Beijing Head OfficeAdd: 19/F, Tower B, Xinsheng Plaza, 5 Finance Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100032, PRCTel: (86-10) 6657 8066Fax: (86-10) 6657 8016Email: guantao@guantao.com Chengdu Office...
  • Release time: 2024 - 03 - 19
    Guantao Shenzhen advises the University of Hong Kong on its investment in Dongguan Qingshuiwan Phase II FundRecently, the University of Hong Kong completed the investment in Dongguan Qingshuiwan Phase II Venture Capital Partnership (Limited Partnership) (“Dongguan Qingshuiwan Phase II Fund”/the “Fund”). Guantao Shenzhen served as the legal advisor to the University of Hong Kong, providing legal services for its investment in this fund.Before this round of capital increase, the shareholders of the Dongguan Qingshuiwan Phase II Fund included Dongguan Industrial Investment Fund Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Tencent Industrial Investment Fund Co., Ltd., Sequoia Jingyao (Xiamen) Equity Investment Partnership (Limited Partnership, and Professor Zexiang Li, who is known as “the Godfather of DJI”, etc. Zexi...
  • Release time: 2024 - 01 - 22
    Guantao advises Jinmao Property on acquisition of entire equity interest in Runwu JiayeJinmao Property Services Co., Limited (00816. HK, "Jinmao Services") announced on January 18, 2024 that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sinochem Jinmao Property Management (Beijing) Co., Ltd. ("Jinmao Property"), acquired the entire  equity interest in Beijing Runwu Jiaye Enterprise Management Co., Ltd. ("Runwu Jiaye") for a total cash consideration of RMB323,800,000 (subject to adjustment). Upon completion of the acquisitions, Runwu Jiaye will become an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Jinmao Services. Jinmao Services is a fast-growing upscale property management and city operation service provider in China. Jinmao Property, as a principal operating wholly-owned s...
  • Release time: 2024 - 01 - 19
    Guantao advises Xianyang Urban Development Group on issuing private placement of corporate bonds (linked to low-carbon transformation) (Phase I) in 2024Recently, Guantao has assisted Xianyang Urban Development Group Co., Ltd. ("Xianyang Urban Development Group") in completing the issuance of private placement of corporate bonds (linked to low-carbon transformation) (Phase I) for professional investors in 2024.  This bond is the first corporate bond linked to low-carbon transformation in Northwest China.  The scale of this issuance by Xianyang Urban Development Group is RMB500 million, and the bond term is five years (3 + 2); the subscription multiple is 4.31 times and the final coupon rate is 3.56%, making its debut in the capital market for the first time and setting t...
  • Release time: 2024 - 01 - 09
    Guantao advises Shanghai Film Group on producing the phenomenal TV Series "Blossoms"The TV series "Blossoms", originally created, shot and produced by Shanghai, has become a hot topic and continues to be the center of attention. The ratings for its premiere of CCTV 8 have exceeded 2%, and its popularity of Tencent Video has exceeded 30,000, making it a phenomenal TV drama at the end of 2023. As the legal counsel of Shanghai Film Group Co., Ltd., one of the producers of Blossoms, Guantao Shanghai Office provided professional legal services for Shanghai Film Group to produce the TV series. Mr. Li Dequan, Senior Partner of Guantao Shanghai Office, as the leading partner for this project, has formed a team comprised of Wang Gang, You Shanghuai, Wu Yufeng and Yang Qifei...
  • Release time: 2023 - 08 - 30
    Guantao advises CRHMS on issuing A-shares to specific investors, successfully registered with CSRCOn August 29, 2023, China Reform Health Management and Services Group Co., Ltd. (stock code: 000503; stock Abbr: CRHMS) obtained the approval of registration from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) for issuing A-shares to specific investors. CRHMS is deeply rooted in the healthcare information industry, closely orienting towards the national strategy of "Healthy China" and the general requirements of the State for the "Three Coordinated Medical Reforms", and in accordance with the development goals and business directions determined by the Company's strategic plan of "One Body and Two Wings, Two-wheel Drive, Digital Empowerment, and Healthy Ecol...
  • Release time: 2024 - 03 - 28
    Guantao partner Deng Zhe recognised as "The A-List 2023-24: Rising Stars" by CBLJ On March 28, 2024, China Business Law Journal (CBLJ) released "The A-List 2023-24: Rising Stars". Guantao partner Mr. Deng Zhe was recognized as an A-List Rising Star for his outstanding market performance.  A-List Rising Star Deng ZhePartner, Guantao Law Firm, Shanghai OfficePractice Area: Litigation & Arbitration, Financing & Acquisition, Corporate and CommercialEmail: dengz@guantao.comMr. Deng also holds the following positions: Deputy Director of the Mediation Research Committee of Shanghai Bar Association, Pro Bono Expert of Shanghai People's Procuratorate, Part-time Mentor for Juris Master of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Mentor for Employment and...
  • Release time: 2024 - 03 - 19
    Guantao wins CBLJ Deals of the Year 2023On March 19, 2024, China Business Law Journal (CBLJ) officially published the Deals of the Year 2023. Two deals that Guantao has advised won  the "M&A Deal of the Year" and "PE/VC Deal of the Year"respectively.  Deals of the Year:M&A Deal of the YearShanxi Coking Coal Energy buys two coal affiliatesLeading Guantao Partner: Du EnShenzhen-listed Shanxi Coking Coal Energy Group completed the RMB7.04 billion (USD980 million) acquisition of Huajin Coking Coal and Mingzhu Coal.  The acquisition involved cash payment and share issuance, with the buyer acquiring a 51% stake in Huajin Coking Coal and a 49% stake in Mingzhu Coal.  Additionally, Shanxi Coking Coal Energy Group issued RMB4.4bn of shares to a m...
  • Release time: 2024 - 03 - 06
    Guantao wins four awards at Legal Vision 2023 Brand FestivalOn 2 March 2024, the first grand event of the Year of the Dragon in the legal industry -- the 2nd Legal Service Brand Development Forum "To Light Chaser" and Legal Vision 2023 Brand Festival was held in Shanghai. The forum, guided by the China Legal Exchange Foundation and hosted by Legal Vision, attracted more than 300 participants, including well-known experts and scholars, heads of law firms,  in-house general counsels, heads of industry ecological organizations, heads of legal technology companies and media representatives, to discuss in depth the hot issues in the development of the legal service industry and explore new ideas for the development of the industry's branding. Multiple online live platforms at...
  • Release time: 2024 - 02 - 19
    Guantao ranked in Chambers Global Legal Guide 2024 Recently, Chambers and Partners, a leading global legal research and analysis institution, released the Chambers Global Legal Guide 2024. Guantao five practice areas and 4 individuals are ranked among it by virtue of its outstanding legal expertise, remarkable market performance and excellent client reputation. Ranked practice areas are:Capital Markets: Domestic IssuancesCorporate/M&ADispute ResolutionEnergy and Natural ResourcesProjects and InfrastructureRanked individuals are:Huang YapingCapital Market: Debt and EquityJiang WeiProjects and InfrastructureLyu YiDispute resolution: LitigationSun DongyingCorporate/M&AChambers is a leading global legal research and analysis institution, identifying the leading law firms and ...
  • Release time: 2024 - 02 - 01
    Guantao Qingdao awarded "Excellent IP Service Agency"Recently, as recognized by the Shandong Intellectual Property Service Industry Association, Guantao Qingdao office was awarded "Excellent Intellectual Property Service Agency of the Year 2023" and its partner, Ms. Yang Guowei, was identified as "Excellent Intellectual Property Individual of the Year 2023".  Yang Guowei, Partner of Guantao Qingdao office, is recognized as “senior talent in China Trademark Talent Pool”, guidance expert of Shandong Sub-center of China National Overseas Intellectual Property Dispute Response and Guidance Center, legal talent of Shandong Provincial Intellectual Property Protection Center, and one of the first batch of experts in Expert Pool of Shandong Intellectual Prop...
  • Release time: 2024 - 03 - 12
    Guantao partners exclusively contribute to The Legal 500's China Chapter on Insurance DisputesThe Legal 500 recently published its 2024 Country Comparative Guides: Insurance Disputes. Guantao partners, Huang Fulong, Wu Fuhong, Huang Xiaoli and Wu Xuan, exclusively contributed the China chapter under invitation. The Guides address common topics relating to the insurance disputes, such as the dispute-settlement mechanism, information disclosure, insurer's liability exemption, causation and subrogation, as well as the latest development trends in the insurance dispute field.  The Legal 500, a world-renowned legal media, regularly provides the legal industry with the latest developments in the global legal market. The Country Comparative Guides, produced by The Legal 500 in c...
  • Release time: 2024 - 02 - 27
    Guantao 2024 Partners' Annual Meeting held successfully On February 25, 2024, the Guantao 2024 Partners' Annual Meeting was held successfully in China World Hotel Beijing.  More than 200 Guantao partners from offices in and outside China attended the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Cui Liguo, Chairman of the Management Committee. Mr. Cui summarized and reported on the work of the Management Committee for the year 2023. Zhou Zhiming, member of the Management Committee, delivered a report on the proposed absorption and promotion of partners of the firm.   Lai Yunlong, member of the Management Committee, delivered a report on the proposals relating to the financial budget and final accounts.   Sheng Leiming, Chairman of the Partner...
  • Release time: 2024 - 02 - 26
    Guantao 30th anniversary celebration grandly held On February 25, 2024, Guantao held a 30th anniversary celebration party in Beijing.  Nearly 500 people, including all Guantao partners, colleagues from Guantao various domestic and overseas offices, representatives of Ashurst and Gallant, gathered to celebrate Guantao's 30th birthday.  Guantao was founded in February 1994 with originally three founding partners, and after 30 years of trials and hardships, is now a full-service professional law firm in China with offices in 30 major cities in and outside China. At the 30th anniversary celebration, Han Dejing, Director of Guantao, Sheng Leiming, Chairman of the Partners' Meeting, and Cui Liguo, Chairman of the Management Committee, delivered speeches respectiv...
  • Release time: 2024 - 02 - 05
    Guantao Shenzhen foreign-related lawyers continue to grow in numberRecently, the Guangdong Lawyers Association has announced the name list of the fifth batch Foreign-related Law Firms Pool and Foreign-related Lawyers Talent Pool. Tan Yanhua and Zheng Zhifan, partners of Guantao Shenzhen, were selected in the Leading Talent Pool for Foreign-related Lawyers; partners Wu Xuejun and Wu Shuang, as well as senior associates Cai Wei and Liang Yuzhen, were selected in the Emerging Talent Pool for Foreign-related Lawyers. The team of foreign-related lawyers of Guantao Shenzhen continues to grow in number. For many years, Guantao Shenzhen has always attached importance to the building of a team of foreign-related lawyers, and is therefore awarded the title of "Guangdong Foreign-related Law...
  • Release time: 2023 - 12 - 13
    Guantao opened Wenzhou officeThe weight of the state reaches the world, and the law is for the people. Wenzhou in December is still warm as spring, spreading the city's unique vitality and charm.  As a city of innovation and a port of vitality, Wenzhou is world known for its prosperous economy, deep cultural heritage and unique "Wenzhou people’s spirit". On December 10, 2023, the opening ceremony of Guantao Wenzhou Office was held in Wenzhou CBD Runguang Building.  More than 60 Guantao lawyers, guests and peers gathered to witness the opening ceremony of Guantao Wenzhou Office and extend sincere congratulations. Guantao Wenzhou Office, formerly known as ZHEJIANG SHIDAI BUSINESS LAW FIRM, is one of the first batch of "Zhejiang Famous Law Firms" an...
  • Release time: 2024 - 02 - 02
