Dr Hao Zhan

Hao Zhan

Lawyer biography

Practice Areas

  • Antitrust/Competition
  • Insurance & Reinsurance



His representative experience includes: merger antitrust filing in MOFCOM, defense of investigation on monopoly agreements (cartels) and abuse of dominance, antitrust private litigation, antitrust compliance, antitrust analysis from economic perspective, anti-unfair competition.

  • Providing merger filings for American, German, Australian, Canadian, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Chinese enterprises in a broad range of sectors, including machinery, IT, mining, food, pharmacy, energy, financing, telecommunicating and etc;
  • Making strategic analysis for enterprises with respect to Chinese governments’ policies towards cartels, concentration, abuse of dominant position, administrative monopoly;
  • Defending of enterprises against antitrust investigations from NDRC and SAIC;
  • Antitrust-filing for Chinese enterprises for their M&A in EU, America, Australia, Japan, Canada and South Korea;
  • Helping foreign companies with security review in their merger in China;
  • Representing clients in antitrust private litigation;
  • Compiling antitrust compliance brochure or antitrust guidelines for multinational and state-owned enterprises;
  • Offering antitrust analysis for domestic clients from economic perspective;

Dr. Zhan is listed as Professional Antitrust Lawyer by a number of ranking institutions as Chambers & Partners, PLC. He was invited to participate the legislature events related to anti-monopoly regulations. Using his expertise in micro-economy post-doctoral research, he can provide service combing both legal and economic analysis. Currently, AnJie Antitrust and Competition Department is one of the biggest antitrust team in PRC law firms.

Insurance & Reinsurance

His representative experience includes: litigation and arbitration concerning insurance claim and subrogation, acquisition of insurance companies’ equities, establishment of domestic and foreign insurance organizations in PRC, utilization of insurance funds,  compliance of insurance regulation, insurance products review, extended warranty, corporate governance, subordinated debts issuance and IPO for insurance company.

  • Purchasing insurance companies’ equities for a bank;
  • Conducting due diligence investigation and providing equity-transfer services for a Japanese company and an integrated financing group in their purchase of the domestic insurer’s shares;
  • Providing legal services for domestic insurance organizations and insurance assets management companies (AMC) with their utilization of insurance funds, investment & financing (PE investment, bonds investment on infrastructure,  investment on real estate , subordinated debts issuance, IPO and etc);
  • Establishing annuity trusteeship for central government-sponsored enterprises and listed enterprises;
  • Acting as legal counsel for insurance & reinsurance companies, AMCs, insurance brokers and foreign insurance companies over policy review, corporate compliance, development of new insurance products and etc;
  • Extending warranty in China for foreign investors;
  • Handling litigations and arbitrations concerning insurance claim and subrogation in construction insurance, marine insurance, D&O, property insurance, pollution liability insurance and product liability insurance.

Dr. Zhan Hao is honored as Professional Insurance Lawyer by a number of ranking institutions as Chambers & Partners, Who is Who Legal, ALB and PLC. Currently, AnJie Insurance Department is the biggest, full-service and most influential insurance team among China law firms.

Litigation & Arbitration

As an arbitrator of CIETAC and an experienced litigator, Dr. Zhan Hao has handled many major and complicated cases, some of which were heard by Supreme People’s Court and published in the Pronouncement of Supreme People’s Court. He also acted as legal counsel for numerous arbitration cases within PRC (Hong Kong and Mainland), UK, France, Singapore, Stockholm and Japan etc, and helped foreign clients to get foreign arbitrary awards recognized and enforced in PRC.

Professional Membership

  • Arbitrator of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)
  • Vice President of the Professional Committee of the All China Lawyers’ Association (ACLA)
  • Commissioner of Legal Advisory Board of All China Federation of Returned Overseas
  • Professor of Law School of University of Central Finance and Economics
  • Vice President of Professional Committee of Compulsory Traffic Accident Liability Insurance of China Insurance Association

Honors & Recognitions

Insurance Law

  • Insurance Lawyer in China – Chambers and Partners 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Insurance Lawyer in China – PLC Which Lawyer 2010
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer in China – Expert Guide 2010, 2011
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer – The International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers 2010, 2011, 2012

Antitrust Law

  • Antitrust Lawyer in China – Chambers and Partners 2010,2011, 2012
  • Antitrust Lawyer in China – Expert Guide 2010

Notable Pubalications

  • The Hot Issues of China Anti-trust Private Litigation, China Law Press, 2012
  • The New Insurance Law – Interpretation on Practice Highlights and Case Analysis, China Law Press, 2010
  • Practices of Enterprises’ M&A under Antitrust Law – Interpretation, Case Analysis & Guidance, China Law Press, 2008
  • The Theory of Chinese Anti-monopoly Law and Practice, Peking University Press (Co-author), Peking University Press, 2008
  • Records on the Course of Case-handling by Chinese Lawyers – Insurance Litigation, China Law Press, 2008
  • A Look at Regulations on Insurance Market from the Perspective of Economic Law, China Legal Publishing House, 2007
  • Essential Principles, Comments & Analysis of Typical Cases in Insurance Law, China Legal Publishing House, 2007
  • Investor Relations of Listed Companies (Co-author), China Law Press, 2007

Working Experience

  • Managing Partner, AnJie Law Firm
  • Executive Partner, Grandall Legal Group


  • Tehua Research Centre, Post-doctoral researcher, (Economics)
  • Peking University, School of Law, Ph.D. (Economic Law)
  • "China - EU Jurisdiction and Law Cooperation Program" – officially selected and supported by PRC government to study in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Spain
  • Wuhan University, School of Law, LL.M & LL.B


Competition & Antitrust

SAMR publishes leniency guidelines
China | 10 September 2020

The Anti-monopoly Bureau of the State Administration for Market Regulation recently published the Guidelines on Leniency for Horizontal Monopoly Agreements. The guidelines propose a relatively reliable leniency system under the Anti-monopoly Law, which is of great significance for improving the effectiveness of antitrust enforcement, while providing a valuable source of guidance for Chinese market players to follow.

Implications of antitrust guidelines for automobile sector on regulation of vertical restraints
China | 03 September 2020

China's antitrust agency's greatest competition concerns in the automobile sector relate to vertical restraints. Possibly underscoring this concern, the newly published Antitrust Guidelines on the Automobile Industry placed its main focus on clarifying issues arising therefrom. To help companies in the automobile industry better make their own assessments on antitrust compliance in China, this article explains the antitrust rules relating to vertical restraints provided in the guidelines and analyses their implications.

SAMR continues to scrutinise semiconductor mergers
China | 30 April 2020

China's merger review practice has not been negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. According to public statistics, in the first quarter of 2020 the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) completed 111 filing reviews, with a slight year-on-year growth of 0.9%. The current economic downturn raises the question of whether the SAMR will relax its antitrust scrutiny to encourage M&A activity. However, recent merger review practice in China suggests that this has not been the case in the semiconductor sector.

Highlights of AML draft amendment – coming changes to competition law
China | 27 February 2020

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) recently published the Draft Amendment to the Anti-monopoly Law (AML) for public comment. The draft amendment demonstrates the SAMR's strong stance on monopoly behaviour and is based on 12 years of antitrust enforcement. It conveys to the public that the Chinese authorities will strengthen enforcement relating to monopoly conduct. This article provides a summary of the draft amendment's main changes and the practical implications thereof.

