Sanctions War: Assessing China's Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law - Lester Ross and Kenneth Zhou, WilmerHale

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In June, China enacted the PRC Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (中华人民共和国反外国制裁法) following an expedited drafting process, the country’s first national statute specifically combating foreign sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals. The law states that companies in China may not implement or enforce foreign sanctions against Chinese entities, and that Chinese entities can file lawsuits against those companies that do. Lester Ross and Kenneth Zhou discuss the primary concerns among multinationals about the new anti-sanctions law, and the potential impact on contractual clauses and global compliance strategies.

Lester Ross is the partner-in-charge at global law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr's Beijing office. He is a former vice-chair of the board of governors, former general counsel and current chair of the policy committee and of the insurance forum of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Kenneth Zhou is a partner at WilmerHale's Beijing office. He is a former general counsel and former member of the board of governors of AmCham China.

The China Law Podcast is a weekly podcast exploring China’s business and financial sectors from a legal perspective. Get in touch at vchow@alm.com with any feedback and ideas for future episodes.

Episode Outline

  • 00:58 Anti-sanctions law's relationship with Unreliable Entity List, "blocking statute"
  • 07:07 Ability of foreign companies to choose their business
  • 11:29 What constitutes "discriminatory restrictive measures"
  • 15:03 China subsidiaries of global companies and compliance challenges
  • 18:56 Possibility that contractual clauses will be flagged as sanctions implementation
  • 24:46 Potential risk exposure of law firms

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