    Guantao Fuzhou organized "Welcome the New Year and Send Love" activity for the Welfare InstituteOn January 31, 2024, Guantao Fuzhou Youth Work Committee, organized volunteers, mainly comprised of Guantao young lawyers and employees, to carry out a meaningful activity: entering the welfare institute, to "Welcome the New Year and Send Love".  In our philosophy, the first prerequisite to be a good lawyer is to be a kind and warm person.  The bigger the brand, the more it should take the initiative to shoulder its social responsibility and participate in the pro bono. Our target, Fuzhou Second Social Welfare Institute, is the only social welfare institution in Fujian Province that mainly adopts orphans, disabled, mentally retarded people, mainly adopts especi...
  • Release time: 2023 - 12 - 06
    Guantao partner Li Wenjie awarded as National Outstanding Pro Bono Mediator by China Securities Capital Market Legal Service CentreRecently, China Securities Capital Market Legal Service Centre ("China Securities Center") organized a national outstanding pro bono mediator competition, and Mr. Li Wenjie, partner of Guantao Shenzhen, was awarded "Outstanding Mediator" in recognition of Mr. Li Wenjie's outstanding performance in mediation of securities and futures disputes and his exemplary role among mediators. China Securities Center is the only cross-regional and cross-market nation-wide pro bono mediation institution in China for securities and futures disputes established under the approval of the CSRC.  By adhering to the principles of "complying w...
  • Release time: 2023 - 10 - 23
    Guantao Nanchang invited to Nanpu Subdistrict to carry out legal pro bono consulting activity for Double Ninth FestivalOctober in autumn, when the fragrance of cinnamon osmanthus wafts in the air, the Double Ninth Festival is marked by care and respect for the elderly. Before the Double Ninth Festival was around the corner, the Nanchang Women's Union and the Nanchang Women and Children Activity Center, together with the Nanpu Subdistrict and other relevant entities, jointly carried out the 2023 Activity with the theme of "Grey Hair United as One Heart, Walk with the Party, and Join Hands to Paint a Red Sunset" on the afternoon of October 22, 2023.  Guantao Nanchang Partners, led by Wang Yaping, carried out the "Pro Bono Legal Consulting Activity for Double Ninth Fes...
  • Release time: 2017 - 03 - 06
    Sponsored by Guantao Law Firm in 2016, Guantao lawyers actively participated in donating for charities to Guantao Ganlin Class. 50 students of Dali Weishan No.1 Middle School joined Guantao family. The students' thirst for knowledge, enthusiasm for learning and wish for changing destiny deeply impressed us.When the new year begins, Guantao proposed an initiative again. In order to prepare a significant gift for Guantao Ganlin students, Guantao lawyers decided to donate a book corner, so that the children could know a wider world.Liu, teacher of Weishan No.1 Middle School, expressed appreciation for Guantao when receiving the books. Liu said: “Students like the books. They need spiritual wealth. These books are the best new year gifts for them. Reading will benefit the children in the w...
  • Release time: 2016 - 11 - 29
    To celebrate the Party's birthday, Party Branch of the Guantao Xi'an Office set up a series of bono activities. On 25 June, lawyer Li Wenhui, secretary of the Party Branch of Guantao Xi'an Office, senior partner Sun Dongfeng, young lawyers and staffs of administrative departments arrived at Shaanxi Aiding Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents and presented the children with food such as rice, flour, edible oil, milk, oatmeal, beans etc. and cash.This center, founded in 1996, works as a non-profit charity organization for the minor children of incarcerated parents. It has helped more than 600 minor children of prisoners get through their most difficult days, find jobs and earn their own livings. Guantao Xi'an Office will carry out "Legal Classroom" at the cen...
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  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    Guantao Law firm (“Guantao”) is one of the earliest law firms in China to obtain the qualification of practicing securities, and also one of the earliest batches of law firms engaging in securities business. In the field of domestic capital market, Guantao has set up an organizational structure with Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Shenzhen as the core and radiates across the country. In the field of overseas capital market, Guantao has set up Guantao Hong Kong office to mainly undertake overseas capital market business. Meanwhile, Guantao focuses on strengthening the cooperation and connection with other overseas law firms, forming an institutional pattern which is ”omni-directional, inter-jurisdictional and systematic“.Over the past twenty years, Guantao has fully grasped the opportunity...
  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    Corporate and M&A is one of Guantao’s core practice areas, in which it has been a market leader and is widely recognized for many years.  It has received rankings and recommendations from globally renowned legal rating agencies such as Chambers Global, Chambers Greater China Region, ALB, The Legal 500, IFLR1000, China Business Law Journal, LEGALBAND and Asialaw Profiles for a number of consecutive years. Guantao's Corporate and M&A team covers multiple jurisdictions, languages and cultures.  In recent years, Guantao has represented numerous domestic and foreign multinational corporations, funds and public companies on a number of well-known and complex M&A transactions.  The services cover all stages of transactions: from industry access laws and policie...
  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    Guantao provides high-quality legal services to banking and non-bank financial institutions, including central bank and commercial banks, policy banks, cooperative banks, joint stock banks, foreign-invested banks, trust investment companies, asset management companies, securities companies, insurance companies, fund management companies, futures companies, guaranty companies, leasing companies and other financial institutions. Guantao’s services in this area include but are not limited to: • equity participation in Chinese banks by foreign banks• formation of banking and non-bank financial institutions• Sino-foreign finance cooperation projects• foreign financial institutions access to the PRC market• risk management, liquidation and exit strategies for financial institutions• export credi...
  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    Guantao is one of the earliest law firms that established real estate department, could provide full and whole industry legal services to all kinds of clients, including government agencies, development enterprises, construction groups, financial institutions, real estate REITs, etc. Legal services of Guantao team not only contain traditional real estate development projects, such as land development (land first-level development, land use right transfer and land comprehensive development), M&A and restructuring of real estate projects, construction projects management (contracting and subcontracting, design and performance of construction contracts, final acceptance of construction projects, settlement of construction payment, etc.), sale and leasing of commercial properties, property...
  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    Adhering to the client-centric philosophy and advocating the spirit of teamwork, Guantao has been deeply involved in the field of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for decades, and is particularly skilled in handling major and high profile cases.Our lawyers across the world are well-versed in legal theory, diligent, service-oriented and dedicated to pursuing excellence. In recent years, we handle more than 30 cases per working day on average. We have a deep understanding of client needs as well as the insight into legal trends, clear case strategies, and proficient litigation skills. We are confident that our experience as courtroom advocates on both sides for plaintiffs and defendants can bring to bear our unique insight i...
  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    In the field of Restructuring/Insolvency, Guantao has outstanding performance and has been ranked among the top law firms in China in terms of overall strength and has gained a good reputation in the industry. Therefore, Guantao has been ranked and recommended by Chambers, The Legal 500, IFLR 1000, Asialaw Profiles, ALB and other globally renowned legal rating agencies for many years.One of the First Leading Law Firms to Enter the Chinese Insolvency Industry, with a Strong Track Record of Success across ChinaGuantao was one of the first law firms in China to engage in corporate liquidation or restructuring.  Since 2002, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has been focusing on the rectification of illegal securities companies, and Guantao was entrusted by the CSRC to part...
  • Release time: 2017 - 08 - 03
    Guantao's legal services in the field of infrastructure and projects including but not limited to:  • representing and advising clients in the approval stage of infrastructure investment projects such as power, oil, gas, new energy, and environment protection in respect of the project examination and approval, verification and approval, filing or other mandatory or referenced prepositional procedures• advising on the land use rights, sea areas use rights, construction planning, building property rights and other relevant legal matters involved in infrastructure and construction projects• providing legal services for various PPP projects (including BOT, BOOT, BOO, etc.)• providing legal services for various contracts of construction project (including EPC, EPCM, PMC, etc.)• advisin...
  • Release time: 2017 - 02 - 05
    Intellectual property has been a long-time core practice and research area for Guantao, and it has successfully represented clients on a number of cases in matters including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, proprietary technology, integrated circuit, computer software, database protection, new plant type, the design and implementation of protection programs for the copy right / trade mark / franchise right, etc.Also, Guantao has extensive experience in the field of telecommunication and media, and provides legal services for companies' M&A, general telecommunication services, value-added telecommunication services, internet services, etc.Guantao's services include but are not limited to:• information search• application and registration of IP rights (including comput...
  • Release time: 2016 - 11 - 26
    Guantao is one of the very few Chinese law firms with substantial experiences in representing both domestic and foreign clients in merger clearance, antitrust litigation, government investigations, compliance program and counseling projects.Our antitrust lawyers have extensive and in-depth cooperation with international law firms and economic experts in order to provide our clients with high quality legal support to meet their needs in various antitrust matters.Meanwhile, the consistent communications between Guantao lawyers and the Chinese antitrust authorities, including the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”), have also enabled Guantao lawyers to serve the clients with th...
  • Release time: 2016 - 06 - 11
    Guantao has rich knowledge and experience in international commerce, with outstanding legal team. Guantao has provided legal services on remedy in international commerce for many large-scale enterprises, corporations and government agencies. Guantao has rich experience in anti-dumping investigation, anti-subsidy, safeguard measure, trade remedy, WTO rules on goods, service, investment and IP, as well as WTO dispute settlement procedure, custom’s classification, valuation and appellations of origin. Based on these, with a thorough understanding of Chinese substantive and procedural law, we are able to provide comprehensive high-quality legal service on for anti-dumping investigation, anti-subsidy investigation and safeguard measure of our clients. Meanwhile, Guantao has served as legal coun...
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  • Beijing Head Office
  • Chengdu Office
  • Dalian Office
  • Guangzhou Office
  • Hangzhou Office
  • Hong Kong Office
  • Ji'nan Office
  • Shanghai Office
  • Shenzhen Office
  • Suzhou Office
  • Sydney Office
  • Tianjin Office
  • Xiamen Office
  • Xi'an Office
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  • New York
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  • Zhengzhou Office
  • Fuzhou Office
  • Toronto Office
  • Updated: 2015 - 01 - 22

