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China’s evolving legal system, rapid economic development, and cultural nuances present unique issues where deep in-country experience and perspective are critical to winning client objectives. Since establishing our first mainland and Hong Kong offices in the mid-1990s, O’Melveny has grown organically with the development of the Chinese economy, and we have advised on many of the most important and pioneering transactions in China’s history.

Multinational clients can count on our international experience and network to help them succeed with their China strategy. They also rely on our strategic counsel on emerging issues, including antitrust, market access, anti-corruption and investigations, and cybersecurity. O’Melveny increasingly guides clients involved in outbound and inbound cross-border M&A concerning China, acting on the forefront of the burgeoning entertainment industry within China, advising on the government development of numerous pilot programs involving foreign investment, private equity, and financial institutions, and being serially involved in important trade related organizations.

China-based clients turn to the strength of our international platform to break boundaries in international markets. For example, we paved the way for the first acquisition of a US public company by a Chinese entity and have aided other Chinese investors acquiring targets in sensitive industries like technology. In addition to a thriving transactions practice, O’Melveny has a premier international disputes practice, focusing on commercial and corporate arbitration and litigation stemming from joint venture disputes, commodities disputes, partnerships issues, shareholder complaints, professional negligence claims, fraud investigations, and other PRC-related disputes.

Our team has a proven record of tackling the most challenging and groundbreaking legal matters in the China market. Whether the undertaking is a major industrial acquisition in China, a Chinese company listing offshore, a bet-the-company dispute, or the financing of a Chinese technology startup, O’Melveny has the depth and breadth of experience to give its clients a competitive edge.

Practice Strengths

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • O’Melveny’s China team has built a long track record of handling some of the most groundbreaking and complex cross-border acquisitions in the region. Legal 500 calls us a “large and active team,” and “a definite leader.” Chambers and Partners echoed this praise, calling us “very active and very well regarded in the market,” and noting our “solid grounding in China.”

      Our value proposition is our ability to handle the myriad complex issues involved in cross-border transactions. From large teams on the ground in China handling due diligence and documentation work to thoughtful structuring, tax, intellectual property, and employment law advice to navigating through the thicket of required regulatory and government approvals (whether in Beijing or Washington, DC), O’Melveny’s China M&A group has the resources and experience to provide a competitive edge to buyers and sellers in China-focused cross-border transactions.
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital
    • We are a market leader in private investment-related counseling. Our lawyers regularly publish articles and speak on new investment trends and regulations—including China’s M&A regulations—and have been profiled in such publications as Time Magazine, Financial Times, and Forbes for their work. Chambers and Partners cites our “strong knowledge of the Chinese market.”

      Our robust team represents many of the most active investment firms and most promising companies operating in China, and we regularly work together with colleagues in our US and European offices to provide true global counseling for innovative startups and investors looking at the China space. We have substantial experience in all stages of private investment work, including fund formation (particularly formation of renminbi-denominated funds), early and late stage equity investments, buyouts, and mezzanine financings. We also work with many portfolio companies with respect to their financing and exit transactions.
  • Chinese Company Public Offerings in the United States and Hong Kong
    • We feature a robust capital markets team, described by Chambers Asia as “a solid name for both Hong Kong and US IPOs, giving it excellent reach in its work for issuers and underwriters.” Our practice is truly transnational, with our strong team of Mainland and Hong Kong-resident capital markets lawyers working seamlessly with China-experienced practitioners in our US offices.

      Our equally strong debt capital markets team has advised on various types of bond offerings, and is particularly experienced in advising Chinese companies on their offshore RMB bond issuance in Hong Kong.
  • International Trade and Other Regulatory Matters
    • We have represented many Hong Kong and Chinese exporters in US antidumping cases; we have advised exporters from the United States, Japan, and Russia on Chinese antidumping and safeguards investigations; and we have counseled many clients on China's obligations under the WTO.
  • Business Tax
    • O’Melveny is one of few law firms in China (including international and domestic firms) with a long-standing strength in China Tax. Our team offers both cross-border and local capabilities, with a strong transactional emphasis. A recognized thought leader on transactional tax matters specific to China, our tax lawyers operate as an integral component of virtually all of our deal teams. Perennially awarded a top-tier ranking in Chambers and Partners’ tax section, our lawyers regularly interact with the State Tax Administration, local tax bureaus across China, and leading Chinese tax academics on live matters as well as legislative and emerging guidance initiatives.

