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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Content amid Covid-19 become paramount in 2020 as the flow of information and its consequences led to changes to law in March of the same year.


China enacted a new law on information content management, restricting the publication of content ‘disrupting economic or social order’ or ‘destroying national unity’.


The Provisions on the Governance of the Online Information Content Ecosystem was introduced a year earlier but came into force on 02 March, amid the Covid-19 outbreak.


The law includes the ‘dissemination of rumours’ among illegal content. Wording of the rules has caused widespread concerns that the legislation could be ‘easily abused’.


The government maintains that the legislative measures are designed to “create a positive online ecosystem” and “preserve national security”.

According to Business Insider, the new law

contains conditions from existing national security laws. These legal measures prohibit negative content, such as sensationalising headlines and any “other content with a negative impact to the online information ecosystem.”


On the same day the law was enacted, the

hashtag “Online news eco-system governance”

was viewed more than three million times on Weibo, according to the Guardian.


New rules consolidate previous provisions and encourage content that promotes unity and stability.

On one post, a user commented: ‘In the future

there will be only good news, and no bad news.‘  

TIER 1

Sports and digital media are Bird & Bird’s core focus areas. Leading sports lawyer Justin Walkey manages the division and represents high profile clients including Jazeera’s beIN Sport. The team advises mobile game publishers and corporate clients on sports-related sponsorships. Data protection is also a key area of focus for the firm, which works with clients from the Asia-Pacific region on related-matters.


Lawyers at Fangda Partners advise on commercial and regulatory aspects of the telecommunications, media and internet markets. The team works with content providers and broadcasters on licensing and outsourcing contracts, e-commerce, advertising, intellectual property and advices on regulatory changes.


Media and Entertainment expert Hylands Law Firm is recognised by peers and clients for its film and television specialisation. Led by founding partner Xiaogang Ma, the team advises on adaptation and creation of script, investment and financing, Sino-foreign co-productions and the import and export of film and television content. Lawyers, including astute practitioner Zhengning Li, also represent music and recoding companies, print publishers and sports industry clients.    


O’Melveny & Myers is a recognised leader for media law. Its sector coverage includes entertainment, sports, internet and emerging technologies. The team acts for high profile television, music and new media companies, strategic investors and individual talent. The practice group is co-managed by Stephen Scharf and Matthew Erramouspe.


Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is known for its sector-related corporate and transactional work. Lawyers advise strategic and financial investors on all aspects of the TMT sectors in Asia, including strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The firm’s clients include, DreamWorks Animation, Tencent and Universal Studios.


TIER 2

Baker McKenzie has been doing business in China for 40 years. With its primary emphasis on intellectual property, the firm is a popular choice for copyright cases across segment including entertainment, sports and technology. Key practitioners include Loke-Khoon Tan, who manages the firm’s IP practice in China and Hong Kong, and Shih Yann Loo who focusses on cross-border litigation and enforcement in both regions.  


Clifford Chance’s cross-border advice dominates its TMT work. Richard Blewett and Terence Foo lead a practice well regarded by peers for its advice on anti-trust and competition law. Practitioners specialise in sector-related public-to-private transactions, mergers and overseas acquisitions.


Simmons & Simmons has a dedicated TMT practice specialising in corporate and commercial matters. The firm has a diverse portfolio that includes leading online, e-commerce and entertainment companies. Head of division David Wang has extensive experience representing multinational companies, including software companies and venture capital investors in China and the US.   


Wanhuida Intellectual Property is among the region’s leaders for copyright, enforcement and litigation. Present since 1992, the firm has a high profile client base that includes multinational companies. Founding partner Gang Bai is reputed for his litigation skills and works closely with enforcement specialist Liang Su.


TIER 3

Covington & Burling is appointed by Hollywood studios and leading independent production studios. Key practitioner Jason Goldberg works with the wider team advising television companies, sports organisations, funds and investors, individual actors and directors. The practice is also known for advice on complex regulatory matters.


Deacons primarily focusses on intellectual property advice to media and entertainment clients. The firm is appointed by multinational companies that include Hollywood studios, production houses and distributors, music publishers and advertisers. Working with key practitioner Charmaine Koo, lawyers assisted Hong Kong’s largest television network, advised Twentieth Century Fox on high-profile film projects in China and advised on the establishment of a distribution company.


Weil, Gotshal & Manges acts for media and entertainment clients on corporate and transactional cases ranging from spin-offs and IPOs to financings and restructurings. The team has extensive experience advising overseas clients on complex contractual and licensing disputes.


TIER 4

Grandall Legal Group concentrates on intellectual property advice with key areas of work including unfair competition, licensing, investment and financing of rights. Lawyers also assist with overseas mergers and acquisitions and act for companies establishing a presence abroad. Other service areas include telecommunications, IT and e-commerce.


King & Wood Mallesons has a global focus on entertainment, data protection and privacy. The media group advises on complex regulatory requirements, transactions and disputes. Other areas of focus include digital advertising, technology and sector-related tax.


Liu, Shen & Associates specialises in intellectual property. Founded in 1993, the practice has an established copyright division with long-standing emphasis on protection and enforcement. Michelle Ma manages the firm’s media group, which also handles litigation and dispute resolution.  

TIER 1

Bird & Bird

Fangda Partners

Hylands Law Firm

O'Melveny & Myers

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison


TIER 2

Baker McKenzie

Clifford Chance

Hogan Lovells  

Morrison & Foerster

Simmons & Simmons

Wanhuida Intellectual Property


TIER 3

Covington & Burling

Deacons

Haiwen & Partners

Herbert Smith Freehills

Pinsent Masons

Vivien Chan & Co.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges

Zhong Lun Law Firm


TIER 4

Grandall Law Firm

JunHe

Kangxin Partners

King & Wood Mallesons

Liu, Shen & Associates


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