    Beijing Head Office

     

    Add: 19/F, Tower B, Xinsheng Plaza, 5 Finance Street, Xicheng

    District, Beijing 100032, PRC

    Tel: (86-10) 6657 8066

    Fax: (86-10) 6657 8016

    Email: guantao@guantao.com

     


    Beijing Head Office

    Located in the heart of Beijing's financial district, our head office was established in 1994 and has become a leading law firm in China. With more than 80 partners and 190 lawyers, Beijing Office serves as the gateway to our extensive PRC network of unparalleled expertise and long-standing client relationship. The head office has the experience spanning a broad range of sectors, including banking, securities, insurance, large-scale infrastructure projects, real estate, manufacturing, transportation, energy and natural resources, environmental protection, research and development, chemical, pharmaceutical and service industry. We provide a full range of legal services including:

    • International trade and foreign direct investments;

    • Mergers, acquisitions and dispositions;

    • Venture capital and private equity transactions;

    • Capital markets and corporate finance (public and private);

    • Joint ventures and cooperation agreements;

    • Debt restructurings and insolvencies;

    • Corporate reorganizations and commercial contracts;

    • Administrative compliance and corporate governance;

    • Intellectual property and new- and high-tech;

    • Bidding and tendering;

    • Commercial litigation and arbitration.

    With legal expertise in virtually every area of law, Guantao has the scope and flexibility to meet the demands of today's most sophisticated clients. Our domestic and international clients rely on Guantao to provide strategic, innovative advice on the most complex corporate transactions, significant banking and securities developments, intricate financing issues and high profile litigation matters. Equipped with solid legal theory and skills, our superior team of lawyers and legal experts are diligent and trustworthy, with proven track record of excellent performance. This ensures our clients receive the most reliable and comprehensive legal advice in the rapid changing economy in China and around the world.

     

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    成都.jpg

     

    Add: Room 702, 7/F, Western Tower, 19, 4th Section, Renminnan

    Avenue, Chengdu 610041, PRC

    Tel: (86-28) 6829 9886

    Fax: (86-28) 6829 9899

    Email: guantaocd@guantao.com

     

     

    Chengdu Office

    Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, is at the forefront and key region in China's western region development strategy. As the hub for finance, commerce, transportation as well as science and technology, Chengdu has become the hotspot for international investment. Located in the central business district of Chengdu, Chengdu Office was established in 2001 with 9 partners and over 32 associates and paralegals.

    International investment is a core practice area for our Sichuan office, attributing to rapid economic growth in the western region of China. The Sichuan office's other core practice areas include acquisition of domestic equity / assets by overseas enterprises, setting up joint ventures or wholly-owned foreign enterprises or branch operation in China on behalf of foreign entities; Additionally, Sichuan Office has accumulated extensive experience in fields including real estate, securities, corporate asset restructuring, and administrative laws.

  • Updated: 2016 - 11 - 24

    大连.jpg

     

    Add: Room 1109, 11/F, Renshou Tower, Renmin Road,

    Zhongshan District, Dalian 116001, PRC

    Tel: (86-411) 8282 9601

    Fax: (86-411) 8282 9901

    Email: guantaodl@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Dalian Office

    Guantao Dalian Office was established in April 2002 with 4 partners and 12 associates and paralegals.

    It is pleased to make Guantao's broad legal expertise available to northeast China from Dalian, a dynamic and vibrant port and high-tech city serving as a gateway to Korea and Japan. Dalian Office offers the extensive resources of a large firm with legal services ranging from securities, banking, reorganization and listing, real estate, to commercial litigation and arbitration.

    Increasingly, Dalian Office is working with clients in new sectors of Dalian's rich and diverse economy. As with all Guantao offices we work as a cohesive PRC legal team to deliver integrated service of the highest caliber in areas of compliance, M&A and restructuring, equity incentives, issuance of stocks and bonds, litigation and arbitration to our domestic and overseas clients.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Guangzhou Office

     

    Add: Suites 1703-04, R&F Yingxin Tower, 28 Huaxia Road,

    Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510623, PRC

    Tel: (86-20) 38398787

    Fax: (86-20) 38398331

    Email: guantaogz@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Guangzhou Office

    Guantao Guangzhou Office was established in December 2012. It is staffed by an excellent team of 4 partners and over 50 associates and paralegals, who are recognized leaders in their fields of expertise.

    Guangzhou is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province, People's Republic of China. Located on the Pearl River, about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and north-northeast of Macau, Guangzhou is the third largest Chinese city and southern China's largest city. Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port. One of the five National Central Cities, it holds sub-provincial administrative status.

    We can offer efficient and high-quality legal services especially in areas of banking & finance, capital markets, corporate / M&A, private equity and funds, state-owned enterprise reform and property right transfer, non-performing asset, foreign direct investment, intellectual property, real estate & construction and litigation & arbitration. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, our Guangzhou team has achieved high level of success and built a good reputation.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    杭州.jpg

     

    Add: Room 1803, South Tower, Anno Domini Mansion, 8 Qiushi

    Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou 310013, PRC

    Tel: (86-571) 89939691

    Fax: (86-571) 89939620

    Email: guantaohz@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Hangzhou Office

    Guantao Hangzhou Office was established in January 2014. It's staffed by 21 partners and over 40 associates and paralegals.

    Hangzhou, the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in east China, is the sub-center city of Yangtze River Delta.

    Hangzhou Office provides all-around and high-quality legal services in areas of cross-border investment and trade, corporate securities, intellectual property, dispute resolution, family wealth management, infrastructure and real estate.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Hong Kong Office

     

    Add:Suites 1801-3, 18th Floor, One Taikoo Place,

    Quarry Bay, 979 King’s Road, Hong Kong

    Tel: (852) 2878 1130

    Fax: (852) 2878 1360

    Email: guantaohk@guantao.com

     

     


    Hong Kong Office

    Guantao Hong Kong Office, established in December 2008,  After the three-year association with Peter C. Wong, Chow & Chow and approved by the Law Society of Hong Kong, our Hong Kong Office was localized as a Hong Kong solicitor firm with effect from 1 February 2016 under the name of Guantao & Chow, providing clients with the laws of Hong Kong and mainland China.  With effective on 1 April 2024, Guantao Hong Kong Office enters into association with Gallant (https://www.gallantho.com/).  In the meantime, Mr. Philip Wong, managing partner of Gallant, joins Guantao HK as consultant.


    Guantao & Chow currently has five partners Ms. Grace Pengpeng Yan, Ms. Clara C.Y. Ngo, Mr. George K.H. Lee, Mr. Albert G.M. Lam, Mr. Lam Sek Kong and five consultants Mr. Anthony W.K. Chow, Ms. Anna S.H. Chow, Mr. Jackson K.B. Woo, Mr. Alfred C. K. Chan and Mr. Philip Wong.  Mr. Chow, founding partner of PCWCC, former chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and former chairman of The Law Society of Hong Kong, serves as Guantao global chairman and Ms. Yan as the managing partner of Guantao & Chow.


    Our practice covers corporate & financing, mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, FDI, intellectual property, litigation & arbitration, sale and purchase of house, company secretary service, China-appointed attesting officer and notary public with special focus on cross-border transactions.


    We have an alliance with Ashurst LLP (https://www.ashurst.com/ ) for over 10 years. Ashurst LLP is a leading international law firm with 29 offices in 17 countries. By working closely with Ashurst, we serve our clients on a global basis.


  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Ji'nan Office

     

    Add: 19/F, Zhongyin Plaza, 26 Luoyuan Avenue, Lixia District, Jinan

    250011, PRC

    Tel: (86-531) 6788 5166

    Fax: (86-531) 6788 7166

    Email: guantaojn@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Ji'nan Office

    Guantao Jinan Office was established in March 2007 with 9 partner and a strong team of 45 associates and paralegals, who have the depth, experience and resources to provide timely strategic legal services for all types of business transactions and disputes in Shandong Province, an economic powerhouse on China's east coast.

    Jinan Office provides a full range of legal services, including acquisition and disposition of corporate assets, corporate restructuring and liquidation, venture capital investment, large-scale land development, municipal planning and construction, as well as corporate general legal counsel and other non-litigation legal services. We are also known for our highly specialized expertise in taking on high profile litigation cases.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Shanghai Office

     

    Add: 12F/22F, L'Avenue No.99 Xianxia Road, Changning District, Shanghai.

    Tel: 021-23563298

    Fax: 021-23563299

    Email: guantaosh@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Shanghai Office

    Guantao Shanghai Office, honored as 'China Law Firm of the Year', was established in March 2001. After merging with Shanghai Zhongmao Law Firm and Shenda Partners in 2016, now it is staffed by an excellent team of 69 partners and consultants along with over 260 associates and paralegals, who are recognized leaders respectively.

    Advantage practice areas of Shanghai Office include infrastructure & real estate, mergers & acquisitions, private equity & venture capital, foreign investment, banking & finance, bankruptcy & liquidation, delimitation of property rights, issuance of stocks and bonds, intellectual property, bidding & tendering. It also has outstanding performance on commercial litigation and arbitration, and criminal defense.

    Shanghai Office provides full legal services for numerous major projects, such as Expo 2010 Shanghai China, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Disney Resort, Shanghai Middle Ring Road Project, Hongqiao Transportation Hub, National Exhibition and Convention Center and Xuhui Binjiang Area Development. Shanghai Office also acts as legal counsel for a number of government agencies, enterprises and institutions, such as China Eastern, Jinmao Group, Shimao Group, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, SPD Bank, Minsheng Bank, BEA, State Grid East China Grid Company, Shanghai Film Co., Ltd., Lujiazui Co., Ltd., Shanghai Municipal Investment, INESA, Shanghai Rainbow Group, Shanghai Shendi Group, ROCKBUND, Mitsubishi Electric etc.