      We focus on addressing the increasingly sophisticated tax planning needs relating to China-oriented cross-border mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, private investment transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and project financings. The team is well equipped to take on large-scale China tax due diligence matters for M&A, private equity, and capital market transactions, and advises on a diverse range of China tax disciplines, including the enterprise income tax, business tax, value-added tax, real estate related taxes, customs, and other significant tax matters applicable to a wide variety of both traditional and newly emerging transactions in China.
  • Dispute Resolution
    • Unquestionably the market leader among US firms in China in dispute resolution, we are ranked in the top tier of Chambers and Partners' China Dispute Resolution category. The guide describes our team as “unquestionably proficient,” and “highly skilled in international and China arbitration.”

      Our team offers clients a China-wide network of multinational and multilingual lawyers experienced in cross-border litigation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, as well as trade remedy, regulatory, and investigation work. We have experience handling matters before virtually all of the significant arbitration institutions in Asia, including the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA), and the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB), as well as various ad hoc arbitrations in major venues throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States.
  • Foreign Direct Investment and Market Entry
    • We have a long history of successfully representing multinational entities with their foreign direct investment and acquisition projects in China. Chambers and Partners noted that we “garnered particular praise from clients for [our] representation of US companies looking to enter the Chinese market or to expand and diversify their existing operations there through M&A deals.” Our team offers the full suite of relevant legal strengths in corporate, finance, intellectual property, government approvals, labor and employment, and tax law. Our experience reconciling relevant US and Chinese legal practices affords our clients cutting-edge insights into what will and will not work in the China market. And our track record of handling some of the most innovative transactions in this area is testament to that ability.
  • Infrastructure Projects
    • We are familiar with the complex structuring and regulatory aspects of financing an infrastructure project in China. Our team handles a large number of power plant, natural gas, alternative energy, petrochemical, and other infrastructure projects in China (including the representation of a major Chinese energy company with its gas pipeline and distribution business in China). We also represent independent energy producers in connection with numerous electric power projects throughout China as well as developers of airport and seaport projects.
  • Real Estate and Distressed Asset Transactions
    • O'Melveny is one of the few US law firms in China with the requisite strengths in international law and documentation, knowledge of local law, and Chinese language capabilities to provide effective counsel in this area. We have long been a player in this field, representing a variety of leading developers, financiers, purchasers, managers, and hotel groups with their real property projects in China. Our lawyers have worked on some of the largest and most high-profile real estate and distressed asset transactions, including our representation of a Morgan Stanley-led consortium in their winning US$1.3 billion bid in the first large-scale portfolio sale of non-performing assets in China’s history.
  • Technology, Media and Intellectual Property
    • O’Melveny is a market leader in handling complex China-oriented cross-border technology and other intellectual property transactions. Our broad knowledge of intellectual property law as it relates to China is unique among US law firms, as is our track record of negotiating and structuring sophisticated and frequently first-ever transactions that drive the realization of IP-related value.

      We counsel a variety of high-technology, media, and entertainment companies on their legal matters in China. Our clients rely on our ability to synthesize multi-jurisdictional issues relating to intellectual property, employment, and corporate law, as well as non-corporate issues specific to China, such as government incentives for high-technology projects and special regulatory regimes and intellectual property protection measures. From intellectual property-heavy cross-border acquisitions to technology joint ventures and strategic alliances to global licensing agreements, we offers an unparalleled depth and breadth of legal knowledge to clients seeking to exploit technology-related opportunities in China.