Antitrust in China – 2019 in review
China | 23 January 2020

China's antitrust enforcement agencies were reorganised in 2018. As such, new legislation and enforcement actions in 2019 attracted significant attention from practitioners and in-house counsel, with a view to gaining an insight into the new agency's enforcement trends and priorities (if any). This article underlines the most significant developments in legislation, public enforcement and private litigation in 2019.

Supreme Court decision on non-arbitrability of antitrust civil disputes
China | 28 November 2019

The topic of whether antitrust civil disputes are arbitrable has been hotly debated in China in recent years. There are few case law precedents in this regard and local courts have taken different positions regarding this issue. That said, the Supreme People's Court made its stance clear in a recent decision which found that an arbitration clause could not exclude the jurisdiction of Chinese courts in antitrust civil disputes.

Can transactions 'by steps' circumvent merger control rules?
China | 07 November 2019

A violation of the notification or standstill obligation is commonly called 'gun jumping' and can have significant legal consequences. This article examines Canon's acquisition of Toshiba Medical and the legal consequences of gun jumping in China, as well as the risks of implementing a transaction 'by steps' to circumvent the standstill rules. Recent strengthened enforcement measures are also briefly examined.

Why doesn't safe harbour rule apply to non-IP monopoly agreements?
China | 29 August 2019

The State Administration for Market Supervision recently promulgated the Interim Provisions for Prohibiting Monopoly Agreements. Although the draft provisions introduced a safe harbour clause for non-IP-related monopoly agreements, this has been removed from the final version. As debate continues as to whether to introduce a safe harbour clause to Chinese legislation, this article examines the history of the safe harbour rule and the potential reasons why it would not apply to all monopoly agreements.

Chemical giant Eastman slapped with fine for abuse of market dominance
China | 30 May 2019

The Shanghai Market Regulation Bureau (SMRB) recently issued a penalty decision addressed to Eastman (China) Investment Management Co, Ltd, a Chinese subsidiary of US Chemical firm Eastman Chemical Company. Since this is the first antitrust enforcement decision to be issued by the SMRB since its establishment, it has drawn significant attention from commentators who have attempted to identify the bureau's enforcement approach.

National People's Congress revises Anti-unfair Competition Law to fight trade secret infringement
China | 09 May 2019

The National People's Congress recently passed and published revisions to the Anti-unfair Competition Law. The revisions focus primarily on trade secret infringement, as trade secrets are regarded as one of the core competitive advantages in today's business world. The main amendments include widening the definition of 'infringer', increasing penalties for infringement and alleviating the burden of proof for plaintiffs.

Chip industry merger filings: what you need to know
China | 11 April 2019

The refusal of the Chinese antitrust authority to green light the Qualcomm/NXP merger garnered significant attention and shone a spotlight on China's merger review practice, particularly with regard to the chip industry. This article provides an overview of Chinese merger control by examining the major chip industry mergers that the former Ministry of Commerce and the current State Administration for Market Regulation have approved with remedies to date.

A new era – 2018 Anti-monopoly Law enforcement highlights
China | 07 February 2019

China reached a number of Anti-monopoly Law enforcement and development milestones in 2018. For example, the newly established State Administration for Market Regulation completed the consolidation of the country's former government antitrust agencies and amended a number of Anti-monopoly Law regulations. Although this institutional reform took a significant amount of time, public enforcement remained active. In addition, there were a number of private antitrust enforcement developments.

SAMR revamps procedural penalty rules
China | 29 November 2018

The newly established State Administration for Market Regulation recently embarked on its first major overhaul of procedural rules by publishing the draft Interim Provisions on Administrative Penalty Procedures in Market Regulation and the related interim measures for public comment. Unsurprisingly, market observers and practitioners promptly examined the draft documents in an attempt to deduce any changes to the intended-to-be-repealed State Administration for Industry and Commerce rules.

Court examines refusal to deal in private antitrust litigation against Tencent
China | 18 October 2018

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court recently issued its judgment in the private antitrust litigation brought by domestic software company Shenzhen Micro Source Code Software Development Co Ltd (SMSCSD) against tech giant Tencent. SMSCSD had alleged that Tencent possessed a dominant position in the China mainland market for mobile instant messaging and social platform services and had abused this dominance by blocking its WeChat Official Accounts and engaging in discriminatory practices.

The global influence of Chinese merger control
China | 04 October 2018

China's rise to prominence as an antitrust regime of major importance for companies engaging in global M&A activity has granted it considerable leverage to influence the landscape of the industries in which its domestic companies participate. However, recent events have raised the prospects for greater activism by the national regulators in determining whether a merger or acquisition should go ahead and, if so, on what conditions.

SAMR finalises long-awaited reform of its antitrust agency
China | 16 August 2018

The finalised three-pronged plan for consolidating China's antitrust agencies under the State Administration for Market Regulation was recently released. This initiative has been anticipated and speculated on since the central government's release of its structural reform plan in March 2018. According to the government's plan, the three-pronged plan should have been released in June 2018, but this was substantially delayed due to differences of opinion regarding the reform.

Shifting alliances under Chinese merger control regime
China | 17 May 2018

The Ministry of Commerce recently promulgated the Measures for the Review of Concentrations of Business Operators (revised draft) for consultation. However, the revised draft still lacks provisions on the shifting alliances concept. The relevant Anti-monopoly Law enforcement agencies should consider this concept in future, as acknowledging it at the legislative level will finally place China's antitrust system among those of the world's most advanced anti-monopoly jurisdictions.

Anti-monopoly Law enforcement against collective boycotts
China | 10 May 2018

The Anti-monopoly Law enforcement agencies are increasingly investigating and finding fault with collective boycotts among competitors. As the presumption of illegality for collective boycotts requires a high level of compliance, businesses should be aware that although an independent decision not to deal with distributors or suppliers may not raise Anti-monopoly Law concerns, an agreement with competitors not to do so could raise such concerns.

How will merger of antitrust enforcement agencies affect Anti-monopoly Law enforcement?
China | 19 April 2018

The State Council recently submitted a proposal to the National People's Congress concerning the council's institutional reform programme. The proposal has shed light on the plans to consolidate the antitrust enforcement powers of the three antitrust agencies under the State Administration for Market Supervision. Although the merger is significant in terms of institutional reorganisation, it will not fundamentally change Anti-monopoly Law enforcement activities in China.

NDRC hints at SEP pricing guidance to enhance Anti-monopoly Law compliance
China | 09 November 2017

At the recent China Competition Policy Forum, a Price Supervision and Anti-monopoly Bureau official commented on the potential enactment by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of regulations on standard-essential patent licensing practices. The NDRC's proposal aims to ensure greater consistency with the Anti-monopoly Law and develop a consistent approach to the enforcement of IP rights-related anti-competitive conduct.

Refusal to deal: a review of Yunnan Ying Ding v SINOPEC
China | 12 October 2017

Following the recent final judgment of the Yunnan Province Higher People's Court, the curtain has – for now – fallen on the Yunnan Ying Ding v SINOPEC refusal to deal case. This case is unique for several reasons. Among other things, it is reportedly the first antitrust dispute to involve the Chinese petroleum industry. In addition, it is the first case in which the plaintiff's claims have concerned refusal to purchase.

Rational approach to abuse of collective dominance in antitrust law
China | 28 September 2017

The National Development and Reform Commission recently penalised two Chinese pharmaceutical undertakings for alleged collective abuse in the isoniazid active pharmaceutical ingredient market. This was the first time that the Chinese enforcement authorities applied the rules of the Anti-monopoly Law to a case concerning collective abuse.