    Shanghai is the largest and most economically developed city in China. Shanghai Office is committed to providing comprehensive and high-quality legal services to clients in all industries.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Shenzhen Office

     

    Add:56/F Tower 1, Excellence Century Centre, Jintian Road, 

    Futian District, Shenzhen 518048, P.R.China

    Tel: (86-755) 2598 0899

    Fax: (86-755) 2598 0259

    Email: guantaosz@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Shenzhen Office

    Shenzhen is the fastest developing city in China and one of the core cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Shenzhen is also the centre of technology, finance, international business and shipping industries in China. Shenzhen is the home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies, insurance companies and banks.


    We established our Shenzhen office as early as in 2003, and now have more than 20 partners and 60 fee earners. We have an excellent reputation for top quality advice and good service on both contentious and non-contentious matters. We offer a full range of services covering corporate, capital market, private investment funds, asset-backed securities, real estate, employment, intellectual property, insurance and shipping as well as all forms of dispute resolution including commercial litigation and arbitration and white-collar crime.


    We act for clients locally, in Shenzhen, and we work closely with our Hong Kong and Guangzhou offices so that we are able to provide service to our clients across the Greater Bay Area.

     


  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Suzhou Office

     

    Add: Rooms 1804-1806, South Building, Tiandu Building, No. 211 Changjiang Road, Suzhou High tech Zone

    Tel: (86-512)  6606 0898

    Fax: (86-512) 6591 9057

    Email: guantaosuzhou@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Suzhou Office

    Guantao Suzhou Office, located in Harmony City in the CBD of Suzhou next to Jinji Lake, possesses 4 partners among almost 30 associates and supporting staff. Core team members have more than ten years of practice experience in Suzhou.

    Suzhou Office focuses on core business areas of real estate & construction, corporate perennial legal services and capital markets, acting as legal counsel to more than 500 enterprises, representing thousands of litigation and arbitration cases and earning a good reputation from the clients. To guarantee the efficient and high-quality services, Suzhou Office has set up different departments, including Labor Department, Corporate Department, Foreign Affairs Department (working languages: Chinese Mandarin, English and German), Litigation Department, Securities Department and Real Estate Department. To meet client requirements, Guantao teams composed of professional lawyers safeguard the clients against legal risks in a comprehensive manner. With regards to important and complicated legal affairs that involve multi-departments, relevant departments and other Guantao offices will work together in order to ensure the service efficiency and quality.

    Guantao Law Firm's Annual Legal Counsel Service Center is based in Suzhou Office as the back-end processing center for Guantao's annual legal counsel services across the country to centralize and take care of matters for perennial clients such as contract review and emails reply.



  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Sydney Office

     

    Add: Suite 6, Level 7, 66 Hunter Street, Sydney NSW 2000

    Tel: +(612) 9002 0999

    Fax: +(612) 9283 3567

    Email: sydney@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Sydney Office

    Guantao Sydney Office was officially established on 18 May 2015.

    Sydney Office will develop the Australian investment market based on offering service for Chinese clients, keep the alliance partnership with world's top law firm Ashurst and provide the most humanized and commercialized investment solutions for clients.

    The focus of Sydney Office legal services includes, in particular, the following issues:

    • To assist M&A of Chinese enterprises in Australia

    • To assist financing of Chinese enterprises on ASX

    • To support funds and investment projects of Chinese funds, PE, VC in Australia

    • To support Australian investment in China

    The expertise of Sydney Office extends to the following practice areas:

    • Agriculture

    • Real Estate & Construction

    • Mining, Energy & Natural Resources

    • Project & Infrastructure

    • High and New Technology

    • Funds, Bonds, Securities and Financing

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    Tianjin Office

     

    Add: Room 609-611, 6/F, Vantone Center Tianjin, the 

    intersection of Dagu North Road and Xuzhou Road, Heping

    District, Tianjin 300042, PRC

    Tel: (86-22) 58299677 58299678

    Fax: (86-22) 58299679

    Email: guantaotj@guantao.com

     

     

    Tianjin Office

    Our Tianjin Office was established in April 2009.

    Lying in the center of circum-Bohai region, Tianjin has been recognized as one of the largest industrial centers in Northern China. Now with the construction and opening-up of its Binhai New Area, Tianjin is embracing a new significant historical opportunity of development.

    Our Tianjin office, located in Central Plaza, the landmark building of the city, is staffed by experience lawyers competent to provide efficient and quality legal services to clients in different industries, with emphasis on foreign investment, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, real estate, and intellectual property.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    厦门.jpg

     

    Add: 23/F, Qixing Tower, 178 Qixing West Road, Siming District, Xiamen 

    361012, PRC

    Tel: (86-592) 5205 899

    Fax: (86-592) 5202 133

    Email: guantaoxm@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Xiamen Office

    Guantao Xiamen Office set up since March 2008. In September 2015, the elite teams of two local law firms, i.e. Fujian Jianchang Law Firm and Fujian Dadao Law Firm wholly joined Guantao Xiamen Office. Currently, Xiamen Office have 5 partners and over 60 associates, trainee and supporting staffs.

    Xiamen locates across the strait from Taiwan, the dynamic markets of Xiamen and Fujian Province together with Xiamen's strategic geo-economic location, as the Special Economic Zone, national comprehensive matched reform experiment zone, Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone, Xiamen currently become the Model Area of Cross strait cooperation in new industries and modern service industry, shipping center of South-eastern China, Finance Service Center of Cross Strait, Trade Center of Cross Strait. Guantao Xiamen Office focuses on to provide with the excellent, comprehensive and effective legal service and legal resolution for clients.

    Guantao Xiamen Office offers a variety of legal services in the fieldsof cooperate, banking, IPO, M&A, PE and Finance, real estate projects, bankruptcy, shipping and maritime, international trade, sports and projects, litigation and arbitration. We are also dedicated to providing legal services of high quality in the fields of criminal and IP rights.

  • Updated: 2016 - 06 - 11

    西安.jpg

     

    Add: Room 713, Shang Center, 51 Gaoxin Road, Xi'an 710075,

    PRC

    Tel: (86-29) 8842 2608

    Fax: (86-29) 8842 0929

    Email: guantaoxa@guantao.com

     

     

     

    Xi'an Office

    Our Xi'an Office was established in July 2001 with 17 partners. Situated in the historic but modern metropolis of Xi'an, our Xi'an Office is best known for its strength in advising corporate clients on securities and investment projects. The expertise of our Xi'an Office professionals extends to corporate reorganization, asset restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, stocks offering and listing, bankruptcy and insolvency, and real estate development. Additionally, Xi'an Office is well known for success in the traditional field of commercial litigations and arbitrations.

    To promote the public welfare, our Xi'an Office has set up a blog, through which our legal professionals provide pro bono services to the public.

  • Updated: 2017 - 09 - 29

    Wuhan Office

     

    Add: 16/F, CRCC 1818 Center Tower, 109 Middle North Road, Wuchang 

    District, Wuhan 430061, PRC 

    North Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan 430061, PRC

    Tel: (86-27) 8789 8080

    Fax: (86-27) 8789 8180

    Email: guantaowh@guantao.com

     

     


    Wuhan Office

    Founded on the basis of Hubei Dongzifeng Law Firm on 18 June 2017, Wuhan office of Guantao has 13 partners, 44 lawyers and administrative staff, all of whom has practiced law in Wuhan for many years.

    Wuhan is the capital city of Hubei province, the only sub-provincial-level city of central region and a major industrial, scientific and traffic hub. Wuhan Optics Valley boasts two trophy cups: free trade pilot zone and national innovation model zone. Blessed with superb location, Wuhan office is devoted to provide quality legal services for clients.

    Covering construction, real estate, M&A, banking, finance, litigation and arbitration, Wuhan office’s main clients includes car manufacturers, construction companies, real estate companies, commercial banks and AMC. In the foregoing industries, these battle-hardened lawyers all have extensive experiences, skill and connections.


     


  • Updated: 2018 - 07 - 04

    Nanjing Office


    Add: 10/F Xinlihua Center, 151 Taishan Road, Jianye District, Nanjing, PRC

    Tel: (86-25) 5779 3566






    Nanjing Office

    Guantao Nanjing Office, based on the reorganization of JiangSu SuYuan Law Firm which was founded in June 1993, possesses 61 partners, 135 associates and paralegals, covering an area of 2000 square meters in 3 stories.

    Guantao Nanjing Office was recognized as Excellent Law Firm by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Justice and Jiangsu Lawyers Association for many years, honored as Provincial Civilized Unit by Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government for 3 times and awarded twice as Second-Class Collective Merit.

    Successively, numerous lawyers of Guantao Nanjing Office act as chairman, deputy chairman and director of Jiangsu Lawyers Association, director, vice-director and member of specialized committee in Jiangsu Lawyers Association, WTO legal service counsel in Jiangsu, arbitrator of arbitration commission in Jiangsu and Anhui, etc.

    Guantao Nanjing Office insists on specialization and teamwork, consisting of specialized departments, including Corporate Department, Finance & Securities Department, Infrastructure Department, Construction & Real Estate Department, Intellectual Property Department, International Business Department, Shipping and Maritime Department, Marriage and Family Affairs Department, Criminal Defense Department, Litigation & Arbitration Department, Legal Research Office, Adminsitrative Management Department and Business Development Department.

    Guantao Nanjing Office will work together with Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and other offices, providing domestic and overseas clients with high-quality and efficient legal services in the fields of litigation and arbitration, corporate restructuring and insolvency, capital operation, real estate and construction, finance, insurance, intellectual property, shipping and maritime, etc.

     


  • Updated: 2023 - 09 - 26

    New York


        Email: zack.xu@guantao.com








    New York Office


    Guantao opened its New York office in August 2016. As one of the windows of Guantao in North America, the New York office is based in the United States, and connects Guantao’s service network at home and abroad, providing high-quality U.S. and Chinese legal services for Chinese enterprises’ investment and operation in the U.S. Currently, the NY team has 1 managing partner and 1 consultant. 


    Guantao New York office focuses on the following practice areas: Chinese enterprises’ access to the U.S. capital markets, M&A, and real estate investments. 


