, technology standards, and competition law, and helped our clients succeed in raising the profile of these issues in U.S. bilateral negotiations with China.
Represented China Investment Corporation in its $1.6 billion investment in AES Corp.
Advised Tencent Holdings Ltd. on its $50 million investment in Ontario-based KIKInteractive, Inc., a messenger application with more than 200 million registered users.
Advised a multinational biopharmaceutical company operating in China on privacy and property ownership issues related to the collection and sharing of biological samples in clinical trials.
Advised Village Roadshow Limited (VRL) on its destination theme park on Hainan Island, China. The theme park will focus on marine animal attractions, with a similar format to VRL’s Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast, and will also include a Wet ‘n Wild style water park.
Advise two of the major Hollywood studios on a number of different feature films in China. Film projects for the majors include both studio films intended for wide international release, as well as local Chinese-language productions. Work for the majors also include advice regarding cooperation agreements, development, copyright and IP infringement, and relationships with talent.
China counsel for Season 15 of CBS/Mark Burnett’s “Survivor” (which was shot entirely in China).
Representation of Qualcomm in connection with its acquisition of CSR plc, with filings in China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Representation of Sanofi in connection with obtaining clearances from the European Commission and in China, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine for its collaboration with Google Life Sciences, Inc., now Verily, relating to diabetes management products and services.
October 7, 2016, Covington Alert
On September 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued letters of declination to NCH Corporation (“NCH”) and HMT LLC (“HMT”). Both companies are Texas-based “domestic concerns.” The letter to NCH, an industrial supply and maintenance company, relates to an investigation into possible violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign ...
October 5, 2016, Covington Alert
The International Employment Update summarises recent international employment law developments in the United Kingdom, France, Poland, China and the United States of America.
September 28, 2016, The FCPA Report
Eric Carlson is quoted in an FCPA Report article regarding China’s data privacy and cybersecurity laws and how they apply to companies doing business in China. Commenting on performing due diligence while avoiding data privacy issues, Carlson says, “For due diligence purposes, it is still safe and appropriate to gather corporate information such as whether a ...
September 21, 2016
SHANGHAI—China Law & Practice has named Covington as “Regulatory & Compliance Firm of the Year” at its annual award ceremony. The leading Chinese legal publication also recognized Shanghai partner Eric Carlson as “Regulatory & Compliance Lawyer of the Year” and the firm for its role in the “Outbound Deal of the Year,” China National Tire & Rubber’s $7.8 billion ...
September 19, 2016, Covington Alert
On September 13, 2016, Jun Ping Zhang (“Zhang”), former head of Harris Corporation’s (“Harris”) subsidiary in China, agreed to pay $46,000 to settle allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that Zhang knowingly authorized and facilitated bribes to Chinese government officials at state-owned hospitals and local health departments and ...
September 12, 2016, International Devices & Diagnostics Monitor
John Balzano participated in an FDAnews webinar and is quoted in an International Devices & Diagnostics Monitor article regarding China’s changing device regulations. According to Balzano, "Overall, they're going to want to make sure that they have a regulatory structure in place that facilitates the most innovative applications and the applications for devices ...
September 7, 2016, Covington Report
August 26, 2016, Global Policy Watch
Against the backdrop of a long string of product safety scandals that have eroded public trust, and a desire to transition China’s economy from an export-driven model to a consumption-driven model, the Chinese government continues to enhance its legal framework for the protection of consumer rights. On August 5, China’s State Administration of Industry and … ...
August 23, 2016, The Wall Street Journal
Mark Plotkin is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article following CFIUS approval of ChemChina’s planned purchase of Syngenta. According to Plotkin, “Chinese investments in the United States often attract close scrutiny not only from CFIUS but also from the media, the Congress and industry competitors, all of whom have different agendas.”
August 22, 2016, Market Talk
Mark Plotkin is quoted by Market Talk commenting on the CFIUS process following approval of the ChemChina-Syngenta deal. According to Plotkin, “At both the staff and political levels, CFIUS has been careful to separate simple China-bashing and economic self-interest from true national security considerations.” He continues, “There are many designated fora for ...
July 18, 2016, Covington Alert
On July 11, 2016, Johnson Controls, Inc. (“JCI”) agreed to pay $14.4 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that JCI, through its subsidiaries in China, violated the books and records and internal controls provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC alleged that, from 2007 to 2013, nearly all of the ...
July 12, 2016, Covington Alert
On July 5, 2016, China’s National People’s Congress (“NPC”) released a new draft of the Cybersecurity Law for public comment (official Chinese version available here; unofficial translation from AmCham China available here). The revised draft contains a number of significant changes from the first draft, which was released in July 2015, but retains many of the ...
June 24, 2016, Covington Alert
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in an advisory referendum. 52% leave - 48% remain.
Were the UK to leave the EU, this would have significant implications for the UK and for international businesses operating in the UK. The longer term impact of the decision on the regulatory framework for the UK will depend, in part, on the relationship that the UK ...
