Introduction Agreements governing the relationship of shareholders to each other and to the company (e.g., shareholders’, investment or subscription agreements) (collectively, “SHAs”) frequently address matters of corporate law. In the Chinese context, this creates uncertainty whether a given SHA dispute would be arbitrable as a “contractual dispute” or ”property rights dispute”, as required by Article…

On 6 August 2019, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (the “State Council”) published the “Framework Plan for the New Lingang Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone” (the “2019 Framework Plan”). Under Article 4 of the 2019 Framework Plan, reputable foreign arbitration and dispute resolution institutions may register…

Under China’s arbitration regime for foreign-related arbitration and international arbitration, the concept of a juridical seat is a statutory juncture where, in cases with no express agreement on the applicable law between the parties, Chinese courts must determine the applicable law (statutory text is available in Chinese here and unofficial English translation here). Recently, in…

In the case of ZL Offshore [translation] (“ZL”) v PICC P&C Shipping Insurance Operation Centre [translation] (the “Operation Centre”) and PICC P&C Zhoushan City Branch [translation] (the “Zhoushan Branch”) pronounced on 20 March 2019 (2019 Min 72 Min Chu 149), the Xiamen Maritime Court (the “Court”) of People’s Republic of China dismissed the challenge against…

On 19 July 2019, Beijing Arbitration Commission a.k.a. Beijing International Arbitration Center (the “BAC/BIAC”) released its amended Arbitration Rules (the “Rules”) and Fee Schedule (the “Fee Schedule”), both of which will take effect on 1 September 2019.   An Overview of BAC/BIAC’s New Fee Schedule The amendments introduced many reforms to reduce the time and…

Introduction On April 2, 2019, the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) signed the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“Arrangement”). This…

In Part I of this post I discussed how the Arrangement excluded ad-hoc arbitration and how it raised certain issues on jurisdiction of the courts. In Part 2, I discuss other aspects of the Arrangement.   Interaction between Arrangement and CICC The interaction between the Arrangement and the China International Commercial Court (“CICC”) is also…

Background Since its announcement in 2013, China has invested more than US $120 billion into the target countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”) on infrastructure projects ranging from ports and railroads to pipelines. Central Asia will become part of nearly the entire major trade corridor identified under the BRI. Hence the BRI presents…

Introduction In international arbitration, winning an award is not the end of the story.  Instead, a favorable business outcome depends on successful enforcement of the award in the jurisdiction(s) where the opponent’s assets are situated.  Unfortunately for the winning party, the losing party may delay or even avoid enforcement by raising challenges and instigating proceedings…

After facing one of the largest protests in the city’s history on June 9, and then repeated protest and clashes with police last Wednesday, the Hong Kong government suspended efforts to pass its extradition bill. The bill would have required the city’s judges to extradite criminal suspects to Mainland China with minimal safeguards and facilitated…

Introduction In March 2019 China’s Tianjin 1st Intermediate Court (“Tianjin Court”) rendered a decision dated 4 March 2019 (2018 Jin-01-Xie-Wai-Ren No. 1), granting an application for recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award rendered by a sole arbitrator under the rules of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (“KCAB”). The decision reflects an increasing trend of…

On 18 February 2019, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macao Greater Bay Area (the “Outline”) was published. Seen to rival the city clusters formed around San Francisco, New York and Tokyo, the development of the Greater Bay Area is a collaborative initiative to transform the Pearl Delta Region of…

Introduction On 2 April 2019, the Supreme People’s Court and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced the signature of the “Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (“Arrangement”). This announcement as…

Introduction Parties to international commercial transactions not infrequently find themselves in disputes over whether a valid arbitration agreement exists between them or whether a court or an arbitral tribunal has the jurisdiction to hear this issue. These situations are especially perplexing because – despite the general international acceptance of the “kompetenz-kompetenz” doctrine – national laws…

In a significant development for the region, Mainland China and Hong Kong have announced a bilateral arrangement by which the Chinese courts will now recognise and enforce interim measures in support of institutional arbitration seated in Hong Kong (the “Arrangement”). As China has no equivalent measures in place with any other non-Mainland jurisdictions, the Arrangement…

Overview On 11 February 2019, Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center (‘BAC/BIAC’) launched its draft of ‘Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center International Investment Arbitration Rules’ (the ‘BAC Rules’) for public comments, comprised of its main text and six appendixes. The BAC Rules are the second investment arbitration rules promulgated by a Chinese international arbitration…

In recent years, the combination of arbitration and technology has raised great concerns among international arbitration community. Much discussion has centred on online arbitration and use of artificial intelligence in arbitration. In China, the rapid growth of electronic business (including but not limited to internet consumer applications and mobile financial services) has posed challenges to…

As the end of the Year of the Dog approaches, we look back at five noteworthy developments in the arbitration world in PR China, Hong Kong and Central Asia and their coverage on our Blog. 1. New HKIAC Arbitration Rules and the Prominence of Hong Kong as an Arbitral Seat Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre…

In 2013, China proposed to jointly build the “Belt and Road” Initiative. While the international investment agreements (“IIAs”) proposed to be concluded with China and its counterparties along the “Belt and Road” will provide a robust source of potential investor protections, they must be easily understood among investors, states, and international tribunals. IIAs, as the…

On 12 June 2018, the Xiamen Intermediate People’s Court of PRC (“Court”), in Subway International B.V. v Xiamen Woguan Enterprise Management Co., Ltd, upheld an ICDR award made by sole arbitrator Charles J. Moxley Jr., Esq. This case raised some important questions in the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in China, which have been previously covered…

Introduction In October 1865, Sir Robert Hart, a former British diplomat and by then an official in the Qing Chinese Government, wrote to Empress Dowager Cixi expressing his opinion that China should desperately seek progress through investments in mining, the telegraph, the telephone and especially in railways. The reaction of Empress Cixi’s closest advisors was…

Witness evidence is an integral part of international arbitration, but challenges can arise from the interaction of different legal cultures, norms and languages.  Although issues can arise with any testimony given through an interpreter, Mandarin-speakers are more challenged, and challenging, because of 1) the stark differences between Mandarin and English (the lingua franca of IA);…

In June 2018, China launched its first and second International Commercial Courts (the “CICC”). The advent of them represents a prolonged attempt of China to upgrade its judicial system by transplanting the advanced international practices to, according to the Supreme Court of China (the “SPC”), “provide services and protection for the “Belt-and-Road” construction (the “BAR”)”….

The Inauguration On 2 July 2018, CIETAC established its second arbitration centre outside mainland China – the North America Arbitration Center in Vancouver, Canada. Co-organised by CIETAC and the Vancouver Economic Commission, the inauguration ceremony was graced by the presence of the Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology of the Government of…