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Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT)

As one of the first PRC firms to specialize in TMT law, our expertise in this strictly regulated area is highly regarded and sought after by clients and governmental agencies alike. Our firm enjoys a preeminent reputation for our work across various industry sectors, including film and television production and distribution, Internet and e-commerce, IPTV and content streaming, broadcast landing rights, advertising, print media publication and distribution, online publications, and sports marketing.

We represent clients ranging from well-established international telecommunications corporations to start-up entrepreneurs. We also routinely assist large users of communications services with their procurement needs as well as private equity and venture capital firms and other IT and telecoms investors with their fundraising initiatives and investment structures.

In 2016, TransAsia was voted by China Law & Practice as "TMT Firm of the Year" for China. This was one of a series of acknowledgments, including being voted “Law Firm of the Year for TMT” for 4 consecutive years by the China Business Law Journal (2013-2016) and selected as the In-House Community Firm of the Year for TMT by ASIAN-MENA COUNSEL in 2014. In 2013, TransAsia was voted "PRC Firm of the Year for TMT" by China Law & Practice and "TMT Law Firm of the Year" for China by Chambers & Partners for the second consecutive year.

Client Services

  • Co-production projects (film and television)
  • Commercial Contracts and Agreements
  • Establishment of corporate entities tailored to the media and entertainment industry (including equity and cooperative joint ventures, wholly owned subsidiaries, domestic companies, and representative offices)
  • Sponsorship arrangements
  • Online initiatives
  • Regulatory and compliance issues
  • Licensing and distribution arrangements
  • Television broadcast landing rights
  • Market entry and structuring
  • Partner selection and legal due diligence
  • Software and hardware licensing
  • Technology transfers
  • Commercial contracts and agreements
  • Online and traditional gaming
  • Online advertising and marketing
  • Privacy issues and electronic placement
  • Intellectual property protection (copyright, domain names, trademarks and trade names)
  • Privacy issues and electronic monitoring
  • Value-added telecom service contracts

TransAsia also actively participated in the evolution of the film industry in the PRC, accumulating an unrivaled understanding of the regulatory environment and market practice, as well as in-depth market intelligence, and familiarity with all key market participants.

To date, we have advised on more than 150 movie projects, comprising both domestic productions and international blockbusters. In 2009, we were privileged to be retained by the China Film Group as its first exclusive General Counsel for all of its film co-production projects.