June 23, 2016, Covington Alert
China amended its Population and Family Planning Law in December 2015. It abolished the one-child policy and eliminated incentives for late marriage and late parenthood. Many provinces are announcing changes to local regulations to comply with the national amendment.
June 21, 2016
SILICON VALLEY—Covington advised Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading provider of internet service in China, in connection with its acquisition of a majority stake in Supercell from SoftBank. A consortium established by Tencent will acquire up to 84% of Supercell for $8.6 billion in a transaction valuing Supercell at approximately $10.2 billion.
Supercell is a ...
June 13, 2016, Covington Alert
On June 7, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a non-prosecution agreement (“NPA”) with Akamai, Inc., an internet cloud services company, in connection with an investigation of possible violations of the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) based on payments by ...
On June 7, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a non-prosecution agreement (“NPA”) with Nortek, Inc., a manufacturer of construction and remodeling products, in connection with an investigation into possible violations of the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) ...
June 7, 2016, EURObiz
June 3, 2016, Financial Times
John Veroneau is quoted in a Financial Times article regarding Donald Trump’s plans to disrupt current trade agreements by imposing punitive tariffs on exports from China and Mexico. According to Veroneau, “There is no standing authority for a [US] president to raise tariffs.” He continues, “Tariffs are revenue measures and Congress has the power of the purse.”
May 17, 2016, Global Policy Watch
In Part I of this two-part series published on May 12, we described China’s new Charity Law and its implications for charitable organizations operating in the country, both domestic and foreign. On April 28, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress enacted another new law, this one governing foreign non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) ...
May 12, 2016, Global Policy Watch
Since the Xi administration’s pledge during the Fourth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in October 2014 to promote the rule of law (or, as the ambiguous language was interpreted by many, “rule by law”), China has issued a number of final and draft laws and regulations of significance to … Continue Reading
May 12, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC — Covington advised China Molybdenum Co., Ltd (“CMOC”) on certain aspects of its agreement to acquire Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s indirect 56% Interest in Tenke Fungurume for $2.65 billion in cash plus contingent consideration of up to $120 million.
CMOC is primarily engaged in the mining, processing and marketing of mineral products. The acquisition ...
May 6, 2016, Insight
May 2, 2016, Law360
May 2, 2016, Covington Alert
China has just released its 13th Five Year Plan. This includes a mandate to encourage foreigners to work and reside in China by rolling out policies to relax entry, visa and residency requirements for qualified foreign talent.
As part of this focus, the Ministry of Public Security has issued, effective March 1, 2016, a number of preferential immigration ...
April 25, 2016, International Devices & Diagnostics Monitor
John Balzano’s remarks from an FDAnews webinar are quoted extensively in this article on changes to Chinese device regulations. According to Balzano, it is important to consider a host of issues, such as whether the device will be manufactured in China. Understanding the finer points of the Chinese FDA guidances "can influence whether your application gets ...
April 21, 2016, Global Policy Watch
In recent years, the business community in China has been abuzz with talk of various market access “negative lists” — lists of exceptions to what would otherwise be open market access. China has now introduced a new market access negative list for all forms of investment in the country, both domestic and foreign. Before describing … Continue Reading
April 21, 2016, Covington Alert
On April 5, 2016, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), through the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, announced a one-year Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) enforcement pilot program (the “Pilot Program”) intended to motivate companies to voluntarily disclose FCPA-related misconduct and increase transparency around the Fraud Section’s approach ...
April 13, 2016, China Daily
David Fagan is quoted in a China Daily article regarding Chinese direct foreign investment in the United States. According to Fagan, the economies of China and the United States are truly intertwined. "In turn, the economic relationship that can be forged through investment is not just something that is economically beneficial. The relationships that can develop ...
April 2016, Covington Alert
Right to Private Life v. Right to Monitor
On January 12, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights published its judgment in another case concerning an employee’s use of company information systems, once again highlighting the challenge of balancing an employee’s right to a private life against the right of an employer to monitor employees at work.
This article describes the attorney-client privilege under U.S. law and where care must be taken during internal investigations in China to maintain the privilege and avoid inadvertently waiving its protections.
On April 7, 2016, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (“LVSC”) agreed to pay $9 million to settle allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that LVSC, through its subsidiaries in China and Macao, violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The settlement resolves allegations that, from 2006 through at least 2011, LVSC and its subsidiaries ...
On April 18, 2016, the Chinese government released a judicial interpretation that clarifies certain aspects of the PRC Criminal Law with regard to bribery and corruption. The Interpretation provides additional clarity in understanding the amendments to the Criminal Law that took effect last year, most notably by (1) expanding the definition of bribes to include ...
March 25, 2016, Covington Alert
On March 23, 2016, Novartis AG (“Novartis”) agreed to pay $25 million to settle civil charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) alleging that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) by paying bribes to healthcare professionals (“HCPs”) in China from 2009 to 2013 to increase sales. Employees and managers of its two ...