  • Updated: 2023 - 06 - 16

    青岛办公室


        Address: 10th Floor, T2 Building, Guoxin Financial Center, No. 31 Xianxialing Road,

        Laoshan District, Qingdao, Shandong

        Email: guantaoqd@guantao.com

        Tel: (86-532) 8581 1717

        Fax: (86-532) 8262 0066



    Qingdao Office

    The Qingdao Office of Guantao Law Firm has attracted many professionals who specialize in economy, finance and securities, technology, and foreign language, as well as have rich experience, interdisciplinary knowledge, and broad networking. With expertise, experience, and resources, we can provide the best solutions to our clients, helping them avoid business risks with value-added service. Half of our attorneys at the office have been selected as “Excellent Lawyer in Shandong”, “Top 10 Young Lawyers in Qingdao”, “Nomination of the Top 10 Young Lawyers in Qingdao”, “Outstanding Lawyers in Qingdao” and so on. We have dealt with many influential cases relating to foreign trades, finance and crimes in Qingdao city and Shandong province and our work is highly recognized. 


    Following the principles of “honesty and diligence, efficiency and quality”, we adopt strict management and rigorous practice. With respect to our people, good teamwork, quality service and pursuit of excellence, we are committed to delivering professional service, building our brand, and keeping up with international standards. We have been awarded as “Excellent Law Firm in Qingdao”, “Exemplary Team” and so on .

     

    Our team specialized in a range of areas including finance, real estate and construction, intellectual property, corporate business, civil and commercial business, crime, insolvency and tax collection, providing comprehensive legal service to meet the needs of our clients. 


  • Updated: 2023 - 06 - 16

    重庆

       

        Address: Room 3307, T1 Building, International Finance Square, No. 1 Qingyun

        Road, Jiangbei District, Chongqing 

        Email: guantaocq@guantao.com

        Tel: (86-23)6762 9387




    Chongqign Office

    Chongqing is the biggest industrial and commercial city in southwestern China, the economic center of upstream Yangtze River, and a core city in the economic zone of Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle. It serves as a key manufacturing center in China, financial hub in the western China, and home to the Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court. 


    The Chongqing Office of Guantao Law Firm was founded in February 2021 and located in the Jiangbeizui CBD with over 10 partners and 30 attorneys. Since its foundation, it upholds the headquarters’ principles of “honesty and diligence, efficiency and quality”, striving to be a new reference for legal firms in southwestern China. Its practice areas include capital markets, corporate and M&A, banking and financing, real estate and construction, insolvency and restructuring, dispute resolution, private equity and venture capital, project and infrastructure, intellectual property, telecommunication, media and technology, administrative law, criminal defense, etc. It provides legal service for various industries such as banking, securities, insurance, telecommunication, technology, infrastructure, real estate, mechanical manufacturing, education, transportation, energy, mineral resources, environmental protection, chemistry, medicine, scientific research, and services. 


    The legal team at the Chongqing Office is consisted of excellent people graduated from domestic and overseas prestigious universities, many of which had worked in various industries with interdisciplinary background. The team enjoys broad networking and enables its members to fulfill their potential. It provides tailored legal service catering to the needs of our clients. 



  • Updated: 2023 - 05 - 09

    Luolong Office

    Address: Luolong County, Tibet Autonomous Region

    Zip code: 855400


    In July 2022, the Guantao Luolong Office was established. Luolong was once a typical 'lawyer-free county'. Currently, Luolong Office is the first law firm established, and Yin Linyan became the first registered practising lawyer in the history of Luolong County, Tibet.


    The establishment of the Luolong Office is a concentrated reflection of Guantao Law Firm's high political consciousness and social responsibility. Luolong is located at the junction of Tibet Autonomous Region, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, with a sparse population of less than 60,000 and a backward social, economic, and cultural development. The legal service market is a gap to be filled, and it is a typical 'lawyer-free county'. In 2022, in order to solve the problem of 'lawyer-free counties', under the unified deployment of the Ministry of Justice, 30 law firms from all over the country established new offices in 30 'lawyer-free counties' in Tibet, that is how the Luolong Office was born.

    The Luolong Office is responsible for providing high-quality legal services to the Luolong 's Government and the general public. Its establishment is not only a landmark event for Guantao  to fulfill its social responsibilities, but also an important milestone to promote law-based governance in Luolong. Therefore, Guantao has selected lawyers with excellent professional skills, outstanding comprehensive abilities, and rich business experience from its offices across the country to be based in Luolong.


    As the pioneer, the lawyer base in Luolong Office has now become the legal advisor for the local government and has played an important role in the handling of major local legal events. In addition, the layer shoulders the heavy responsibility of legal aid in Luolong, and has been widely praised for providing legal aid services to the local people.


  • Updated: 2022 - 02 - 11

    Toronto Office

     

      Address: 33/F, Tower A, Landmark, No. 228 Huaining Road, Hefei, China

      Email.guantaohf@guantao.com

      Tel. 0551-62806616

      Fax: 0551-62806618

      Postcode: 230031



    Hefei Office

    Guantao Hefei office was established on 24 August 2021, with more than 70 lawyers and and paralegals.

    Hefei is a sub-centre city of the Yangtze River Delta City Cluster in China as approved by the State Council, and is an important national research and education base, modern manufacturing base and comprehensive transportation hub. Advantage practice areas of Guantao Hefei office include capital market, corporate and M&A, banking and finance, real estate development, restructuring and insolvency, dispute resolution, private equity and venture capital, engineering and infrastructure, intellectual property, financial innovation and structured products, administrative laws, and criminal defense. Guantao Hefei office provides legal services covering a variety of industries including  banking, securities, insurance, technology, import and export, large-scale capital construction, real estate, machinery manufacturing, transportation, environmental protection and other service industries.

    Guantao Hefei office has a team of lawyers with profound theories, rich experience, diligence, integrity of service, good performance and pursuit of excellence, who are able to provide comprehensive legal services for different industries and clients in the whole process.


  • Updated: 2021 - 11 - 29

    Haikou

    Haikou

    Address: 23/F Unit A-B, Peng Hui International Building, No. 20 Heping Avenue, Meilan District, Haikou City, Hainan Province

    Tel: (0898)-66281620

    E-mail: guantaohn@guantao.com

     


    Guantao Haikou Office was established in October 2020, with 3 partners and more than 30 lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff. It is located on the 23rd floor Unit A-B of Penghui International Building, No. 20 Heping Avenue, Meilan District, with offices for lawyers, cubicles, lawyers' meeting rooms, medium-sized meeting rooms, large multimedia conference rooms, coffee rooms and other office facilities, creating an elegant office and reception environment for lawyers and clients.

     

    Haikou is the provincial capital of Hainan, located in the northern part of the province, and is the political, economic, scientific, cultural and comprehensive transportation hub of Hainan Province. Based on the advantages of Haikou's provincial capital location, Guantao Haikou Office has actively developed and expanded its strength by seizing the opportunity of the development of the free trade port construction on Hainan Island. Guantao Haikou Office provides legal services covering a variety of industries including government legal services, banking, securities, insurance, TMT, large-scale capital construction, real estate, machinery manufacturing, education, life sciences and health care, transportation, energy, mineral resources, environmental protection, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, scientific research and other service industries.

     

    Guantao Haikou Office has a team of lawyers with profound theories, rich experience, diligence, service integrity, outstanding performance and pursuit of excellence, as well as a number of legal experts in related professions, which can provide comprehensive legal services for various industries and clients in the whole process.

  • Updated: 2021 - 11 - 29

    Zhengzhou Office

    Zhengzhou Office

    Address: 11-12/F, Kinglan Chuangke Centre, No.17 Chongde Street, Longzi Lake, Jinshui District, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, China

    E-mail: guantaozz@guantao.com

    Tel: (86-371) 8891 7800

    Fax: (86-371) 8891 7822

     


    Established in October 2019, Guantao Zhengzhou Office has 11 partners and more than 80 lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff. It is located on the 11th and 12th floors of Kinglan Chuangke Center on Longzi Lake in Zhengdong New District. It is equipped with offices for lawyers, cubicles, lawyers' consultation rooms, medium-sized meeting rooms, large multimedia conference rooms, client service centres and other office facilities to create the best office and meeting environment for lawyers and clients.


    Zhengzhou is located in the geographical centre of China and is a major hub city for railways, airlines, highways, electricity, postal services and telecommunications, as well as an important industrial city in central China. Guantao Zhengzhou Office takes 'helping clients to protect interests and helping partners to succeed' as its mission, bearing in mind the values of 'perfection, warmth and win-win', providing clients with professional and efficient legal services with outstanding skills, treating companions with respect, tolerance and support. Guantao Zhengzhou Office aims for a win-win situation for lawyers and clients, lawyers and colleagues, and lawyers and the legal profession, and provide clients with professional and efficient legal services in the practice areas of capital markets, corporate and M&A, real estate and construction, criminal defence, intellectual property, corporate liquidation, restructuring and insolvency, banking and finance, energy and natural resources, private equity and venture capital, antitrust, administrative law, labour law, dispute resolution, infrastructure investment, TMT, with “professional, effective, and timely” attitude of work.


    Guantao Zhengzhou Office will also bring a more outstanding team of professional lawyers to the Central Plains region; build a legal service team with scale, professionalism, reputation and internationalization; build a more comprehensive legal resource integration platform, a stronger law firm brand and a wider global legal service network to help the development of the Central Plains Economic Zone and provide legal protection for the economic development of Henan Province.


  • Updated: 2021 - 11 - 29

    Fuzhou Office

    Fuzhou Office

    Address: 46/F, Fusheng Qianlong Plaza, No.70 Zhenwu Road, Taijiang District, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China

    E-mail: guantaofz@guantao.com

    Tel: (86-591) 87311996

    Fax: (86-591) 87311995

     


    Guantao Fuzhou Office was established in September 2019 and currently has 95 lawyers and paralegals, of which 20 are partners.

    Fuzhou is the political, cultural and economic centre of Fujian Province, and Taijiang District has been the financial and commercial centre of Fuzhou since its establishment. Located on Jiangbin West Avenue in Taijiang District, Guantao Fuzhou Office will shine in the West Coast Economic Zone, excelling in legal services and aspiring to become an outstanding law firm in Fujian.