Decoding exposure draft of MOFCOM's amendments to antitrust review rules
China | 21 September 2017

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently released an exposure draft of the amendments to its Provisions on the Antitrust Review of Concentrations for public comment. The amendments aim to improve the functionality, comprehensiveness and quality of the provisions by incorporating MOFCOM's experience and its existing best practices. In general, this move to amend the provisions is praiseworthy. However, several issues will need to be resolved through the public consultation process.

Special evidential rules for antitrust-related civil litigation
China | 30 March 2017

The evidential rules that apply to litigation in certain jurisdictions, especially those regarding the allocation of the burden of proof, have a significant impact on the ultimate result of a case. Private antitrust litigation is often highly complex and thus puts the plaintiff at a disadvantage. However, since special evidential rules were introduced in 2012, the success rate of plaintiffs in private antitrust litigation has started to increase.

Allocation of burden of proof in private antitrust litigation
China | 08 September 2016

Private antitrust litigation is becoming more popular and now acts as an important supplement to public antitrust enforcement actions in China. In 2012 the Supreme Court issued feasible rules for private antitrust litigation, including specific regulations governing the allocation of the burden of proof in certain circumstances. Four years on, it is pertinent to explore the issues regarding the allocation of the burden of proof in private antitrust litigation.

Courts consider Sinopec's refusal to deal as abuse of market dominance
China | 21 April 2016

In a noteworthy recent case, bioenergy manufacturer Yunnan Yingding claimed that Sinopec (a major state-owned oil company) and the Yunnan branch of Sinopec's trading company abused their dominant market position by refusing – for no justifiable reason – to incorporate the biodiesel produced by Yingding into Sinopec's distribution system. The case raises significant issues regarding application of the Anti-monopoly Law.

Antitrust agency fines insurers for co-insurance agreement
China | 24 March 2016

The Hubei Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined 12 insurers for concluding an illegal co-insurance agreement. The antitrust agency found their co-insurance agreement for construction project personal accident insurance to violate the Anti-monopoly Law prohibition against monopolistic agreements. The insurers were fined Rmb4.69 million in total.

Standard-essential patents and the limits of Anti-monopoly Law application
China | 10 March 2016

Standard-essential patents raise numerous issues in Chinese antitrust practice, including with regard to the application boundaries of the Anti-monopoly Law, the balance between public and private rights and the future direction of enforcement and judicial practice. Legal intervention regarding the conduct of a standard-essential patent owner must be undertaken carefully and should not deviate from the realities of the relevant markets.

MOFCOM clears Nokia's acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent with behavioural remedies
China | 17 December 2015

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently cleared Nokia Oyi's acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent with four behavioural remedies focusing on maintaining fair licensing of standard-essential patents. This case illustrates MOFCOM's new approach to evaluating the competitive effects of M&A deals involving the transfer of standard-essential patents.

Warning from MOFCOM: second wave of concentration notification penalties
China | 12 November 2015

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently published four administrative decisions imposing penalties on undertakings which failed to observe the Anti-monopoly Law notification obligation. Third-party complaints are still the main trigger for MOFCOM investigations, which should remind companies of the importance of visible antitrust compliance during M&A activities.

Refusal to license intellectual property under antitrust regime
China | 17 September 2015

IP rights holders' refusal to license patents or copyrights to other undertakings under China's antitrust regime remains a perplexing issue, as it lies at the crossroads of IP law and antitrust law. The high-profile antitrust case of Huawei v IDC is seen as the model in dealing with IP antitrust matters; however, there are caveats in applying this decision to similar cases.

Mercedes-Benz fined for price fixing: automotive industry at stake
China | 02 July 2015

The National Development and Reform Commission recently imposed a $56.49 million fine on German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, along with a combined $1.27 million fine on its dealers. The fine came as a result of Mercedes-Benz concluding and implementing resale price maintenance agreements to fix the minimum prices of E and S Class cars, as well as certain auto parts.

Private Anti-monopoly Law enforcement catching up with public counterpart
China | 18 December 2014

Public and private enforcement of competition law should be complementary mechanisms. However, until recently the trend in China skewed more in favour of public antitrust enforcement, which has progressed at a much more rapid pace than the private enforcement system. Since 2012 China has made a significant leap forward in the development of private Anti-monopoly Law enforcement.

Abuse of dominance in relation to intellectual property: the Chinese perspective
China | 09 October 2014

Considering the exclusionary nature of IP rights, rights holders may engage in abusive practices in the name of exercising such rights. Although the Anti-monopoly Law is still in its infancy, the IP-related regulations issued by enforcement agencies are developing rapidly and significant IP rights-related competition litigation has also arisen – most notably, the recent case of Huawei v IDC.

Antitrust enforcement in full swing
China | 18 September 2014

Since early 2014 China's antitrust enforcement measures have attracted increasing attention, both domestically and abroad. Apart from businesspeople, antitrust scholars and lawyers, even the general public have become familiar with antitrust terminology. Recent actions taken by the antitrust investigative authorities illustrate two prominent enforcement trends, with significant implications for companies.

SAIC moves closer to antitrust rules for intellectual property
China | 31 July 2014

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently concluded a public consultation on the latest draft of regulations designed to implement the Anti-monopoly Law with respect to IP rights. The rules outline the SAIC's enforcement policies and criteria for acceptable evidence in its assessment of suspected anti-competitive conduct involving IP rights.

The new simple notification procedure for concentrations: is it really so simple?
China | 03 July 2014

The recent establishment of the simple notification procedure for concentrations has been welcomed for its obvious merits and the convenience that it provides. However, the uncertainty and risks of the procedure are equally significant. Filing parties and practitioners should be careful in deciding whether to file the transaction through the simple procedure in order to avoid these risks.

Merck's acquisition of AZ Electronics: key observations
China | 26 June 2014

Following in the steps of the antitrust watchdogs of Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has conditionally cleared Merck's acquisition of AZ Electronics. Although MOFCOM's clearance notice looks relatively concise in comparison with the other notices issued in 2014 to date, several observations in this case are worthy of attention.

CIRC issues new insurance merger rules to promote competition
China | 26 June 2014

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has issued the Administrative Measures for the Merger and Acquisition of Insurance Companies, which recently entered into force. The CIRC devised the measures in a bid to promote and regularise mergers and acquisitions with a view to protecting consumers' interests, promoting competitiveness and enriching insurers' risk management tool kits.

Price deregulation in telecoms sector: a boon to competition?
China | 19 June 2014

China has made another far-reaching step towards deregulating its telecommunications market with a recently issued notice announcing the liberalisation of pricing for telecoms services. The liberalisation is intended to curb abusive market practices and increase competition. However, it remains to be seen whether this will be the case, as market entry has not yet been fully liberalised.

Rainbow v Johnson & Johnson: a roadmap for vertical monopoly assessment
China | 07 November 2013

The Shanghai People's High Court recently handed down judgment in the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the minimum resale price maintenance clause of the Anti-monopoly Law. The judgment has helped to mitigate the perceived lack of transparency over how government bodies deal with vertical monopoly agreements, and has clarified the court's attitudes towards vertical monopolies.

Antitrust investigation of Shanghai jewellers heats up
China | 29 August 2013

The National Development and Reform Commission has launched an investigation of Shanghai jewellers and the Shanghai Gold and Jewellery Industry Association for alleged price manipulation of gold jewellery. Thirteen members of the association are under investigation, including the world's biggest jewellery retailer. Several jewellers have already submitted reports to the antitrust agency admitting wrongdoing.

