Steve Dickinson

Steve focuses on assisting foreign companies in doing business in and with China. He prides himself on working in the “real” China: the world of factories, fish plants, and farms that lie outside of Beijing and Shanghai. Having mastered the Chinese language and legal system, Steve’s unique expertise makes him an invaluable resource to our clients.

Latest Articles

In a series of recent posts, we discussed what the new PRC Foreign Investment Law is not and how the media and many commentators have wrongly ascribed great things to it. See New China Foreign Investment Law: Not Good News, China’s New Foreign Investment Law and Forced Technology Transfer: Same As it Ever Was and China Approves New Foreign Investment Law to Level Playing Field for Foreign Companies. MEH. In this post, I will…
As countries around the world seek to reduce their exposure to China, Taiwan finds itself in the center of the process. I just spent two months in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (working on a large multi-country project involving China, Taiwan and Indonesia) and during my time there I heard much about Taiwan’s response to the trade crisis. My preliminary thoughts are as follows. First some history. Taiwan was a true pioneer in contract manufacturing. That is, manufacturing…
In China’s New Foreign Investment Law and Forced Technology Transfer: Same As it Ever Was and in China Approves New Foreign Investment Law to Level Playing Field for Foreign Companies. MEH. we wrote how we were not at all impressed with China’s new Foreign Investment Law 中华人民共和国外商投资法. Since then, a number of commentators (who near as I can tell cannot read Chinese) have hailed the law as a positive development for foreign companies doing business…
As regular readers of this blog should know, our China corporate lawyers have have a long history of skepticism regarding China VIE structured entities. In 2013, in Buying Into A China VIE. What Me Worry? we had this to say about them: Years ago, we made clear our views on VIEs and nothing about those views has changed.  For that reason, and because VIEs have little to nothing to do with most companies doing business…
Under U.S. pressure, China recently adopted a new Foreign Investment Law 中华人民共和国外商投资法 (“FIL”) that had been under discussion for several years. Many believe this law will lead to foreign invested enterprises being treated the same as domestic Chinese private businesses. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), the existing system that limits foreign participation in China’s economy will be retained. The actual effect of China’s new Foreign Investment Law will be to eliminate the few remaining policies that…
The re-opening of the U.S. government has brought with it a renewed assault on Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei and its U.S. subsidiary. On January 28, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed two indictments against Huawei. The first indictment concerns ongoing claims against Huawei and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. This indictment can be found here. The second and more interesting indictment concerns alleged trade secret theft conducted by Huawei’s…
In an earlier set of posts, I discussed U.S. laws and regulations to a) restrict technology transfers from US companies to Chinese companies (see New Restrictions on High Tech Technology Transfers to China and b) to prevent Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology companies. See New CFIUS Rules Shut Down Chinese Investment in U.S. Technology. In those posts, I noted that the new rules are not intended to limit the right of U.S. companies…
Mergermarket, a leading U.S. mergers data reporter just published its global M&A report for 2018, revealing that investments from China in U.S. businesses fell by 95% as compared to 2016. A summary of the data in the Report shows the following: 1. Worldwide M&A activity was strong in 2018. “The transactions that did make it to the signing table reached USD 3.5tn worth of activity, ranking 2018 as the third-largest year on record by…
Euler Hermes, the German credit insurance company, recently released its bankruptcy filing projections for 2019 here. The Report states that bankruptcies worldwide increased by 10% in 2018 and it projects an additional 6% increase for 2019. What surprised me is that the increase in bankruptcies worldwide stems almost solely from an increase in formal bankruptcy proceedings in China. The 10% increase worldwide for 2018 was due almost entirely to a 60% increase in China…
The trade war with China continues. The U.S. declared a 90 day truce which ends on March 1. Negotiators from the two sides will meet in Beijing on January 7. Many are looking for a “sign” from the Chinese government on the position China will take in the negotiations. As stated in the U.S. Section 301 complaint, the United States’ position is that China must make major changes in the fundamentals of the Chinese economic…