Representative Transactions

  • Represented Youku in its stock-for-stock merger with Tudou, a landmark deal which saw the consolidation of China's two largest video websites (named as a 2012 "Deals of the Year" by China Law and Practice, China Business Law Journal and International Financial Law Review)
  • Represented Pearson on its US$ 294 million acquisition of NASDAQ-listed Global Education
  • Appointed by Fox International Production in May 2011 as general counsel for its domestic projects, covering production, distribution and general operations
  • Advised Imagi on the co-production of the animated film Astroboy
  • Advised China Cablecom (NASDAQ: CABL) on its cooperation with Chinese partners to establish a joint venture and obtain financing for an IPO, which created a new model for cooperation with Chinese TV stations in the cable TV industry
  • Negotiated the acquisition of a majority stake in Emma Entertainment on behalf of Ticketmaster
  • PRC counsel to Walt Disney for film and television co-productions (live action and animated), including High School Musical (China) and advised them on new media market initiatives
  • Advised Reed Elsevier on print and electronic distribution agreements
  • Appointed by China Film Group in September 2009 as general counsel for all its co-production projects, including to date the City of Life and Death (or Nanking! Nanking!), Bodyguards and Assassins and Confucius
  • Advised IMG on its joint venture with CCTV for events management and athlete representation
  • General counsel to Gruner+Jahr for its magazine and book co-publishing arrangements with several PRC partners, as well as general corporate matters
  • Advised Mtime.com (China's largest movie website) on multiple venture capital financing rounds involving well-known international funds
  • Negotiated copyright licensing agreements with sports publishers throughout Europe, Asia and South America on behalf of Titan (Sports Weekly), China's premier sports newspaper
  • Acted as PRC counsel for Bertelsmann for the establishment of China's first Sino-foreign book distribution joint venture
  • Advised on Red Cliff, a Sino-foreign film co-production by John Woo
  • Represented Ruddy Morgan on the co-production of films and television dramas with local partners, including the films Perhaps Love, Protégé and Warlords
  • Acted as PRC counsel for J&J Productions on The Forbidden Kingdom, starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li
  • Represented China Cablecom (NASDAQ: CABL) in the establishment of its corporate structure and subsequent investments in China
  • Assisted Ringier AG with its market entry analysis on the digital and print media industry and general corporate matters for its China advertising subsidiary
  • Advised Polycom on its Halo Service
  • Acted as PRC counsel on the structuring, operations, private financing and NYSE IPO of Renren.com  
  • Represented Pinyou, an online targeted advertising and technology provider, in its series A offshore equity financing
  • Advised Kabam on game distribution in the PRC and other operational issues
  • Advised China Cablecom on the PRC legal issues associated with a US$ 10 million PIPE transaction
  • Represented Alibaba.com in its US$ 1 billion investment by Yahoo!, the largest transaction of its kind in China's Internet sector to date
  • Advised RTT on its Software License Agreement, Software Maintenance & Support Agreement, Software Sub-Distribution Agreement
  • Advised Research in Motion on its sponsorship of the Shanghai Expo 2010, as well as its China operations
  • Advised CBSi (formerly CNET) on its acquisitions in China in the Internet sector
  • Advised Microsoft on launching Xbox 360 in China
  • Advised Sohu.com on its NASDAQ IPO and subsequent US$90 million convertible note offering, as well as various acquisitions, such as of 17173.com, the largest online games site in China, and Focus.cn, a leading real estate site
  • Advised Qunar.com (largest online travel search engine in China) on its seed financing and all of its subsequent venture capital financing rounds
  • Advised Youku.com on its last two venture capital financing rounds, with a total investment value of US$ 55 million, as well as its US$ 10 million venture debt and leasing facility
  • Acted as PRC counsel on the structuring, operations, private financing and NYSE IPO of Youku.com
  • Represented Nokia on its investment in China's Internet services sector
  • Advised Adobe on its partnership with China Mobile
  • Represented Electronic Arts in its various market entry initiatives in China, and its online and offline gaming operations
  • Assisted Glu Mobile with its strategic cooperation with a leading PRC mobile game company, as well as on its game pre-installment cooperation agreement with a major mobile handset manufacturer

Government and Public Advisory Work

We are often invited by government agencies to comment on, and provide official English translations of, new legislation, as well as research new areas of law.  These agencies include the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the General Administration of Press and Publication, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce and the State Council Information Office.

For example, TransAsia has been invited to advise the SARFT on issues such as foreign investment, the international regulation of IPTV, international laws and industry best practices relating to copyright licensing for broadcast content, and on the regulation of television shopping and advertising in overseas jurisdictions.

TransAsia also monitors popular video websites in the PRC to detect new types of content and new restrictions or capabilities that are being built into such content (such as software or subscription structures). In cooperation with leading academics, we are thus able to lobby with the judiciary and government agencies to push for much-needed amendments to current copyright law on behalf of our clients.

Our firm has active programs designed to promote a higher degree of mutual understanding between international media companies and Chinese regulators.  We regularly conduct workshops for our clients and prepare special reports on important legal issues. Recent topics have included television shopping and online piracy.

Publications

China's Media & Entertainment Law

With contributions from senior government officials and the endorsement of the SARFT and other key regulators, in 2003, 2006 and 2013 we published the first, second and third volumes of China's Media and Entertainment Law, respectively. This book is the first and only publication of its kind, and serves as an authoritative reference guide for all with an interest in TMT. It contains translations of key legislation, and in-depth commentaries. The latest edition is available as a series of e-Guides including a running commentary written by experienced lawyers and English translations of key legislation.