    Guantao Fuzhou Office provides a full range of legal services covering banking and finance, real estate and engineering and capital construction, maritime and shipping, capital market, corporate and M&A, restructuring and insolvency, private equity and venture capital, dispute resolution, litigation and arbitration, intellectual property and many other areas. In particular, our Fuzhou team has a good reputation in the practice areas of banking and finance, intellectual property, dispute resolution and civil and commercial litigation and arbitration.  


    Guantao Fuzhou Office has a team of lawyers with profound theories, rich experience, diligence, service integrity, good performance and pursuit of excellence, as well as a number of legal experts in related professions, which can provide comprehensive legal services for various industries and clients in the whole process.

  • Updated: 2019 - 01 - 04

    Toronto Office


    Add:100 King Street West, Suite 5600, Toronto, ON M5X 1C9 Canada

     Email:toronto@guantao.com

     Tel: +1 (416) 847-1868

     Fax: +1 (866) 288 -1166




    Toronto Office

    Serving as the window office targeting in North America market, Guantao Toronto Office is based in Canada and also works closely with other 17 domestic and overseas offices in a shared manner in terms of investment opportunities, resources, clients and legal talents. We are bringing legal talents together and making joint efforts to the promote business communication and investment that flow between China and Canada.

    Since establishment, Toronto Office has maintained a close cooperative relationship with such numerous top international law firms as BLG (Borden Ladner Gervais), Gowling WLG, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Cox & Palmer and Minden Gross LLP. Our work has been acknowledged round the world and we keep offering clients with tailored legal advice and customized business solutions.

     

    Guantao Toronto Office provides a full range of legal services, including but are not limited to the following core practice areas:

    To assist domestic businesses:

    • To assist M&A of Chinese enterprises in Canada;

    • To assist financing of Chinese enterprises on CSE;

    • To support funds and investment projects of Chinese funds, PE, VC in Canada;

    • To provide review of overseas loan;

    • To assist HNWI on their investment, property and trust businesses in Canada.

     

    To develop Canadian businesses:

    • Investment and trading cooperation in Atlantic Provinces, covering industries of mining, energy and natural resources, infrastructure;

    • Funds, bonds, securities and financing;

    • High technology and blockchain;

    • Legal advisor to Chinese enterprises;

    • Immigration, real estate and marriage ;

    • Commercial litigation;

    • International trade;


  • Release time: 2016 - 11 - 25
    Our WishGuantao Law Firm, headquartered in Beijing, is a one of the pioneer law firms with a reputation for high performance and extensive experience in China. To build a platform with global strategy and core competitiveness, which could create value for the clients and be recognized by the clients, is our wish.Our AttitudeWorking with Guantao colleagues and partners could be professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling. We shall insist on entrepreneurial culture, provide diverse education mechanism and you will get access to robust training along with professional development opportunities. Join us and launch your career with Guantao!
MMC-ST series, make flying easier.
Our WishGuantao Law Firm, headquartered in Beijing, is a one of the pioneer law firms with a reputation for high performance and extensive experience in China. To build a platform with global strategy...
MMC-ST series, make flying easier.
MMC-ST series, make flying easier.
INSIGHTS News

Cartels Laws and Regulations | China

Time: 2023-05-06
Views: 101
Share to:

Acknowledgement: This article was first published on Global Legal Insights.


Overview of the law and enforcement regime relating to cartels

In China, cartel conduct is mainly regulated under the Anti-monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “AML”), which came into force in 2008 and was amended for the first time in 2022.  The amended AML has been effective since August 1, 2022.  

The AML prohibits horizontal monopoly agreements (including concerted practice) among competitors, such as price-fixing, output restriction, market allocation, new technology development restriction, and joint boycott, etc. (Article 17 of the AML).  Industrial associations are prohibited from organising undertakings to reach cartel agreements (Article 21 of the AML).  As newly amended, the AML prohibits an undertaking (even if not a competitor to other parties to the cartel) from arranging or providing substantive assistance for others to reach monopoly agreements (Article 19 of the AML).  Exemptions to cartel violations are also allowed if efficacy defences can be duly established (Article 20 of the AML), though with very few (if any) successful cases in practice.

When probing cartel cases, Chinese competition authorities (the State Administration for Market Regulation, the “SAMR”, as well as the provincial-level administrations for market regulation, the “AMRs”) also rely on the Provisions on the Prohibition of Monopoly Agreements (which was promulgated by the SAMR on June 26, 2019, and was amended in March 2023 with the amendment being effective from April 15, 2023), which further clarifies the provisions of the AML with respect to the prohibition of monopoly agreements.  Moreover, in certain sectors, guidelines promulgated by the Antimonopoly Commission of the State Council (which is in charge of formulating and issuing antimonopoly guidelines) play an important role in investigating and concluding cartel cases in specific sectors, such as the guidelines on platform economy, active pharmaceutical ingredients, automotives, as well as guidelines on monopolistic abuse of intellectual property rights.

The SAMR (taking the responsibility of the National Antimonopoly Bureau) is responsible for unified antimonopoly enforcement (including cartel enforcement) in China, with the provincial-level AMRs authorised (and under the guidance of the SAMR) to probe cartel cases within its administrative region, respectively.

Undertakings that engage in cartel conduct can be ordered to cease illegal conduct, and may face monetary penalties (i.e., the confiscation of illegal gains and imposition of fines).  As newly amended, the AML also imposes sanctions on the legal representative, the principal person in charge, and other directly liable individuals of the undertaking, if such individuals are responsible for cartel agreements.  The foregoing sanctions can also be taken on undertakings that “arrange” or provide “substantive assistance” to conclude cartel agreements (Article 56 of the AML).  The sanctions imposed on the undertaking will be made public and registered in the credit record system (Article 64 of the AML).

The stakeholders can seek compensation for damages from cartel participants through civil lawsuits as private enforcement (Article 60 of the AML).  The AML itself does not set criminal sanctions to undertakings or individuals for cartel conducts, while it generally provides that if a violation of the AML constitutes a crime, the wrongdoer shall also be held criminally liable (Article 67 of the AML).  Certain severe bid-rigging conducts can be prosecuted under the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Criminal Law”, see Article 223 of the Criminal Law).

It might be worth noting that the newly amended Provisions on Prohibition of Monopoly Agreements added the rules covering “potential competitor” under the concept of competitor (Article 8), which is, to a certain extent, aligned with the rationale of the Supreme People’s Court (the “SPC”) in Shanghai Huaming Power Equipment Manufacturing v. Wuhan Taipu Transformer Switchgear (2022).  Also, the rules tend to clarify the definitions of “arrange” and “substantive assistance” for hub-and-spoke cartels (Article 18).  Arguably, it can be expected that the SAMR’s radar (including that of AMRs at the provincial level) may further identify potential competitors as cartel members, and that hub-and-spoke cartels will not be an obstacle for cartel enforcement.


Overview of investigative powers in China

The investigative powers of the competition authorities are set out in Article 47 of the AML, including:

• on-site inspections of business premises and other relevant premises;

• interviews with and requests for information from the undertakings under investigation, the stakeholders and other relevant entities or individuals;

• to request and make copies of documents, including credentials, agreements, account book, emails and digital data, etc, from the undertakings under investigation, the stakeholders and other relevant entities or individuals.  In practice, the competition authority may obtain data from individuals’ mobile phones.  In the Straumann Dental Implants case (concluded by Beijing AMR in 2022), the chat history of company staff with resellers on WeChat, a widely used chat app in China, was presented as evidence;

• to seal or detain relevant evidence they consider relevant to protect the evidence from being lost or destroyed; and

• to inquire about the undertakings’ bank accounts.

The competition authorities may conduct “dawn raids” on suspected cartels.  The AML does not limit the investigative powers above to announced inspections (which are conducted after the competition authorities formally decide to file the case), and thus the competition authorities may exercise such powers in dawn raids.  In the Driving School case (concluded by Hunan AMR in 2022), where a price-fixing agreement between five local driving schools was identified, the AMR officials made on-site inspections in the offices of the driving schools in dawn raids.  In the Automobile Inspection case (concluded by Shanxi AMR in 2022) regarding cartels between local automobile inspection companies, the AMR officials conducted interviews with staff members of the undertakings and obtained relevant documents in dawn raids.  

Undertakings, as well as individuals who refuse to cooperate with or hinder the investigation (e.g., refusing to provide relevant documents, providing false material or information, or destroying evidence), may face sanctions, such as fines.  The maximum amount of fines has been increased by the newly amended AML in Article 62, i.e., up to 1% of the annual sales of the previous year of undertakings, and up to RMB 500,000 for individuals.  The competition authorities have large discretion in initiating investigations into cartels.  Cartels may be discovered on the authority’s own initiative or through third-party complaints.  It is not uncommon for other government authorities to provide evidence of collusion discovered in their own investigations.  For example, in the Automobile Inspection case, cartel evidence was provided by the police bureau, which was originally discovered in a criminal case.  

Despite the wide discretion granted to competition authorities, there are limitations to their powers.  The AML specifies that officials in these authorities can be punished for abuse of power, malpractice, disclosure of trade secrets, personal secrets (“personal secrets” was added to the list of punishable offences under Article 66 of the amended AML), and other related offences.  For more information on investigation and decision-making procedures, please refer to “Key issues in relation to investigation and decision-making procedures” for details on administrative reconsideration and judicial review processes.


Overview of cartel enforcement activity during the last 12 months

Cartel enforcement has remained an important part of antitrust enforcement in China in the past 12 months, as 11 out of a total of 69 antitrust penalty cases published in 2022 were cartel cases (plus one additional cartel case that was concluded in 2022 but announced on January 4, 2023).  Such figures show no significant changes to the number of cartel cases concluded and announced by the SAMR in the past three years.  

Among the 12 cartel enforcement cases mentioned above, there are certain features worth noting:

• A total of more than 100 companies were penalised, with total monetary penalties (including confiscation of illegal gains) reaching approximately RMB 522.54 million (~USD 76 million).  The highest amount of fines imposed on a single case is approximately RMB 451 million (~USD 65 million) in a cement cartel case in Shaanxi Province involving 12 undertakings and one association.

• All such cartel cases were investigated and concluded by the provincial AMRs and no published cartel cases were concluded by the SAMR.  The majority of such cases were concluded prior to July 2022, seemingly reflecting the authorities’ intention to conclude existing cases before the amended AML came into force (i.e., August 1, 2022).

• Industrial associations are commonly found liable in cartels.  In four cases, the cartels were found to have been arranged by associations.

