Exclusive: China giant Yingke targets domestic SME market with launch of virtual legal services

Yingke, one of China’s largest law firms, is getting closer to launch a new division branded as Yingke Cloud, aimed at revolutionising the provision of volume legal services in China.

Mei Xiangrong
Mei Xiangrong

Yingke managing partner Mei Xiangrong said the firm is in the process of establishing a division, Yingke Cloud, which is an online legal documentation service similar to LegalZoom.

The new division will be launched in June and aims to provide affordable and accessible virtual legal services to individual clients and SMEs in China.

“We expect to have millions of new clients with the launch of Yingke Cloud. This is the opportunity for Yingke to become a real national legal services provider that not only services the needs of large corporate clients, but also individuals and small businesses,” said Mei. “We believe everyone has the right to justice and access to easy and affordable legal services.”

It is understood that providing legal services through the internet will reduce the fees significantly, up to 70 per cent of traditional services.

Clients of the Yingke Cloud will be able to download standard legal documents, obtain legal advice contract reviews and a wide range of other services 24/7.

Yingke has already founded an internet company called Legal Cloud Technology, and appointed former venture capital funds manager Liu Wei as its CEO to lead the development of Yingke Cloud.

The firm has recently started testing the new system internally and established Cloud Centres in 11 of its domestic offices, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin. It is in the process of recruiting 100 cloud lawyers, who are mostly newly qualified lawyers with a minimum one year practice experience.

There are more than 200,000 lawyers in China and many have already started marketing and deliver their services online, however, there are very few online legal services providing organisations in the market. Prior to Yingke Could, the most notable online legal services provider is Legal Siri, which was launched in 2012 by Beijing Bangdao Law Office.

Yingke is a fast growing firm in China, mostly known for its aggressive expansion both in China and aboard. Recently, the firm entered into Tel Aviv (26 April 2013), Brussles and Milan (18 March 2013) via local associations.

Chinese firms are pushing ahead with international expansion. For more on this see our feature: Look both ways