NDRC extends antitrust probe to Shanghai gold shops
China | 15 August 2013

A number of gold shops in Shanghai are undergoing close inspection by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in relation to retail price manipulation of gold through the Shanghai Gold Jewellery Industry Association. The accelerated pace of the NDRC's investigations, despite its limited personnel resources, has impressed those following the developments in China's growing antitrust enforcement regime.

Antitrust enforcement moves forward
China | 08 August 2013

Despite China's adoption of its first anti-monopoly law in 2008, state agencies conducted no major enforcement activities until recently. In 2012 the authorities finally commenced investigations of price cartels in the liquid crystal display industry, which has led to investigations of pharmaceutical and food packaging companies. Corporations in various industries are now waiting to see which sectors will be the target of future investigations.

NDRC flexes antitrust muscle with baby formula producers
China | 01 August 2013

A National Development and Reform Commission price-fixing investigation of infant milk formula producers has garnered much attention recently. Although it is too soon to tell whether this will form an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to reform the domestic market, the lack of transparency and persuasive evidence to prove the alleged antitrust violations will only spur more calls for state intervention.

MOFCOM improves rule-making process for merger control review
China | 06 June 2013

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently published two sets of draft merger control rules – one governing the imposition of restrictive conditions and the other outlining a procedure for dealing with simple cases. These positive steps demonstrate MOFCOM's continued efforts to accelerate the rule-making process and improve the efficiency and transparency of the merger control review procedure.

MOFCOM conditionally approves Marubeni's acquisition of Gavilon
China | 16 May 2013

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently announced its conditional approval of Marubeni Corporation's acquisition of Gavilon Holdings. Given Marubeni's advantage in China's soybean import market and Gavilon's influence in the North American soybean market, MOFCOM initially held that the proposed deal could lead to Marubeni's enhanced control over China's soybean import market and thus restrict competition.

Last hurdle cleared: MOFCOM approves Glencore/Xstrata merger
China | 09 May 2013

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently gave the green light to the Glencore/Xstrata deal, which will be the largest merger in mining history. The approval has been awaited for more than a year. MOFCOM issued the approval with certain restrictive conditions on the deal, following the practice of merger review agencies in other relevant jurisdictions.

Tencent defeats Qihoo 360 in first instant messaging antitrust case
China | 11 April 2013

The simmering war between two large Chinese internet companies has culminated in Qihoo 360 losing the first-ever antitrust litigation involving instant messaging services. The court held that Tencent did not commit an abuse of dominance as defined in the Anti-monopoly Law. The case shows that henceforth, Chinese courts will challenge monopoly behaviours with more muscle.

The rumours are true: antitrust watchdog imposes record penalties on luxury liquors
China | 14 March 2013

Less than two months after a breakthrough cartel case resulting in record fines, the Chinese price monopoly watchdog has levied another harsh punishment against two luxury Chinese liquor producers. This case reaffirms that companies operating in China should prudently review their distribution policies in particular and antitrust compliance in general in order to avoid antitrust risks.

Hunan AIC fines auto insurance monopoly Rmb1.7 million
China | 07 March 2013

At the end of 2011 the Hunan Province Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) received multiple reports concerning monopoly agreements and the elimination of competition on a new auto insurance market operated by the New Auto Centre. Following an investigation, the AIC has imposed a penalty of Rmb1.7 million on some of the involved parties.

Price Law or Anti-monopoly Law: NDRC's antitrust enforcement
China | 07 February 2013

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), one of the main anti-monopoly regulatory authorities in China, recently imposed its highest-ever fines on six liquid crystal display panel manufacturers found guilty of price collusion under the Price Law. The case provides particular insight on when and how the NDRC exercises its discretion to apply either the Price Law or the Anti-monopoly Law to investigations.

Supreme Court: first judicial interpretation on private anti-monopoly litigation
China | 24 May 2012

Since the Anti-monopoly Law came into force in August 2008, civil anti-monopoly cases have become increasingly prominent. The first Supreme People's Court interpretation on the issue - revised following public consultation - covers a number of significant aspects, including the filing of lawsuits, jurisdictional issues, plaintiffs' standing and the relationship between public enforcement and private litigation.

Key online players in Rmb150 million dispute over abuse of dominance
China | 17 May 2012

The Guangdong Superior People's Court has heard a claim that Tencent, which operates instant messenging service Tencent QQ, allegedly used its dominant position in the messaging software and services market to force users to uninstall software supplied by anti-virus software company Qihoo 360. However, the two sides disagree on the relevant market, the relevant market share data and the existence of a dominant position.

Hubei Yihua investigation: doubts remain over reports of alleged fine
China | 26 April 2012

A number of sources in China's mainstream media reported earlier in 2012 that the National Development and Reform Commission had imposed a Rmb10.2 million fine on Hubei Yihua Chemical Industry. However, the company has announced that the reports are untrue. Competition law practitioners await an announcement from the commission with interest - whatever the inside story of the case proves to be.

Regulator imposes further conditions on Western Digital/Viviti deal
China | 29 March 2012

Three months after imposing conditions on Seagate's acquisition of Samsung's hard drive business, the Ministry of Commerce has published another conditional clearance of a concentration in the hard disk industry, this time involving Western Digital and Viviti Technologies. At 11 months from initial filing to final decision, the process was even longer than the seven-month wait in the Seagate/Samsung transaction.

Record fine for price monopoly
China | 22 March 2012

The National Development and Reform Commission recently issued the biggest fine - Rmb10.2 million - since the implementation of the Anti-monopoly Law in 2008. The decision makes a significant statement about China's economic priorities and the importance of reform within its monopolised industries.

Long-awaited measures on notification - but do penalties lack bite?
China | 16 February 2012

The Provisional Measures on Investigating and Penalising Violation of Notification Obligations for Concentrations of Undertakings have entered into force. The maximum fine under the provisional measures is tiny compared with the thresholds under the US and EU competition regimes, but the 'reputational' penalty in Article 15 may prove far more significant to enterprises in China.

Ministry of Commerce reveals steep rise in notifications of concentration
China | 09 February 2012

The Ministry of Commerce has revealed that it received 194 notifications for antitrust review of concentrations in 2011, a 43% increase on 2010. Suggesting reasons for the trend, the director of the Anti-monopoly Bureau cited greater awareness of the Anti-monopoly Law, a rise in the average size of companies in China and a prudent approach by international investors.

Ministry of Commerce clears Samsung and Seagate hard disk deal
China | 12 January 2012

The Ministry of Commerce has announced its approval of a deal between Samsung Electronics and Seagate Technology for the former's hard disk business. Among other factors, the ministry considered market position, product innovation, buying power and the potential influence on Chinese consumers and market entrants.

Ministry clears Nestlé's acquisition of Hsu Fu Chi
China | 22 December 2011

The Ministry of Commerce has officially cleared Nestlé's intended purchase of 60% of the shares in Hsu Fu Chi. The decision has dispelled the doubts raised by a variety of interested parties in recent months. In particular, the Nestlé/Hsu Fu Chi decision has resolved the concerns of foreign enterprises that China's antitrust enforcement policy is intended to protect national brands.

China Unicom and China Telecom apply for suspension of investigation
China | 15 December 2011

The Price Supervision, Inspection and Antitrust Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission has confirmed that it has received applications from China Unicom and China Telecom for the suspension of probes into alleged abuse of dominance by the parties. It remains to be seen whether the commission will take a softer line with the state-owned enterprises.