• The majority of fines are between approximately 2% and 3% of the undertaking’s annual sales of the previous year.  However, in the concrete cartel case (concluded by Fujian AMR in 2022), six out of seven undertakings were fined 4% of the annual sales of the previous year, respectively.

• The confiscation of illegal gains remains less commonly used, possibly because of the difficulty in proving and calculating such gains.  In 2022, only two cases involved the confiscation of illegal gains of certain undertakings.  These cases were the counterfeit seal cartel case (concluded by Yunnan AMR in 2022), which involved six undertakings, and the explosive equipment cartel case (concluded by Zhejiang AMR in 2022), which involved five undertakings.


Key issues in relation to enforcement policy

In 2022, competition authorities continued to strengthen antitrust enforcement in the field of people’s livelihood, especially in the public utilities, medical and construction material industries.  However, as shown in the cartel cases announced in 2022 (which were all enforced by provincial AMRs), each provincial AMR determines the priority of antitrust enforcement according to the economic development situation of the province.  For instance, Shaanxi AMR focuses on the construction material industry, while Beijing AMR focuses on the medical and education industries (as mentioned in the meetings of provincial AMRs).

The amended AML to some extent increases the penalties of cartel conduct and introduces deterrent punishment provisions (as discussed in “Civil penalties and sanctions” below).  As such, it is likely that cartel conduct (especially of hardcore cartels) will be punished more severely in the future.  

On the other hand, the competition authorities also acknowledged that punishment should not be the sole objective of antitrust enforcement, and emphasised the importance of combining punishment with education.  Some provincial AMRs opted to use non-punitive measures, such as administrative guidance or training, in the enforcement, in order to encourage undertakings to adjust their behaviours voluntarily.  For instance, Beijing AMR organised compliance training on the amended AML for enterprises in the platform economy industry, while Guizhou AMR provided administrative guidance to enterprises in the public utilities sector.  It is possible that competition authorities may adopt different methods of antitrust enforcement in the future, depending on the severity of the cartel violation.


Key issues in relation to investigation and decision-making procedures

The cartel investigation and decision-making procedures by the competition authorities are mainly regulated under (a) the AML and regulations prescribed by the SAMR, such as Interim Provisions for Market Regulation Administration on the Procedures of Administrative Penalty (the “Interim Provisions on Administrative Penalty”), and (b) the general administrative laws applicable to administrative actions, such as the Administrative Penalty Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Administrative Compulsion Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Administrative Compulsion Law”).  Once challenged by the undertakings, certain investigative actions, as well as the cartel decisions, can be scrutinised under the administrative reconsideration proceedings and/or the judicial review process.  


Investigations shall be conducted in accordance with the law 

As mentioned above, the investigation measures and procedures are under the legal regime of both the AML rules and general administrative rules.  For example, sealing and detaining relevant evidence is governed by the Administrative Compulsion Law, the AML and the Interim Provisions on Administrative Penalty, etc.  The procedural requirements include a service of notice in writing, limitation on the duration, which shall not exceed 30 days unless approved by the head of the competition authority, and timely release of measures when the seal/detention is unnecessary, etc.  Further, the competition authorities shall only seal/detain the objects relevant to the case.  If the objects are not properly kept by the competition authority and loss is caused, the competition authority shall compensate the objects that were not duly kept.  

Violations of rules governing investigative measures and procedures by the authorities may cause the evidence so obtained to be deemed illegal and, accordingly, excluded.  In more severe cases, decisions based upon such defective investigations may be overruled, since malpractice and violation of legal procedures are grounds for overruling an administrative penalty decision.  

Furthermore, responsible officials in competition authorities may be punished for abuse of power, malpractice, disclosure of trade or personal secrets, etc.  However, communications between undertakings (including relevant individuals) and their attorneys do not typically enjoy legal privilege and may thus be used as evidence in cartel decisions.


Decision-making procedures

The investigation, as well as the decision-making of cartel cases, are not subject to certain time limits.  However, the authorities may internally prioritise cases that might severely impact on the market and customer welfare in order to speed up the procedures.  

In any event, before the cartel punitive decision is made, the competition authorities are obliged to inform the parties of the proposed penalty, as well as the corresponding factual and legal basis, and inform the parties of their rights to defend and request for a hearing.  The authorities must ensure that the undertakings can exercise their right to defend.  

The undertakings can request for a hearing after being informed of the proposed penalty in order to defend themselves.  Such hearings are still conducted by the authority carrying out the investigation but are hosted by a division other than that which investigated the case.  In practice, administrative hearings are more commonly applied by the parties in complex cartel cases to protect their rights and benefits.  

Once the undertakings exercise their right of defence, either through written submission or hearings, the authority shall take into account the undertakings’ arguments and can conclude a case and issue its formal decision.


Administrative reconsideration and judicial review

After a cartel punitive decision is served, the parties who have objections are allowed to either make an application to the SAMR for administrative reconsideration or file an administration litigation with the competent court to challenge the decision (“direct litigation”).  The parties may also file an administration litigation to challenge the SAMR’s decision of reconsideration (“second litigation”).  The court rulings, either in direct litigation or second litigation, can be further appealed.  

For cartel decisions, both substantive and procedural issues can be subject to administrative review by the SAMR and judicial review by the courts.  In practice, very few enforcement decisions were overruled in judicial review by the courts of first instance and almost none of these reversals have been upheld by the SPC.


Civil penalties and sanctions

Pursuant to Article 56 of the AML, the competition authorities may order the undertaking to cease illegal conduct, confiscate its illegal gains, and impose fines.  

For the undertaking that concludes and implements the cartel agreement itself, the competition authorities may impose a fine of 1–10% of its annual sales for the previous year or, if there are no sales for the previous year, a fine of up to RMB 5 million.  If the cartel agreement has not been implemented, the competition authorities may impose a fine of up to RMB 3 million.  For the liable personnel of the undertaking, the competition authority may impose a fine of up to RMB 1 million.  In practice, the basis for calculation is generally limited to the sales of the undertaking generated within China and, in some cases, to sales in the relevant market.

The undertaking arranging or providing substantive assistance for other undertakings to reach a cartel agreement will also be sanctioned, to which the standards of sanctions in the above paragraph shall apply.

There is no rule that explicitly provides that the parent company should be strictly liable for cartel conduct by its subsidiary if the parent company is not a party.  In some extreme cartel cases in early 2022, fines were calculated based on the consolidated annual turnover of the parent company nationwide, but the alleged conduct was carried out by its subsidiaries in a very limited geographic market.  However, such practice is not settled law, and this is especially true since the AML was amended to introduce a new regime of deterrent fines; i.e., according to Article 63 of the AML, for severe breaches, the competition authorities may impose a fine of two to five times the amount calculated based on Article 56.  This seemingly leaves less or little room for application of parent liability (or the single economic entity doctrine) in China as a deterrent measure.


Leniency/amnesty regime

China introduced the leniency programme in 2008 when the AML first came into effect.  Article 56 of the amended AML sets forth the principle of a leniency regime for cartel enforcement.  In practice, the competition authorities also rely on the Provisions on Prohibition of Monopoly Agreements and the Guide on the Application of the Leniency System to Horizontal Anticompetitive Agreement Cases (the “Leniency Guideline”, issued in January 2019) to exercise their discretion to reduce, or even exempt, the leniency applicant from penalties for its cartel conduct.  

The ranking of leniency is determined according to the time of application, and the ranking directly determines the reduction percentage of the penalty.  Generally, the authorities only grant leniency to three undertakings at most in one cartel case.  However, the competition authorities have discretion in determining the applicant’s eligibility under Article 12 of the Leniency Guideline.  For a significant and complex case involving multiple undertakings (more than three) that all apply for leniency and provide different material evidence, the possibility of granting leniency to more undertakings exists.

Ranking

Full immunity/reduction of penalties

First

Full immunity or a penalty reduction of at least 80%

Second

A penalty reduction of 30–50%

Third

A penalty reduction of 20–30%

In order to qualify for and be granted leniency, the applicant must meet certain requirements:

• apply for leniency in a timely manner: the undertaking shall report to the competition authority for leniency before the penalty decision is rendered (Article 4 of the Leniency Guideline);

• submit the report and important evidence related to the cartel: the “material evidence” refers to the evidence sufficient for the competition authority to initiate an investigation or confirm a breach of Article 17 of the AML that is not already in the authorities’ possession (Article 6 of the Leniency Guideline); and

• fully cooperate with the authority in the investigation in a quick, continuous, comprehensive, and truthful manner: undertakings shall stop the suspected violation immediately, shall not conceal, destroy or transfer evidence, provide false materials and information, engage in any other conduct that may interfere the investigation, or disclose relevant information without the authorities’ consent.

The Provisions on Prohibition of Monopoly Agreements further clarify the scope of application of the leniency regime.  If an undertaking plays a major role in reaching a cartel, coerces other undertakings to participate in reaching or implementing a cartel, or prevents other undertakings from stopping the illegal conduct, the competition authority may not exempt it from punishment (Article 47) but may still grant a reduction of penalties.

The leniency regime can also apply to the liable personnel of the undertaking.  If the liable personnel voluntarily reports to the competition authority and provides important evidence and cooperates with the investigation, he/she may be granted a penalty reduction of 50% or full immunity.

Among the penalty decisions of cartel cases made by the authorities in 2022, only one undertaking was granted leniency.  In the cruise cartel case (concluded by Anhui AMR in 2022), which involved seven undertakings, one of the undertakings applied for leniency and – based on the fact that it was “the first applicant to voluntarily report to the authority about the cartel and provided material evidence, while considering that it is the initiator of the cartel agreement” – Anhui AMR decided to grant a reduction of 80% on both the fines and confiscations of illegal gains to that undertaking.

However, it should be noted that the leniency system only applies to the reduction of administrative penalties, not follow-on litigations.  Therefore, undertakings may still face civil liability for compensation due to their involvement in a cartel, which may reduce their enthusiasm to apply for leniency. 

Moreover, the conditions for undertakings to be granted leniency are relatively stringent, and the competition authorities have significant discretion in determining whether and to what extent to reduce the penalties.  For example, in a cement case (concluded by Shaanxi AMR in 2022), which involved 12 undertakings and one association, one of the undertakings seemingly applied for leniency, but Shaanxi AMR did not grant leniency and instead imposed a fine of 2% of its annual sales of the previous year. 


