While we eagerly await the Year of the Goat, the staff at China Business Law Journal would like to wish you all the very best for the New Year!
We sincerely hope the Year of the Horse was the prosperous one that it promised to be for you. It was a good one for China Business Law Journal, and our innovations throughout the year were well received by the legal community of in-house counsel and law firms, as well as our other avid readers within China’s business community and further afield.
Looking back, perhaps our most significant achievement was the recent publication of our first book: China Lexicon, Defining and translating legal terms. A compilation of Andrew Godwin’s popular Lexicon columns that regularly grace our pages, this book proved enormously popular within its first weeks of print. For details on purchasing, please visit our website.
Looking forward, this issue features our 2014 Deals of the Year awards. Nominations this year again exceeded expectations and we were left with many difficult choices to make.
Chinese tech companies made their mark in 2014. Look no further than Alibaba’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. This US$25 billion IPO smashed records and heralded China’s claim on the future of technology development. Other large tech deals also featured, and as many took tentative steps into a wary American market, their footprints have laid groundwork for other companies to follow. Lessons learned on compliance, transparency, risk management and dealing with a suspicious US government will prove invaluable for others in the telecoms, media and technology sector as they venture overseas.
There were other notables, including COFCO’s acquisition of Noble Agri for US$1.5 billion, which represented the largest outbound acquisition so far in the food sector by a Chinese state-owned enterprise. And Dongfeng’s novel equity investment in PSA Peugeot Citroen Group was the biggest offshore acquisition for a Chinese SOE in the automobile industry. Hong Kong was active for IPOs, but after the successful listing of Alibaba and others, one has to ask what, or more aptly, where the future will be for IPO strategies this year.
Elsewhere in this issue, our special In Perspective report on taxation looks at some pertinent issues at home and abroad. One of the biggest challenges is the replacement of business tax by value-added tax. Incentive policies have resulted in different tax burdens in different regions of the country, and it is now possible to use low-tax regions as a domestic “offshore” holding centres. Read about this and other issues in our tax package.
Looking forward, our next issue will contain the eagerly awaited China Business Law Awards, recognising the top domestic and international firms for 2014. There’s also more in store for our readers this year – new sections, features and ideas to keep China Business Law Journal fresh and relevant.
We’re looking forward to 2015!