10 years: Has it been that long?


It seems like yesterday to us in many respects, but China Business Law Journal is 10 years old! For some of us at the journal, it might not feel like so long ago when a small group of publishers, journalists and lawyers at an established Hong Kong-based legal publishing company took that bold step into the China legal market. But, as they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

A decade ago, the business and legal sectors in China were beginning their greatest period of modern-era reform, and to a large extent we at China Business Law Journal feel we have evolved with them in the same way, sometimes in small steps, sometimes in leaps and bounds.

For our special anniversary issue, our cover story, 10 years, reviews China Business Law Journal’s first decade of covering China’s legal market, offering practical guidance on contemporary legal issues, while also undertaking groundbreaking initiatives such as our disclosure of law firms’ hourly billing rates.

We also took the opportunity to ask senior in-house counsel and lawyers about what they regard as the standout legal trends and developments of the past 10 years. Some also gave their observations on the growth of our journal in the past decade.

This issue also features our annual Deals of the Year awards. Through careful editorial evaluation, we chose the most noteworthy deals from China’s economic activities in 2019 and recorded them in the report. The year saw quite a few Chinese companies listing on China’s Nasdaq-style Star board, from central government enterprises like China Railway Signal & Communication to private enterprises like Suzhou HYC Technology. In addition, the landmark bankruptcy reorganization case of Pangda Group, among others, made it possible for the company to be reborn and aspire to its former glory.

Despite the economic downturn, Hong Kong remains an attractive place for Chinese companies to list. Alibaba’s secondary listing was the world’s largest new share issue in 2019. Last year also witnessed the closure of some serious IP disputes between tech giants, including the two year-long antitrust dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, which ended up in a global settlement.

The new Foreign Investment Law and its implementation regulations came into effect on 1 January this year, laying out a blueprint full of promise for international companies in China. Dollars in the detail navigates you through the history of the law’s development, and the details, or more importantly the lack of them in some respects. This article is a must read.

So, we are excited to be 10 years old, but that does not make us complacent. What we do feel is privileged to document the world’s most exciting and fast developing legal sector, and provide useful intelligence and analysis for our readers.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to all our readers and friends who have given us encouragement, suggestions and feedback during our tremendously rewarding journey. We dearly hope you will stay with us as our journey continues.