Conditional clearance offers further insight on concentrations
China | 01 December 2011

The Ministry of Commerce recently announced the clearance of a proposed concentration between Penelope Co Ltd and Savio Macchine Tessili SpA on certain conditions. The ministry's reasoning and analysis shed light on its approach to the review of concentrations on anti-monopoly grounds.

Tmall's price rise: free economic behaviour or abuse of dominant position?
China | 17 November 2011

The recent decision by one of China's largest retail websites to impose a steep increase in fees and security deposits on its vendors sent ripples through the worlds of business, academia and politics. It also illustrated the difficulties inherent in determining what constitutes an excessive or unfair price in competition law.

Ministry of Commerce accepts Nestlé's filing for Hsu Fu Chi deal
China | 06 October 2011

The Ministry of Commerce recently stated that it has accepted notification of Nestlé's acquisition of confectionery company Hsu Fu Chi. Its approval would clear the way for one of the biggest foreign takeovers of a Chinese undertaking. The potential pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects - and the ministry's assessment of them - will be crucial to Nestlé's plans and those of future foreign acquirers in China.

Private company sues railway bureau over alleged monopoly
China | 29 September 2011

Administrative monopoly - the executive abuse of administrative power to eliminate or restrict market competition - occupies an important place in China's anti-monopoly regime. It is hoped that a case involving an alleged negative administrative monopoly in China's rail network will shed light on the courts' future approach to the issue.

Wide-ranging regulation provides guiding light for concentrations
China | 22 September 2011

The Ministry of Commerce's first guidelines on antitrust reviews of concentrations make assessments a much more transparent process for competitors, consumers and other stakeholders. Among many other things, the ministry highlights the main factors that it will consider when weighing the competitive and anti-competitive effects of a concentration.

China and US move closer on antitrust collaboration
China | 11 August 2011

China's anti-monopoly agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice. The Chinese agencies' views on anti-monopoly regulation raise serious concerns for foreign companies and regulators, and a framework for enhanced cooperation will be widely welcomed.

Nestlé faces anti-monopoly review in Hsu Fu Chi deal
China | 28 July 2011

Nestlé has announced that it plans to commit around $1.7 billion to the acquisition of a 60% share in confectionery manufacturer Hsu Fu Chi. However, the Minstry of Commerce has announced that the turnovers of the undertakings involved are above the threshold for concentration filing. The acquisition could significantly change the composition of the Chinese confectionery market.

Can companies avoid filing concentrations?
China | 30 June 2011

When a merger, acquisition or joint venture is connected to the Chinese market and represents a concentration under the Anti-monopoly Law, a company's first question is likely to be whether the transaction must be filed. Some undertakings weigh the risk of being caught against the potential time saving and choose to not to file. This practice has become an open secret, but new provisional rules may make it a more risky tactic.

Jurisdiction for private anti-monopoly litigation
China | 26 May 2011

Since the Anti-monopoly Law was passed, around 50 private anti-monopoly litigations have been brought, and the courts' jurisdiction over such cases has become a key issue. Practice shows that so far, local courts have handled the issue of jurisdiction for private anti-monopoly litigation based on the regulations relating to IP litigation.

Revised Unfair Competition Law responds to changing economy
China | 12 May 2011

The Unfair Competition Law has been described as the constitution of the market economy. However, China's rapid social and economic development has given rise to new forms of unfair competition that the law did not foresee. A revised draft focuses on identifying the competent enforcement agency and extending the scope of administrative enforcement to new areas, particularly in the field of e-commerce.

Market dominance and the Internet: new industry, new rules?
China | 21 April 2011

China's biggest encyclopaedia website, Hudong.com, has requested an anti-monopoly review of Baidu, the leading Chinese internet search engine. The challenge raises vital questions. Should market dominance in the internet sector be assessed purely on the basis of market share? If not, which other factors should come into play?

SAIC regulations signal greater anti-monopoly enforcement
China | 27 January 2011

Following regulations from the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has issued regulations on prohibiting monopoly agreements, abuse of market dominance and abuse of power by administrative organisations to restrict competition. The SAIC's new regulations promise an eventful year for anti-monopoly enforcement in China.

NDRC issues new anti-monopoly pricing regulations
China | 13 January 2011

China's anti-monopoly framework is still not well established and end consumers remain at risk of manipulation by collusion between large enterprises, especially on price. Although price regulation is invariably a sensitive issue in China, two new regulations from the National Development and Reform Commission address monopolistic pricing activities and should give teeth to its regulatory enforcement.

No quick answers in instant noodle dispute
China | 11 November 2010

Baixiang Food Group and other companies in the instant noodle market have brought a complaint against their competitor Kangshifu, claiming that it unfairly dominates the market in China. Kangshifu has also been accused of engaging in price dumping through its sub-brand Fumanduo. Kangshifu contests both assertions.

Anti-monopoly regulator addresses competition regime controversies
China | 02 September 2010

The Ministry of Commerce recently held a press conference regarding the development of anti-monopoly regulation in China. The head of the Anti-monopoly Bureau answered questions from journalists and, for the first time in the two years since the Anti-monopoly Law was implemented, clarified some of the controversial aspects of the competition regime, including the perceived bias against foreign companies.

Conditional approval for Novartis's acquisition of Alcon
China | 26 August 2010

The Ministry of Commerce's Anti-monopoly Bureau has approved Novartis's acquisition of Alcon. Among other conditions, Novartis is required to cease sales of the anti-infection and anti-inflammatory drug Infectoflam in China by the end of 2010. Its subsidiary, CIBA Vision Shanghai, must terminate its sales and distribution agreement for contact lens care products with the largest player in the Chinese market.

Divestiture rules highlight importance of choosing the right trustee
China | 22 July 2010

The Ministry of Commerce has released the Provisional Rules on Implementing Divestiture of Assets or Businesses, which set out the roles of supervisory trustees and divestiture trustees, drawing on EU and US models in doing so. Although they leave certain conflict of interest issues unresolved, the rules represent a significant step forward for a rapidly developing concentration review regime.

New draft rules on monopoly agreements and abuse of dominant position
China | 01 July 2010

The State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has published for public comment new draft regulations on monopoly agreements, abuse of dominant position and administrative monopoly. The SAIC has a mandate to condemn non-price-related monopoly agreements, non-price-related abuse of dominant position and administrative monopoly, and to lay down implementing rules for the Anti-monopoly Law.

Leniency policy starts to take shape
China | 24 June 2010

A leniency programme can be an effective tool in exposing cartels. However, China's
Anti-monopoly Law makes only a passing reference to a leniency policy, leaving the antitrust authorities to fashion rules to implement the policy. The Draft Regulation on Prohibiting Monopoly Agreements brings an effective leniency policy closer, but several key questions remain unanswered.

Corporate Finance/M&A

Monopolies in the spotlight: State Council sets agenda for private ownership
China | 07 March 2012

The State Council has established several fundamental policies that seek to promote the development of diverse forms of ownership and turn state-controlled enterprises into ordinary joint stock companies. It also wishes to encourage private investment in the fields of finance, rail transport, energy, telecommunications, education and medical services.


WFOE shopping: how do Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen compare for establishing an insurance WFOE in China?
China | 15 September 2020

Foreign insurers cannot directly sell insurance products in China unless they have successfully established a joint venture or wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) insurer in mainland China. In light of Shenzhen's recent pilots and reforms, it is now the most favourable destination for foreign insurers seeking to establish a WFOE in mainland China.