Administrative settlement of cases

In China, there is no administrative settlement system for cartel cases that allows for streamlined administrative procedures in response to parties’ consent to waive some of their procedural rights.  However, in practice, active cooperation by undertakings during investigations is taken into consideration when determining the appropriate level of punishment.  For example, in a recent LPG cartel case (concluded by Guizhou AMR in 2022), which involved eight undertakings, Guizhou AMR granted a penalty reduction to one of the undertakings because it “actively cooperated in the investigation, truthfully stated the facts and actively provided relevant evidence”.  The authority imposed a fine of only 1% of the undertaking’s annual sales of the previous year. 

Article 53 of the AML sets forth the system of suspending the investigation based on the commitments of undertakings.  The competition authorities also rely on the Guidelines of Commitments Made by Undertakings in Monopoly Cases (promulgated by the Antimonopoly Commission of the State Council) when allowing suspension of investigation into suspected cartel conduct.  If the undertaking being investigated promises to take specific measures to eliminate the consequences of its behaviour within a time limit approved by the authority, the authority may decide to suspend the investigation.  

However, the Provisions on the Prohibition of Monopoly Agreements stipulate that competition authorities shall not accept the application for suspension of investigation for hardcore cartel behaviours, including: (1) price-fixing; (2) output and quality restriction; and (3) market allocation (Article 32).  In practice, there is no precedent for authorities to suspend the investigation of hardcore cartel cases.


Third party complaints

Any party may complain to the competition authorities about suspected cartel agreements.  Such right to complain is not limited to stakeholders of an alleged cartel.  The competition authorities are required to verify the facts presented in a third-party complaint if it is: (1) written; and (2) accompanied by relevant facts and evidence.  However, the competition authorities are not obliged to initiate a formal investigation or lodge a case upon the complaint.

The complaint should generally contain the basic information about the third party, the alleged individuals or organisations, the facts and evidence pertaining to the suspected cartel, and whether the third party has already pursued other administrative or judicial remedies.  

The newly amended Provisions on Prohibition of Monopoly Agreements added that as for complaints in written form, the authority may provide feedback on the result of the complaint after investigating and handling the case in response to the written request of the informant (Article 23).  

Although it is not necessary for the competition authorities to initiate a formal investigation and lodge a case upon receiving a third-party complaint, five out of 12 cartel cases in 2022 were initiated upon third-party complaints, which demonstrates the importance of such complaints in uncovering cartels for the competition authorities.

If the competition authorities reject such complaints, the third parties whose interests are affected by the rejections may apply for administrative reconsideration or judicial review of the rejections.  In a Beijing court case (2019), where Beijing AMR rejected a complaint from an individual reseller who alleged the existence of a cartel among wholesalers, the court ruled that the individual’s interests may have been harmed by the alleged cartel conduct, and thus he was entitled to file a judicial review of the AMR’s rejection.  


Right of appeal against civil liability and penalties

The party punished by an administrative penalty can seek remedy by applying for administrative reconsideration or filing administrative litigation to challenge the penalty decisions (Article 65 of the AML).  The party can also file administrative litigation to appeal the results of administrative reconsideration.  Also, the party can appeal to a higher court to challenge the ruling of the court of first instance.  

For cartel decisions, both substantive and procedural issues can be viewed under the administrative reconsideration by the SAMR and administrative litigation by the court.  In practice, very few enforcement decisions have been overruled in judicial review by courts of first instance (the enforcement decision was overruled in Hainan AMR v. Hainan Shenghua Construction (2022) by the court of first instance; however, the SPC withdrew the ruling of the first instance court) and almost no overrulings have been upheld by the SPC.

In 2022, the SPC announced two administrative litigation cases concerning the enforcement decisions of cartels, both of which maintained the original enforcement decisions, where some opinions of the SPC may be worth noting.

In Maoming Dianbai District Jianke Concrete v. Guangdong AMR (2022), the SPC pointed out that, due to the concealing character of concerted behaviours, factors such as consistent market behaviours and information exchange can be used to demonstrate the existence of concerted behaviours, and the authorities have the burden of proof to establish the aforementioned factors, while the undertaking is responsible for providing a reasonable explanation for their consistent behaviour.

In Hainan AMR v. Hainan Shenghua Construction (2022), the SPC pointed out that a comprehensive assessment of the specific circumstances of the case is required when determining the legitimacy and appropriateness of the specific amount of fines imposed by the authority, in accordance with the legislative purpose of preventing and curbing monopoly behaviours of the AML and ensuring the fairness of the case outcome.  Specifically, when making such assessment, authorities should consider the degree of harm caused by the cartel behaviour, the undertaking’s subjective malicious intent, its position and role in the illegal conduct, whether any illegal gains have been confiscated, and whether the undertaking has resisted administrative investigations or actively ceased the illegal behaviour, etc.


Criminal sanctions

The crime of bid-rigging was first stipulated in the Criminal Law in 1997, long before the promulgation of the AML.  According to the provisions promulgated by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security in relation to the standards for filing criminal cases, the bidder conducting bid-rigging will face up to three years of imprisonment and a fine.  The bidder is liable to such penalties if the bid-rigging causes a loss of more than RMB 500,000, the illegal proceeds exceed RMB 200,000, or the winning bid amount exceeds RMB 4 million.  

Article 67 of the amended AML prescribes criminal liability for violating the AML in general.  However, the Criminal Law has not yet set out specific crimes for AML violation, and the application of such criminal liability is to be clarified in future amendments of the Criminal Law.


Cooperation with other antitrust agencies

Exchange and cooperation of antitrust enforcement on the global level have long been the priorities of the Chinese competition authorities.  The SAMR has strived to follow a global cooperation strategy through exchanges and interactions with various countries and organisations in different jurisdictions, including the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan, etc.

On February 4, 2022, the SAMR and the Russian Federation Antimonopoly Service signed the Agreement on Cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation in the Field of Antimonopoly Law Enforcement and Competition Policy.  The two countries will further deepen their practical cooperation in the areas of antimonopoly case notification, information exchange, law enforcement cooperation, and technology exchange.

The AML stipulates the extraterritorial application effect of the antimonopoly law (Article 2), allowing the AML to be applied in cases where cartel behaviour has been acted outside China and has an eliminating and restrictive effect on the competition in the domestic Chinese market.  

The Draft Provisions of the SPC Concerning the Application of Law to the Trial of Civil Monopoly Disputes (sought for public comments) adds a new provision on the jurisdiction of extraterritorial monopoly behaviours: if the defendant has no domicile in China, the case shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court in the place where the domestic market competition is directly and materially affected (Article 7).

Developments in private enforcement of antitrust laws

Undertakings and/or individuals may take lawsuits against cartel members for civil damages if they suffered losses on account of cartel conduct (Article 60 of the AML).  The plaintiffs may file a civil lawsuit after the competition authority has made a decision to punish a cartel (“follow-on litigation”), or directly file a civil lawsuit against the cartel members.  However, in practice, due to the high burden of proof on the plaintiff to establish a cartel case, the plaintiffs mainly choose to bring up the follow-on litigation.  

In 2022, the SPC announced three civil cartel cases brought directly by plaintiffs without previous administrative enforcement procedures.  The SPC identified the existence of cartel activity in two cases, but only in Shanghai Huaming Power Equipment Manufacturing v. Wuhan Taipu Transformer Switchgear (2022) did the SPC order the defendant to bear civil liability for compensation.  In Jinxian Wenzhen Art Kindergarten v. Jinxian Wenzhen Liujiayi Kindergarten (2022), the SPC rejected the plaintiff’s claim of compensation for damage because the plaintiff is also the cartel member, and therefore not entitled to obtain the illegal gains of the cartel. 

Given the difficulty of claiming civil damages from cartel activities as an individual customer, the amended AML provides that the People’s Procuratorate at or above the municipal level can file a civil public interest litigation on behalf of individual customers against the cartel members (Article 60 of the AML).  However, as the specific procedures of civil public interest litigation have yet to be detailed, no civil public interest litigation cases were announced in 2022.

On November 18, 2022, the SPC issued the Draft Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law to the Trial of Civil Monopoly Disputes and sought public comments (the “Draft Interpretation”).  Although not yet adopted, the Draft Interpretation nonetheless reveals a certain intention to ease the burden of proof for plaintiffs.  For example, it stipulates that if the existence of a monopoly behaviour is identified in an administrative penalty decision, no additional proof is required to prove the existence of a cartel (Article 11).  Additionally, it outlines the distribution of the burden of proof related to cartels and emphasises that the plaintiff will not be held responsible for providing proof for the definition of the relevant market in hardcore cartel cases (Article 16).

Moreover, there seems to be a trend concerning the endeavour to strengthen the connection between administrative enforcement and private enforcement (Article 11 of the AML).  This is also suggested in the Draft Interpretation, which states that, if a monopoly behaviour is found to have violated the AML and hence may require an administrative penalty, the evidence of suspected illegal behaviour may be transferred to the enforcement authority (Article 15).

 

AUTHOR DETAILS

Shaosong Sun

Tel: +86 10 6657 8066 / Email: sunshs@guantao.com

Shaosong Sun is the Deputy Director of Guantao Law Firm and head of the dispute resolution practice group.  As a pioneering PRC antitrust lawyer, Mr. Sun’s practice encompasses administrative investigations, antitrust litigation, merger control, and the application of antimonopoly law to a wide range of commercial agreements and practices.  He has had notable success representing China Unicom in the country’s largest-ever administrative investigation by NDRC.  

Additionally, Mr. Sun also has extensive experience in providing compliance training to clients and has offered antimonopoly law opinions and guidelines to their market strategy developments.  He has been recommended by various international rating agencies for many years as one of China’s leading antitrust lawyers.  Litigation before the regional and Supreme People’s Court is also a major part of Mr. Sun’s practice.


For further information, please visit here.

                                                                                                                                                             

Yue Guan

Tel: +86 10 6657 8066 / Email: guanyue@guantao.com

Yue Guan is a Partner in Guantao’s Beijing office and head of the antitrust practice group.  With over 10 years of practice experience, she boasts a wealth of knowledge in antitrust matters, having provided invaluable assistance to numerous domestic and foreign enterprises in merger control, compliance advice, antitrust litigation, and responding to administrative investigations and inquiries.  Ms. Guan has provided her expertise to leading enterprises in various sectors, such as telecommunications, the Internet, semiconductors, chemicals, energy, steel, automobile manufacturing, food and medicine, building materials, finance, and many more. 


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