BGI-Shenzhen

A multi-office, multi-practice O’Melveny team represented BGI Shenzhen, a China based genomic research and sequencing company, in its US$117.6 million acquisition of Complete Genomics and its successful defense of the transaction against a hostile competing bid. Read

CA Media LP

O’Melveny represented CA Media, the Asia affiliate of The Chernin Group LLC, in its investment with Diamond Ridge Ventures LLC in Hong Kong’s Legend Fighting Championship, a leading producer of mixed martial arts entertainment in Asia. Read

Chengwei Capital

O’Melveny represented Chengwei Capital as the main shareholder in Youku Tudou Inc., a leading multi-screen entertainment and media company in China, in Youku Tudou’s definitive agreement to merge an affiliate of Alibaba Group. Read

China Eastern Airlines

O’Melveny represented China Eastern in its agreement with Delta Air Lines to expand their partnership and better connect Delta’s global network with China Eastern. Read

Chinese Company Public Offerings

O'Melveny has advised on multiple Chinese company public offerings, including representing eHi, China’s largest car services provider and second largest rental car provider, in its US$120 million initial public offering and US$50 million concurrent private placements. Read

Giant Interactive

O’Melveny successfully defended Giant Interactive, one of China’s leading online game developers and operators, in a shareholder class action seeking to enjoin Giant’s proposed going-private transaction, which O’Melveny also successfully handled.   Read

Grant Thornton International

We represented GTIL in LCIA arbitration resulting from the expulsion of its member firm in Hong Kong, successfully defending challenges to the arbitral award in the courts in London and Hong Kong. Read

Huayi Brothers

O’Melveny advised Huayi Brothers, China’s leading private sector film conglomerate, on a potential investment in a US-based motion picture company as well as the licensing of certain intellectual property rights for a Chinese language motion picture. Read

IBM Corp.

We represented IBM Corporation in securing CFIUS clearances to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo Group Ltd. Read

Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.

O’Melveny represented Lionsgate in its multiyear slate co-financing deal with Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd. in reportedly the biggest investment in Hollywood by a Chinese company to date. Read

Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Group

O’Melveny is advising a consortium led by Meinian Onehealth on its proposed take-private of competitor iKang Healthcare Group. Read

Phoenix Education Publishing Co.

O’Melveny represented Chinese media and publishing company Phoenix Education in its acquisition of children’s book business of Illinois-based Publication International Ltd. (PIL). Read

Products Manufacturing Company

O’Melveny helped a US specialty engineered products manufacturing company on the establishments of various joint venture projects in China, including an equity joint venture with a soft axle and soft tube factory in Ningbo, an equity joint venture with an auto cable factory in Shengyang, and an equity joint venture producing auto parts in Shanghai. Read

Sequoia Capital and China Broadband Capital

O’Melveny represented Sequoia Capital and China Broadband Capital in forming a joint venture with LinkedIn to launch LinkedIn’s China operations, bringing the world’s largest social media platform for professionals to China. Read

Shanghai Haohai Biological Technology Co., Ltd.

O’Melveny represented Haohai Biological on its US$302 million IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Haohai Biological is the leading company in China focusing on the research and development, manufacturing, and sales of absorbable biomedical materials. Read

Warner Bros.

O’Melveny represented Warner Bros. in a joint venture with a consortium led by private equity firm China Media Capital (CMC) to launch a movie studio division, Flagship Entertainment Group. Read

WuXi PharmaTech

O’Melveny represented NYSE-listed WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc., a leading technology company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in the US and China, in its merger with a group of private equity investors and the company’s founders in a going-private transaction valued at US$3.3 billion. Read
  • 1Verge Holdings Ltd.
  • Bank of Qingdao
  • BGI Shenzhen
  • China Broadband Capital
  • eHi
  • Giant Interactive Group Inc.
  • Hengxing Gold 
  • Huayi Brothers
  • Phoenix Education
  • Phoenix Healthcare Group
  • Shanghai Haohai Biological Technology