Developments and typical disputes regarding D&O insurance in China
China | 28 April 2020

In early 2020, the Luckin Coffee scandal drew attention from the insurance, legal and security industries and turned the spotlight on directors' and officers' (D&O) liability insurance policies in China. With the developing pace of the security and insurance markets, the refreshed focus on D&O insurance gives Chinese underwriters plenty to contemplate.

Product innovation: litigation property preservation liability insurance
China | 21 January 2020

In terms of premium revenue, China is the second largest insurance market in the world. However, regulators and insurers are often frustrated due to a lack of insurance innovation. In response to such frustration, litigation property preservation liability insurance has emerged and become a typical insurance solution to satisfy market demand and address unique Chinese insurance requirements in order to align them with the country's judicial system.

Applicability of right of subrogation in Chinese reinsurance context
China | 07 January 2020

Insurance subrogation is an important legal mechanism which enables insurers to reduce their losses after insurance indemnities are paid. However, opinions differ as to the application of reinsurers' right of subrogation. This article answers questions which frequently arise in this regard from a Chinese perspective.

Applicability of right of subrogation in international reinsurance context
International | 24 December 2019

Insurance subrogation is an important legal mechanism which enables insurers to reduce their losses after insurance indemnities are paid. However, opinions differ as to the application of reinsurers' right of subrogation. This article answers these questions from an international perspective.

Essential provisions in Chinese reinsurance contracts
China | 09 July 2019

During the past five years, the Chinese courts and arbitration institutions have handled major disputes relating to reinsurance contracts. These cases prompted legislation in the reinsurance sector and drew attention to the need for more careful wording in reinsurance contracts. This article provides an overview of several essential provisions in reinsurance contracts under Chinese law.

Who is China's new insurance regulator?
China | 18 June 2019

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission was recently formally unveiled in Beijing, marking the official launch of the new regulatory authority. This merger of the former China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Insurance Regulatory Commission is the biggest reform of China's financial regulatory system in more than 15 years and marks the start of the 'one committee, one bank, two commissions' regulation framework.

Rise of private health insurance: challenges and opportunities
China | 17 July 2018

Despite a range of stakeholders having vested interests in developing the private health insurance market, it has remained underdeveloped and is generally considered by Chinese insurers to be unprofitable compared with life insurance lines. Insurers have also found it hard to stimulate uptake by a consumer base that is relatively unfamiliar with the added value of such products. As such, the Chinese health insurance market is not as mature, innovative or profitable as it could be.

How can foreign-invested insurers apply new CIRC regulation by reference?
China | 17 April 2018

The China Insurance Regulatory Committee recently promulgated the new Measures for the Administration of Equity in Insurance Companies, which state that if the shareholding proportion of an insurer's foreign shareholders accounts for more than 25% of its registered capital, the relevant provisions of the measures must be applied by reference. This express inclusion of foreign-invested insurers represents a substantial shift away from current practice.

CIRC's assertive action underlines renewed emphasis on controlling financial risks
China | 20 March 2018

Since the end of 2017, the China Insurance Regulatory Committee has taken numerous regulatory measures to address disorder in the insurance market, some of which have brought certain domestic life insurers to task. The measures are notable, as they underline a renewed emphasis on controlling financial risks, which is of utmost concern for the government.

Increased insurance investment limits further liberalise insurance industry
China | 16 January 2018

Following the resumption of bilateral trade treaty talks between China and the United States, a 100-day plan was mooted which promised to improve trade ties going forward. One area of focus in this regard has been the foreign ownership limits that apply to inbound investment in Chinese financial services groups, including those pertaining to the country's insurance industry. This policy shift has given rise to expectations that further foreign investment in the insurance industry will increase significantly.

China 2020: world's largest insurance market and foreign insurers' strategies
China | 14 November 2017

China's shift towards a knowledge-based digital economy is fuelling growth in the insurance sector, which aligns with the government's plan to double the rate of insurance penetration by 2020. By this date, insurance premium income is expected to have reached Rmb4.5 trillion. If this aim is achieved, China will have usurped the United States to become the world's largest insurance market, which bodes well for overseas insurers looking to participate in the domestic market.

The rise of insurtech in China
China | 31 October 2017

A new wave of 'insurtech' companies (ie, insurers engaging with online distribution models and tech companies foraying into insurance) are recognising the gains to be made by entering into this emerging market. However, these developments by no means spell the end of the larger, more traditional Chinese insurers, which are adapting their longer-term business development strategies in response.

Upcoming regulations for investors in insurers
China | 06 June 2017

The regulations concerning investment limits and the required qualifications for shareholders that want to invest in Chinese insurers continue to be a focal point for potential investors. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission recently published the Administrative Measures for Equities of Insurance Companies (Draft for Comments), which make fundamental changes to the existing regulatory framework.

Comparative insight into China Risk-Oriented Solvency System
China | 30 May 2017

At present, the recently adopted China Risk-Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS) is the only regime which regulates mainland insurers' capital adequacy. By appropriating the most useful features of existing global regimes, C-ROSS has formulated a risk-based supervision regime that is on a par with global standards, yet remains tailored to the specifics of the Chinese insurance market.

Declarations of death in personal insurance contract cases
China | 16 May 2017

When declarations of death are sought for insured persons, two issues arise: whether the declaration relates to accidental death; and whether it falls within the insurance period. The popular viewpoint is that a declaration of death is regarded as resulting from an accident, in which case the insurer must provide compensation. While the declaration may be dated after the period of cover under the insurance contract, this does not absolve the insurer of responsibility to compensate the claimant.

Presidential summit postulates rise of insurance investment ceiling
China | 09 May 2017

At the first meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, the two leaders set the tone for future cooperation on a wide range of issues, not least market access between the two countries. According to Chinese and US officials, better access for US financial sector investments into China was mooted for inclusion as part of a 100-day plan to improve trade ties. This could have notable implications for the Chinese insurance industry.

CIRC imposes significant penalties on insurers due to irregularities
China | 14 March 2017

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) recently penalised two insurers for illegal practices with regard to the use of insurance funds. The penalties came just a few days after the CIRC chair stated that the regulator will continue to put significant pressure on companies and maintain close control over disorderly expansion and radical investment in order to eliminate potential risks. Companies that refuse to rectify their actions will be subject to the CIRC's strictest penalties.

Does the accessory principle apply to surety bonds?
China | 22 November 2016

China's surety bond market underwent significant development in 2016 and surety bonds have become one of the most important methods for securing a financial guarantee. However, due to a lack of clear Supreme Court guidance on the matter, the laws that apply to surety bonds issued by insurers in China are still the subject of much debate. One key issue is whether the Guarantee Law's accessory principle applies to surety bonds issued by insurers in China.

Duty to report: obligations of insured under Insurance Law
China | 16 August 2016

Article 21 of the Insurance Law sets out the duty of an insured party to notify its insurer of an accident in a timely manner. However, the vagueness of the article has led to issues regarding its interpretation, including the definition of 'timely manner' and whether insurers are still liable in the event that an insured party fails to issue a timely notification.

New CIRC measures strengthen supervision of illegal foreign insurance policy sales
China | 14 June 2016

Foreign insurance policies have attracted many mainland China residents, but they are not without risks. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission – which prohibits insurers from conducting illegal insurance activities and organisations or individuals from conducting illegal intermediary insurance activities without its approval – recently issued significant supervisory measures in relation to the potential risks and effects of such policies.