March 2, 2016, Global Policy Watch
Disappointment is the sentiment most expressed towards results of the February 26-27 meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Shanghai. One former UK official calls G20 meetings a “damp squib” — no idea what that means, but it sounds about right. Despite rising panic by the IMF, OECD and others about the … Continue Reading
March 2016, Covington Alert
On March 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced an agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by hiring relatives of Chinese government officials to gain business advantages in the Chinese telecommunications market. The SEC also alleged that Qualcomm provided gifts, travels, and ...
February 29, 2016, Covington Alert
February 25, 2016, Law360
February 22, 2016, Covington Alert
February 21, 2016, Covington Alert
February 18, 2016, The Wall Street Journal
Mark Plotkin is quoted in this Wall Street Journal article discussing the scrutiny that Chinese acquisitions will receive from U.S. regulators. According to Plotkin, "Given the amount of state ownership of Chinese companies, together with the history of espionage between our countries and U.S. concerns about the potential appropriation and proliferation of ...
February 9, 2016, Covington Alert
January 5, 2016, Global Policy Watch
On December 27, 2015, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislative body, enacted a Counter-Terrorism Law (see the Chinese version here), which took effect on January 1, 2016. The adoption of this law, a year after the first draft was released for public comment, followed closely the adoption of a … Continue Reading
January 5, 2016, Covington Alert
2016, Covington Report
December 4, 2015, China Daily
Jason Goldberg participated in a discussion at the Asia Leadership Roundtable forum titled "The Strategic Implications for Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong's Film Industry under the IP Era." China Daily quoted Goldberg, who said, "Movie companies should think long-term how IP protection can provide income in the future.” He continued, "The awareness of IP ...
November 2015, The China Outbound Forum, Sanya, China
October 22, 2015
BEIJING, October 22, 2015 - Asian Legal Business has selected Covington intellectual property partner Ruixue Ran as one of the fifteen “Top Female Lawyers” in China. Ms. Ran is based in the firm’s Beijing office and is one of only three lawyers selected from non-Chinese law firms.
The annual award acknowledges the increasing influence of women in China’s ...
October 9, 2015, Covington Alert
September 15, 2015, Global Policy Watch
In the midst of questions about how China’s economic health will impact Africa, the foreign ministers of China and South Africa have announced that the sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be upgraded to a summit. Nearly a decade after the first China-Africa Leaders summit which was held in Beijing, this … Continue Reading
September 4, 2015, Global Policy Watch
When China sneezes, does all of Africa catch a cold? Slower Chinese growth and a recently devalued currency will certainly impact Africa, whose largest trading partner is China. However, the impact of China’s recent currency devaluation will largely depend on country-specific factors. The Chinese government likely devalued its currency in August in part to ...
August 20, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, August 20, 2015 — Covington advised Tencent Holdings Ltd. on its US$50 million investment in Ontario-based Kik Interactive, Inc., a messenger application with more than 200 million registered users.
Tencent is a Chinese company that provides value-added Internet, mobile and telecom services and online advertising. Its messaging app WeChat has ...
August 10, 2015, Global Policy Watch
Close on the heels of a sweeping new National Security Law, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress released last month for public comment a very significant draft Network Security Law (“Draft Law”), also referred to as the draft Cybersecurity Law. Since it came into power in 2012, China’s current leadership has attached an … Continue Reading
August 2015, Bloomberg BNA World Data Protection Report
July 29, 2015, Covington Alert
July 13, 2015, China Law & Practice
July 10, 2015, Covington Alert
July 8, 2015, Global Policy Watch
China clearly wants to use its enormous financial capacity to secure access to resources, to create good jobs for its huge population, to enhance its strategic clout and to spur global growth in ways that shore up growth at home. Certainly, this is true of China’s engagement with the Middle East, from which it obtains … Continue Reading
July 7, 2015, Covington Alert
July 2, 2015, Law360
July 2, 2015, Covington Alert
July 2015, Bloomberg BNA World Data Protection Report
March 26, 2015, The Lawyer
March 26, 2015, Legal Week
Covington's Grace Chen is featured in this article regarding her joining the firm's international employment practice.
March 26, 2015, Asian Legal Business
March 28, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2013 — Lanny A. Breuer, most recently the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, is returning to Covington & Burling as Vice Chair of the firm.
Mr. Breuer’s practice will encompass a wide range of civil and criminal litigation matters, as well as governmental and internal investigations. ...
WASHINGTON, DC, February 13, 2013 — The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on Tuesday approved CNOOC Ltd.’s bid to acquire the U.S. assets of Canadian energy company Nexen Inc. It was the final regulatory hurdle in the $15.1 billion acquisition, the largest overseas investment ever by a Chinese company. Covington & Burling represented ...
WASHINGTON, DC, July 23, 2008 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce that it has opened an office in Beijing. The office is the first in Asia for Covington, which also maintains offices in Brussels, London, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.
“Covington has been advising its international clients on legal and business matters in Asia for ...