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The Fourth International Student Forum: Doing Business in China – A General Counsel’s Perspective

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On Monday, April 24, 2017 KoGuan Law School hosted Mr. Fenming LIU, in the framework of the forth international student forum at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Mr. Fengming LIU (Juris Doctor), is currently Vice President, General Electric, Vice President and General Counsel, GE Greater China. He was Vice General Counsel and Vice President, Microsoft Greater China, and Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School and Visiting Fellow at Princeton University.

The talk was titled “Doing Business in China – A General Counsel’s Perspective” where Mr. LIU shared his experience of working for big multinational corporations, particularly for General Electric in Greater China region. The outstanding guest speaker has emphasized that for a successful operation of a big corporation in China the legal council needs to have a very clear understanding of the bigger picture, particularly the legal system, political system, business environment and the philosophical components that affect the behavior of different actors in the country. Knowing the bigger picture can help the companies to comply with domestic legal requirements, be successful in negotiating with local, regional and central government authorities, as well as predict in what direction the country moves forward and how it can affect to the future operations of the corporations. The second important point that Mr. LIU talked about, concerned building productive relationship with both private parties and also with the authorities, that could help the businesses to be able to effectively communicate their concerns and the hurdles they go through with state decision makers. A productive communication can potentially affect and improve doing business conditions for business thanks to the fact that authorities could understand their business considerations better. Another important point that the speaker brought up, concerned the understanding of negotiation tactics with important private and public players in China, for avoiding to send a wrong message that could create additional hurdles for further cooperation. Me. LIU additionally discusses the big importance of corporate compliance and the important steps that GE has taken, which enabled the MNC to be ranked as the most compliant corporation within last 15 years.

 

Mr. Liu, was accompanied by deputy General Counsel Mr. Yu Weidong, who shared with the students his three takeaways the talk. Mr. Liu’s and MrYu Weidong‘s talks were followed by the questions asked by students that sparked discussion between the speakers and the students. The forum was moderated by Prof. Weidong JI, Dean and Chair Professor at KoGuan Law School, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Changjiang Scholar appointed by the Ministry of Education. Dean Ji thanked Mr. Liu and MrYu Weidong for joining, giving the talk and sharing their experience with the audience.