CIRC issues Risk Alert on Purchase of Insurance Policies by Domestic Residents in Hong Kong
China | 17 May 2016

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission recently issued an alert to notify mainland Chinese residents of the risks arising from the purchase of insurance policies in Hong Kong. This marks the third time this year that the authorities have publicly taken a negative attitude towards the purchase of foreign insurance policies.

The function and regulation of credit insurance in China
China | 10 May 2016

Credit insurance has become increasingly popular in China over the past few years. However, credit insurance differs from warranties under Chinese law and questions have been raised as to its scope and function. In peer-to-peer and other transactions, it is often used to protect creditors' benefits. Creditors should be aware of certain legal points relating to credit insurance before taking out a policy.

Insurance trusts: a new means of wealth management
China | 26 April 2016

Numerous financing products have become available to high-net-worth individuals in order to meet their wealth management needs. One of the most popular of these is the insurance trust, which creatively combines features of a trust and life insurance. Insurance trusts can preserve assets and control risks – the fundamental function of insurance – while also allowing the assets to be managed according to clients' instructions.

Antitrust agency fines insurers for co-insurance agreement
China | 29 March 2016

The Hubei Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined 12 insurers for concluding an illegal co-insurance agreement. The antitrust agency found their co-insurance agreement for construction project personal accident insurance to violate the Anti-monopoly Law prohibition against monopolistic agreements. The insurers were fined Rmb4.69 million in total.

State Council publishes draft amendments to Insurance Law
China | 01 December 2015

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council recently published the draft Decision on Revising the Insurance Law for public comment. The proposed amendments aim to deregulate certain aspects of the industry, promote innovation and energise the insurance market, and will provide more comprehensive regulatory mechanisms and more severe penalties for wrongdoing.

Overseas use of foreign exchange insurance funds: an overview
China | 26 May 2015

Overseas use of foreign exchange insurance funds is governed by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). The CIRC's latest regulations include the Interim Measures for the Administration of Overseas Investment with Insurance Funds, as well as detailed implementation rules. These have significantly expanded the scope and range of products for investment in foreign markets.

Jurisdiction issues in insurance contract disputes
China | 14 April 2015

The Supreme People's Court Interpretations on the Application of the Civil Procedure Law introduced many changes to Chinese civil procedure. One major change relates to the issue of jurisdiction. Aside from the general provisions on jurisdiction, special provisions have been introduced regarding jurisdiction in insurance contract disputes.

Insurers brewing new equity incentive plans
China | 10 February 2015

Although equity incentive plans have previously come close to becoming a reality at several Chinese insurers, none has reached fruition. However, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission has gradually eased its restrictions on such plans, encouraging more insurers to implement them and optimise their corporate governance structures and occupational spectrums.

Extended warranties: service or insurance?
China | 20 January 2015

Chinese retailers are increasingly promoting extended warranty services. Some foreign insurers have also sought to take advantage of their experience in overseas markets in developing extended warranty services in China. Despite the growing popularity of such services, they raise significant regulatory concerns – particularly with regard to their similarity to insurance products.

Third judicial interpretation of Insurance Law issued for public comment
China | 16 December 2014

The Supreme People's Court recently promulgated its third interpretation of the Insurance Law in order to solicit advice from the public. The draft interpretation addresses in detail several common issues in judicial practice with respect to life insurance contracts. It will also be helpful in the resolution of disputes in this regard, and in protecting parties' legitimate rights and interests.

Applying reinstatement value insurance: key considerations
China | 09 September 2014

Reinstatement value insurance has been increasingly applied in the Chinese insurance market, even though the Insurance Law does not specifically define 'reinstatement value' or specify how to apply reinstatement value insurance. Although there are benefits in applying reinstatement value insurance to equipment and other fixed assets, insurers should nonetheless be cautious when doing so.

CIRC issues new insurance merger rules to promote competition
China | 01 July 2014

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has issued the Administrative Measures for the Merger and Acquisition of Insurance Companies, which recently entered into force. The CIRC devised the measures in a bid to promote and regularise mergers and acquisitions with a view to protecting consumers' interests, promoting competitiveness and expanding insurers' risk management tool kits.

CIRC eases restrictions on investment of insurance funds
China | 04 February 2014

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has issued the Draft Notice on Strengthening and Improving Regulation of Proportional Use of Insurance Funds for comment. The notice regulates the use of insurance funds by way of proportional limits on broad categories, rather than on specific products, and should facilitate a more prosperous insurance fund market.

Guangdong introduces credit guarantee system for insurance litigation
China | 21 January 2014

In insurance contract disputes, insurers are often faced with a dilemma when applying to the court for property preservation, having to choose between maintaining a strong overall financial position and pursuing the smaller amount at issue. To solve this problem, a credit guarantee system for insurance litigation has been introduced in Guangdong Province, which will be worth promoting nationwide in the near future.

Subrogation cases: arbitration or litigation?
China | 17 December 2013

Chinese insurers often face the question of whether to submit subrogation cases to arbitration or litigation. Several issues should be taken into account when answering this question, including the judiciary's relative inexperience in handling insurance disputes, the divergent opinions on the treatment of arbitration clauses in subrogation cases and the obstacles encountered in court reviews of arbitral awards.

CIRC introduces support measures for Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone
China | 29 October 2013

Following the recent opening of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission announced measures to support the free trade zone in several areas. With these measures, the insurance industry has ushered in unprecedented development opportunities. Although it is too soon to judge the success of the free trade zone, financial breakthroughs are keenly anticipated, particularly in the insurance sector.

New committee introduced to approve establishment of Chinese insurers
China | 20 August 2013

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) recently published a notice on its website regarding the establishment of the Chinese Insurance Entities Access Examination Committee. The CIRC set up the committee to improve the insurance market's entry and exit mechanisms, and to enhance the quality and transparency of the examination process. The CIRC has also stipulated the working rules of the committee.

Supreme Court issues second interpretation of Insurance Law
China | 25 June 2013

Given the complexity of the problems and discrepancies in the Insurance Law following its amendment in 2009, the judgment criteria for several significant issues vary from court to court. The Supreme People's Court has therefore enacted its second interpretation of the law, which aims to lay down definite and feasible rules concerning the law's application.

A new kind of compulsory insurance?
China | 26 March 2013

The environment is an important issue for the Chinese government, while surveys and social media show increasing public concern over environmental pollution. Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission have issued new guidelines establishing the pilot enterprises that are subject to compulsory environmental pollution insurance.

Hunan AIC fines auto insurance monopoly Rmb1.7 million
China | 05 March 2013

At the end of 2011 the Hunan Province Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) received multiple reports concerning monopoly agreements and the elimination of competition on a new auto insurance market operated by the New Auto Centre. Following an investigation, the AIC has imposed a penalty of Rmb1.7 million on some of the involved parties.

Supreme Court launches mediation system for insurance disputes
China | 12 February 2013

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the Supreme Court have jointly issued a notice to establish a collaboration system linking insurance litigation to mediation in some areas. Considering the limited judicial resources in many insurance disputes, the court has chosen insurance litigation as the first sector in which to begin actively encouraging alternative dispute resolution over court proceedings.

Establishing your representative office: a foothold in the market
China | 26 January 2010

One of the most direct ways for a foreign insurance company to enter the Chinese insurance market is to establish a branch in China. However, there is a significant precondition: at least one representative office must have been established in China for at least two years. Foreign insurance institutions that choose this route must be aware of the criteria and prudential conditions involved.

Accounting Rules on Insurance Contracts published
China | 19 January 2010

The Ministry of Finance and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission have jointly published the long-awaited Relevant Accounting Rules on Insurance Contracts. The rules cover three main areas: the division of mixed insurance contracts, the evaluation of major risks and the calculation of insurance contract reserves.

