Xu Ping, King & Wood Mallesons, Beijing

While many Chinese clients are not yet experienced in managing cross-border M&A transactions, neither are they familiar with using external legal advisors. It could be challenging to manage the Chinese clients’ expectation and decision making along with the deal process.

Name: Xu Ping

Position: Partner at King & Wood Mallesons

What was your first-ever job?

In-house counsel of China National Technical Import and Export Corporation

Where did you study?

1989 to 1993 University of International Business and Economy

2003 to 2004 Stanford Law School

Where did you train?

Taylor Wessing

Have you lived or worked outside your home jurisdiction? What did you learn from it?

In 2003 and 2004 I studied in Stanford Law School in California, US. It’s a great experience to live in another country, exposed the culture difference and getting to know different people. It is also very helpful for doing cross-border transactions to get flavors about legal system of other jurisdiction.

When did you become partner?

I joined King & Wood Mallesons and became a partner in October 2000.

What deal/case in your career stands out the most and why?

In 2012 I advised Weichai Holding in acquiring Ferretti Group, a world leading luxury yacht group. The deal is very challenging and dramatic, involving acquisition of a top luxury brand by a Chinese industrial group from an Italian a pre-bankruptcy restructuring proceeding.

What have been your recent deals?

It has been a busy time in the recent few months. My team has completed a number of deals, including: acquisition by Weichai Power of an equity stake in Kion Group (4 September 2012), which is the ever largest Chinese investment into Germany and was closed on December 28, 2012; divestment of commercial vehicle business by Dongfeng Limited which was signed on 26 January 2013; acquisition by Daimler AG of a strategic stake in Beijing BAIC Motor Corporation, which was signed on 1 February, 2013.

What is the biggest challenge facing your market at the moment?

While many Chinese clients are not yet experienced in managing cross-boarder M&A transactions, they are neither familiar with using external legal advisors. It could be challenging to manage the Chinese clients’ expectation and decision making along with the deal process.

What has been the most significant development in your sector in recent years?

The deal flow has changed significantly from one way traffic – inbound investment into China – into to both ways. Increasing number of leading Chinese companies are taking a global vision and looking at M&A opportunities globally. This has provided practitioners great opportunities for cross-border transactions.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer, what would you have been?

Maybe a professor, but I never seriously thought about this.

Which country do you travel to most frequently and which country do you like the best?

Germany and the US.

What is your favourite book?

Novels of Eileen Chang.

What is your favourite restaurant?

South China Beauty (俏江南).