Other Publications

  • 2015: Dr. Isabelle Wan was a contributing author of the Chinese E-Commerce Report 2014, published by the Ministry of Commerce and China Commercial and Trade Press, and the Shanghai E-Commerce Report 2014, published by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.
  • 2014: Dr. Isabelle Wan was a contributing author of the Chinese E-Commerce Report 2013, published by the Ministry of Commerce and China Commerce and Trade Press.
  • 2013: Dr. Isabelle Wan was a contributing author of the Chinese E-Commerce Report 2012, published by the Ministry of Commerce and Tsinghua University Press, and the Shanghai E-Commerce Report 2012, published by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.
  • 2012: Dr. Isabelle Wan was a contributing author of the Chinese E-Commerce Report 2010-2011, published by the Ministry of Commerce and Tsinghua University Press.
  • 2010: Dr. Isabelle Wan was a contributing author of the Chinese E-Commerce Report 2008-2009, published by the Ministry of Commerce and Tsinghua University Press.
  • 2009: We were invited by the SARFT to produce the official English translations of regulations for its publication, China's Laws and Regulations for Radio, Film and Television, a compilation of 47 essential pieces of legislation for the Chinese radio, film and television industry.
  • 2009: Dr. Isabelle Wan authored The International Covenant and Legislation on E-Commerce in China published by the China Law Press.
  • 2007: TransAsia collaborated with Niko Partners to release a report titled China's Videogame Industry Regulatory Landscape.  The report details the regulations, policies and processes for launching an online or traditional offline videogame in China and is a critical read for any company wishing to enter China's games market.
  • 2007: TransAsia released a report on China's Videogame Industry Regulatory Landscape. The report details the regulations, policies and processes for launching an online or traditional offline videogame in China and is a critical read for any company eager to enter China's games market.
  • 2003: In collaboration with the Ministry of Industry & Information (now the MIIT) and key government officials, TransAsia produced the third edition of China's IT Policy and Legislation. The previous two editions were published in 2001 and 1999 respectively. The book is the first and only guide to this area of law and thus serves as an authoritative reference guide.
  • 2001: Dr. Isabelle Wan authored Legal Issues Relating to E-Commerce, published by the China Law Press.
  • 2001: Dr. Isabelle Wan authored Legal Issues Relating to Digital Signatures, published by the People's Court Press. This publication is the first in China to have addressed this subject and has received a great deal of positive feedback from Chinese government agencies, particularly the Ministry of Public Security.
  • 1998: Philip Qu, a senior partner at TransAsia, co-authored Cable TV in China, a Financial Times management report detailing the regulatory development of the Chinese cable television sector.

Representative Clients

  • Adobe
  • Akamai
  • Alibaba
  • Amazon
  • Australia Networks
  • Bertelsmann
  • CAA
  • CBSi
  • CCTV
  • Celestial Pictures
  • China Broadband
  • China Cablecom
  • China Film Group
  • China Mobile
  • China Networks
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • CSC
  • Electronic Arts
  • Facebook
  • Forbes
  • Fortune
  • Gameloft
  • Glu Mobile
  • Gruner + Jahr
  • Hi 5 Networks
  • Hasbro Studios
  • IAC (Ticketmaster)
  • Imagi
  • IMG
  • J&J Productions
  • Liberty Global
  • Lion Rock Productions (John Woo)
  • LexisNexis
  • McGraw-Hill
  • MFG.com
  • Microsoft
  • NBC Universal
  • NDS
  • New York Times
  • News Corporation (Star TV and Dow Jones)
  • OPI
  • Orascom
  • Qunar
  • Reed Elsevier
  • Reignwood Group
  • Ruddy Morgan
  • SARFT
  • Sohu.com
  • Telestra
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Ticketmaster
  • Time Warner (CNN, Time and Turner Broadcasting)
  • Titan Sports
  • TVSN
  • Viacom
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Warner Bros.
  • Working Title