Defining 'Gross Negligence': Will Insurers Be Left Exposed?
China | 17 November 2009

Gross negligence is a familiar concept in insurance policies sold in the Chinese market, but the term is comparatively new to Chinese insurance legislation. An insurance dispute arising from the devastating fire at China Central Television in February 2009 highlights the difficulty in differentiating between 'gross negligence' and 'negligence' within the meaning of the Insurance Law.

Analyzing Insurable Interest and Subrogation
China | 03 November 2009

In many high-value insurance cases, two key issues to consider are whether the applicant or policyholder has insurable interests in the object of the contract, and how the insurer applies its subrogation rights after compensation is paid to the insured parties. A recent case illustrates the questions that are likely to arise.

Insurance Companies Await Regulator's Rules on Private Equity
China | 15 September 2009

Industry experts expect the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to announce keenly awaited rules on private equity investment by insurance companies. Large insurance companies in particular will be considering the example of the Ping An Group as a possible model for building a financial platform for private equity investment.

Investing in Chinese Insurance Companies
China | 25 August 2009

The rapid development of the market and the trend towards financial deregulation have encouraged foreign financial institutions to seek to invest in Chinese insurance companies. However, a would-be investor must understand the China Insurance Regulatory Commission regulations that apply to a foreign insurance company's equity investment in a Chinese target.

Can Chinese Residents Buy a Policy Overseas?
China | 04 August 2009

Encouraged by the significant potential returns on offer in the Chinese insurance market, foreign insurers have sought to market their insurance products in China, but would-be market entrants should be aware of the barriers and potential legal risks for overseas companies. The legality of a purchase of a foreign life insurance policy is likely to depend on whether the insurance activities were undertaken in China.

Qualifications for Senior Managers in Insurance Companies: Who Makes the Grade?
China | 21 July 2009

Lawyers often face a particular problem when a foreign investor wishes to nominate personnel to positions in a Chinese insurance company in which they have invested. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has issued explicit provisions on the qualification requirements that apply to certain positions in insurance institutions.

New Requirements for Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance
China | 09 June 2009

The National Tourism Administration and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission have promulgated for public comment the draft Administrative Measures for Liability Insurance of Travel Agencies, which provide that travel agencies legitimately established in mainland China should buy compulsory travel agency liability insurance.

China Insurance Regulatory Commission: Functions and Responsibilities
China | 26 May 2009

China's insurance regulation system is fraught with misunderstandings for companies and lawyers from other jurisdictions, particularly if they assume that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission's powers are similar to those of foreign regulators, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Understanding the main regulator's role and its power to intervene can help to avoid problems.

Prospects for D&O Insurance in an Evolving Corporate Regime
China | 28 April 2009

Directors' and officers' liability insurance is widely used throughout Europe and North America, but has so far proved less popular in China, largely due to China's imperfect system of directorial liability. However, the government's attitude is likely to encourage the further development and emergence of new insurance products.

Environmental Impairment Liability Market Poised for Expansion
China | 07 April 2009

Environmental impairment liability insurance is a new product in China. It has proved difficult to promote it extensively owing to a lack of regulation and the attitudes of enterprises, local government bodies and insurance companies. However, the government has a clear plan for its development and the market is set to expand.

Revised Insurance Law Reflects International Norms
China | 31 March 2009

A clearer and more practical Insurance Law has been well received by the industry, particularly by foreign insurance companies and joint ventures. The revised law softens the restrictions on the investment of insurance capital, gives the regulator greater power over the sector and adopts a number of conventions that are familiar in foreign insurance markets, such as the use of incontestable clauses.

Health Insurance: An Uncertain Start, But a More Promising Future?
China | 24 March 2009

Even many years after the promulgation of the Insurance Law, health insurance products were generally unavailable; however, the sector has developed rapidly since the reform of China's medical system began in 2000. The potential returns have prompted foreign interest in the fields of healthcare and health insurance.

Refining Regulation of Aviation Passenger Accident Insurance
China | 10 March 2009

The regulation of aviation passenger accident insurance in China originated in the Interim Provisions on Compensation for the Personal Injury of Domestic Aviation Transport Passengers in 1998. Since then, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission's supervision and management of aviation passenger accident insurance has developed in three stages.

Regulatory Hurdles for Foreign-Invested Insurance Companies
China | 17 February 2009

A substantial portion of the recent growth in China's insurance market has been driven by investment from abroad. However, the regulatory environment surrounding Chinese insurance businesses is uninviting. In order to gauge prospective returns, potential investors must understand the obstacles for foreign-invested insurance companies.

New Insurance Law Drafted
China | 10 February 2009

For a wide variety of reasons, insureds, insurers, brokers, agents, loss adjusters and regulators have become dissatisfied with the existing regulatory position on insurance. Legislators recently published a draft of a much-revised Insurance Law, which aims to resolve these problems and provide judges with a transparent set of regulations which can be applied to the insurance market in the light of recent changes.

Are Extended Warranties Subject to Insurance Regulations?
China | 03 February 2009

The question of whether an extended warranty or service contract falls within the scope of Chinese insurance law is crucial for parties interested in entering the market. Although legal authorities broadly agree on the characteristics of insurance transactions, the application of these insurance law principles to extended warranties remains uncertain.


Blockchain evidence accepted in judicial proceedings for first time
China | 27 November 2018

The Hangzhou Internet Court recently confirmed, for the first time, the effectiveness of evidence recorded via blockchain. Shortly after, the Supreme People's Court cemented the lower court's view by implementing the Provisions on the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts. This is the first time that blockchain technology has been officially accepted in a judicial interpretation as a valid technical means for preserving and presenting evidence.

Court examines refusal to deal in private antitrust litigation against Tencent
China | 23 October 2018

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court recently issued its judgment in the private antitrust litigation brought by domestic software company Shenzhen Micro Source Code Software Development Co Ltd (SMSCSD) against tech giant Tencent. SMSCSD had alleged that Tencent possessed a dominant position in the China mainland market for mobile instant messaging and social platform services and had abused this dominance by blocking its WeChat Official Accounts and engaging in discriminatory practices.

Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media

Blockchain evidence accepted in judicial proceedings for first time
China | 23 November 2018

The Hangzhou Internet Court recently confirmed, for the first time, the effectiveness of evidence recorded via blockchain. Shortly after, the Supreme People's Court cemented the lower court's view by implementing the Provisions on the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts. This is the first time that blockchain technology has been officially accepted in a judicial interpretation as a valid technical means for preserving and presenting evidence.

SEP licensing in China's IoT industry
China | 09 October 2018

China's ambitious agenda in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry encourages companies to develop and adopt their own technological standards. This standardisation is necessary to integrate the varying equipment, software and service applications of a digital IoT ecosystem into multiple technologies across the value chain. Despite the expectation of free licensing schemes for service level technology, such integration necessarily draws on a multitude of patents, including standard-essential patents.

White Collar Crime

Authorities ramp up enforcement of foreign companies' non-compliance with national anti-bribery laws
China | 07 October 2019

The prosecution of commercial bribery has once again become a key issue following the amendment of the Anti-unfair Competition Act. With the restructuring of the act's anti-bribery provision – which dovetailed with the national anti-corruption movement – the government appears to be cracking down on unlawful commercial activities by both domestic and foreign companies. To guide companies in this regard, this article provides an intuitive roadmap to the Chinese anti-bribery regulatory scheme.