The unique challenges facing Western companies doing business in China are no less daunting than those of Chinese entities investing in the West. In both cases, the differences go beyond language, to the widely divergent business cultures and legal systems that must be navigated by people entering unfamiliar territory. Katten's China practice regularly represents both groups with a team of US- and China-qualified attorneys equally at home in both environments — we are bilingual, bicultural, and permanently based in Shanghai and Chicago.

Fluency across cultures

Investors in either group tend to be especially wary of the bewildering complexity that attends basic business practice in an alien environment. They rely on us to help them maneuver in a fluid, frictionless manner, despite the obstacles. Our versatility, contacts and experience allow them to operate effectively in both cultural contexts, even in a time of fraught relations between the US and Chinese governments. Most of these clients — both Chinese and Western — continue to honor us with long, mutually fruitful relationships.

Chinese companies in the United States

For Chinese clients seeking entry into, and operating within, the US market, the barriers to cross-border deals — and to running a business in a totally different legal framework — are formidable. Our Chinese clients place high value on our ability to serve them, not just from China, but on US soil as well. Our seamless collaboration between Shanghai and US offices affords them a level of comfort they might not otherwise attain.

US entities in China

Doing business in a planned, officially socialist economy presents Western companies — even those with considerable cross-border experience — with a maze of legal and procedural obstacles. The Chinese government takes a hands-on role in every aspect of business operations — from employment to intellectual property to technology transfer — and the regulatory issues are virtually impenetrable without savvy local advisors. Our attorneys are steeped in Chinese business and legal practices, and we maintain an extensive network of close relationships within central, regional and local governments. We are known for helping clients in the manufacturing and financial services sectors navigate this challenging environment in an efficient, cost-effective manner.


  • Represented automotive finance corporation in a $130 million loan securitization (the first securitization transaction originated by a wholly foreign-owned company in China).
  • Represent global leader in the manufacture and sale of wafers and related products in establishing several Sino-foreign joint ventures in China with a total investment of several hundred million US dollars.
  • Represent several major US VCs in more than 100 US dollar and RMB new investment and acquisition transactions in China.
  • Represented one of the world's largest heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers in negotiating two large joint ventures in China with total investment exceeding $100 million.
  • Represent affiliates of Chinese auto-parts supplier in US acquisitions and investments.
  • Represent major US refuse truck manufacturer in various sourcing and joint venture transactions throughout China.
  • Represent Beijing-based specialty industrial film manufacturer in negotiating an acquisition in the United States and establishing its US operations.
  • Represent Shanghai-based specialty pharmaceutical company in the sale of all its ownership interest to a NASDAQ-listed US company.
  • Represent Foshan-based ceramic tile manufacturer in the sale of a minority interest to one of the largest US tile distributors.
  • Represented Shanghai-based leading provider of Internet-based extended ERP solutions in the sale of all its assets to a US public company.
  • Represent investment company affiliated with the Beijing municipal government and a Chinese private enterprise in acquiring a major GM spare part-manufacturing subsidiary.
  • Represent Chinese industry leader in hand tool sector in various large acquisitions in the United States.
  • Represent Chinese entertainment investment firm in a 100 million USD slate financing matter with a major US movie studio.
  • Represent publicly traded Chinese pharmaceutical company in more than 30 cross-border pharmaceutical licensing matters with US and European counterparts.
  • Represent one of the largest private companies in China in various large-scaled petrochemical projects.
  • Represent major state-owned company in China in its proposed acquisition of an aviation technology company in the United States.
  • Represent one of the largest manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries in China in its restructuring and private placement of $800 million with various private equity firms.
  • Represent Chinese public company in its proposed acquisition of a German semiconductor manufacturer.
  • Represent one of the largest private petrochemical companies in China in its proposed acquisition of a large-scaled petrochemical company in the United States.
  • Represent Chinese public company in its $130 million acquisition of a major subsidiary from a US public company.