Top corporate legal minds explain how they are assessing and adjusting their annual development strategies in these uncertain times

DESPITE CONTINUING BODYBLOWS to the market due to geopolitical events and an international public health crisis, Chinese companies have in the past two years developed a hardy resilience and proven coping mechanisms. The role played by their legal departments also cannot be overlooked, and it has become clear that the philosophy of the legal managers steering their teams is crucial. So, with the new year rebooting the calendar for these departments, how are senior in-house counsel in leading companies reworking their plans for the future?

As foreign investors re-examine supply chain arrangements and with the domestic regulatory landscape updating frequently, Chinese companies are also evaluating and finetuning their short and medium-term growth plans in real time. Within this context, we invited four general counsel of prominent Chinese companies from different industries to share their expectations for the year ahead, and asked them what regulatory matters they are looking at, and how they are setting the tone for their departmental agendas.

Our participants are:

  • Phoebe Tang, General Counsel, Danone (Greater China)
  • Stuart Lin, Operation General Manager & General Counsel, HT Aero
  • Jia Hongyi, General Counsel, Kuaishou
  • Liu Zhen, Legal Director, Xiaomi Group

China Business Law Journal: What are your expectations for the new year – the opportunities and challenges?

Phoebe Tang: In the current international political situation, and with the pandemic prevention and control efforts, investors from various countries are still on the whole optimistic about the continued stable development of the Chinese market.

Constant Calibration Phoebe Tang

In certain sectors with high thresholds to market entry and strong regulatory controls, some foreign investors will pay greater attention to the localisation of their product types and supply chains, which could result in a new round of foreign investment in certain industries that are highly reliant on imported products. Needless to say, the pandemic is not yet over, and some industries remain in the doldrums. There are also the odd foreign investors that will readjust the pace of their investments in China and look at their investment strategies in a more cautious manner.

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