Sara Xia

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Sara works out of Harris Bricken’s Seattle and Beijing offices, advising clients on legal practices in both China and U.S. Her practice focuses on cybersecurity, data protection law, and privacy law. She also works on mergers and acquisitions, corporate formations, business litigations, and matters involving China’s foreign exchange control policies.

Latest Articles

Following on the heels of China’s first Internet court in Hangzhou, two other Internet courts have recently been established respectively in Beijing and Guangzhou. In the meantime, China’s Supreme People’s Court published the Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts, 最高人民法院关于互联网法院审理案件若干问题的规定 (link in Chinese) (“Provisions”), clarifying the types of cases within the jurisdiction of these courts and regulating certain procedural issues relevant to Internet courts. According to the…
The Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) of China recently published a case analysis (link in Chinese) on contract disputes between parties to a share transfer agreement involving cryptocurrencies. In this case, an unnamed applicant engaged the respondent to manage and invest in a pool of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Diamond) on behalf of the applicant. In another transaction where the respondent was purchasing company stock from a third party, the applicant agreed…
Over the past couple weeks, the Chinese Internet has been abuzz with chatter about how Chinese movie stars allegedly underreport income via a dual-contract system in which only one contract is disclosed to the tax authorities. The ruckus started when television personality Cui Yongyuan uploaded a redacted actor employment contract apparently for Chinese A-list actress Fan Bingbing’s work on the upcoming Bruce Willis film Unbreakable Spirit. (Initial reports stated, incorrectly, that the contract…
Many international companies that operate in China have Chinese websites and some kind of network system, whether for selling their own products or solely for internal use. In many cases, these websites and internal systems are hosted on servers outside China. I and the other lawyers on our China cyberlaw team are frequently asked whether a company that collects personal information within China must store that information within China. The short answer is yes. China’s…
Earlier this year, China released the final version of the national standard on personal information protection, GB/T 35273-2017 Information Technology – Personal Information Security Specification (信息安全技术 个人信息安全规范) (the “Specification”).  The Specification will take effect on May 1, 2018. The Specification is not a law or regulation that requires mandatory compliance. However, it likely will be relied on by Chinese government agencies as a standard to determine whether companies are following China’s data protection…
About a month ago, the Game Publishing Committee of China’s Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association (中国音数协游戏工委) reported that China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) “holds a negative attitude” toward last-man-standing games like PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (aka PUBG) and it would be difficult for this type of game to obtain a publishing permit in China. As we all know, “difficult” does not mean “impossible” and China’s gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has…
Companies often use share incentive programs to motivate employees by tying compensation to their service. Though no foreign person can own stock in a private Chinese company, it is possible for a PRC employee of a foreign company’s Chinese subsidiary to participate in the foreign company’s employee share incentive plan (“SIP”). However, due to China’s currency controls, whether such an employee can actually “cash out” on the benefits of such a program depends on…
China has adopted a plan to establish a cyberspace court in Hangzhou lately. The plan is for this court to accept filings electronically, try cases via livestream and hear only e-commerce and Internet related cases. Why Hangzhou? As a general rule of Chinese civil procedure law, lawsuits must be brought in the place of the defendant’s domicile. For companies, domicile means their principal place of business or the place where it has its registered address. Hangzhou is…
China’s Cybersecurity Law (CSL) became effective on June 1, 2017 and it regulates the construction, operation, maintenance and use of networks, as well as network security supervision and management within mainland China. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is the primary governmental authority supervising and enforcing the CSL. The CSL regulates cybersecurity from different aspects, including network operation security, network information security, as well as monitoring, early warning, and emergency responses. 1. Network Operations Security…
China’s new Cybersecurity Law will become effective on June 1, 2017. In addition to focusing on cybersecurity, the law also details how companies are to handle personal information and data. In determining what is allowed and not allowed for handling personal information in China, it is important to examine The Decision on Strengthening Information Protection on Networks (2012), The Guidelines for Personal Information Protection Within Public and Commercial Services Information Systems (2013), and The Provisions…