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…

Last year, I was appointed by Beijing Arbitration Commission (“BAC”) as the emergency arbitrator in an emergency arbitrator proceeding (“EA proceeding”), the first EA proceeding ever requested by the claimant in mainland China. Since the entire arbitration procedure has recently been concluded, I am delighted to share some of my thoughts on how to conduct…

Under the current Chinese legal framework, while PRC Courts are granted exclusive power to grant interim relief measures in support of arbitration , there is lack of an express legal basis for Courts to do so in support of “off-shore” arbitrations. However, two recently released Chinese court cases seem to have broken the mold by…

On 29 June 2018, the Supreme People’s Court of China (the “SPC”) launched its First International Commercial Court in Shenzhen, Guangdong, and Second International Commercial Court in Xi’an, Shaanxi (the “Courts”). Correspondingly, the Regulations of the Supreme People’s Court on Certain Issues Concerning the Establishment of International Commercial Courts (the “Regulation”) has just taken effect…

On 5 March 2018, the ICC Court announced the establishment of a commission to address dispute resolution in relation to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The commission will drive the development of ICC’s existing dispute resolution procedures and infrastructure to support Belt and Road disputes. The Belt and Road The Belt and Road is China’s…

The Belt-and-Road Initiative (“BRI“) is a grand vision about connectivity, infrastructure, trade and unimpeded foreign direct investment (“FDI“) flows. It is a path to China’s largest export market  – the European Union – which does not only propose to ‘transit’ Eurasia (and coastal East Africa), but to radically transform it. And, thus, mere construction and…

The Prior Reporting System, established in August 1995 (see SPC Notice on Prior Reporting System (1995)), has been the most notable intervention of the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) in the area of arbitration since the PRC Arbitration Law (1994) was enacted. During the China Arbitration Summit held in Beijing on 20 September 2017, Justice Xuefeng…

When applicants seek recognition and enforcement (“R&E”) of foreign arbitral awards in PRC courts, a challenge often raised by respondents is the non-existence of the main contract between the parties, where the arbitration agreement is contained. Respondents contend that the contracts provided by the applicants as the basis for arbitration are not authentic or duly…

On 30 December 2016, the Supreme People’s Court of China (“SPC”) released Opinion on Providing Judicial Protection for the Development of the Pilot Free-Trade Zones (“Opinion”), which was regarded as allowing ad hoc arbitration in China. On 23 March 2017, the Management Committee of Hengqin New Zone and Zhuhai Arbitration Commission (“ZAC”) jointly published the…

There have been a number of recent developments in Chinese judicial practice. These include the first known enforcement of foreign court judgments in China on the basis of reciprocity, as well as China’s signing of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (“Hague Convention”). While these developments are welcome, they are unlikely to ignite…