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Twenty-eighteen marked the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up policy. Profound changes have been seen internally and externally, prior to 2018, during 2018, and continuing beyond 2018, which echo China’s great quest for reform and engaging with the world, and shape the future of the dispute resolution industry in China.
“Economic stability”, “economic restructuring and upgrading”, and “Sino-US trade friction” are clues to internal and external changes in 2018. Reviewing changing conditions in dispute resolution across a wide range of industries, the authors of Commercial Dispute Resolution in China: An Annual Review and Preview (2019) [hereinafter referred to as the “An Annual Review and Preview (2019)”] preview challenges that are yet to come. In Annual Review on Real Estate Dispute Resolution in China (2019), for example, the authors present a case study on the Linkage of the First and Second Level Projects and preview potential disputes of Securitization of real estate. In Annual Review on Investment Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the authors describe the arrangement of fixed income and equity repurchase under the backdrop of a slowing economy. In Annual Review on Energy Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the author focuses on policies and cases relating to Chinese transnational M&As, illustrating opportunities and challenges for future “Going Global” transactions in the energy sector. In Annual Review on International Trade Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the authors analyze the challenges posed by the China-US Trade War, and call for better compliance, industrial upgrading, and better understanding of the legal environment and trade protection measures in different jurisdictions in the process of “Going Global.”
Decentralization and a continuing opening-up of China’s markets are also key in understanding economic and international changes. In Annual Review on Construction Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the authors introduce two examples, namely the promulgation of the Interpretation II on Issues Concerning the Application of Law for the Trial of Cases of Dispute over Construction Contracts by the Supreme People’s Court, and cancellation of construction contract record-filing by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, which reflect the ongoing transformation of social governance and the reforms of “delegate power, improve regulation and optimize services” (“DIO” reform) in the construction sector. In Annual Review on Financial Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the author describes the opening of the futures market, clearly demonstrating the Chinese government’s determination to open financial and capital markets.
In Annual Review on Film and Television Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the authors investigate the phenomenon of black and white contracts and tax evasion in the field and analyze the governing regulations, especially those relating to unreasonable remuneration and unregulated online information. The question, then, would be how these regulations and administrative supervision affect dispute resolution. In Annual Review on Civil Aviation Dispute Resolution in China (2019), the authors review the management of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the reform of low-altitude airspace management, stating that new technology often encourages good regulations.
Internal and external changes also require further development of the Chinese dispute resolution industry. In Annual Review on Commercial Arbitration in China (2019), new developments of practice such as non-party challenge to non-enforcement of arbitral awards, unexpected birth and end of “pre-dispute arbitration”, and the establishment of China’s International Commercial Court have been included and demonstrate a maturing environment for arbitration. The “Fengqiao Experience in the New Era”, participation in drafting the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, and perfecting the relationship between mediation and arbitration are examples in Annual Review on Commercial Mediation in China (2019), which draw attention to the blending of eastern and western types of mediation in China. Trial reform in intellectual property cases regarding “single color trademark”, “sound trademark”, and transnational disputes over Chinese intellectual property protections, are included in Annual Review on Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution in China (2019), which display the innovative moves and progress of China’s judicial system.
The Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center (hereinafter referred to as “BAC”) endeavors to present a comprehensive picture of Chinese commercial dispute resolution throughout this book. An Annual Review and Preview (2019) delivers 11 articles in specific fields: commercial arbitration, commercial mediation, construction, real estate, energy, international trade, investment, finance, intellectual property, film and television, and civil aviation. Each article includes an overview, major update of laws and regulations and normative documents, case studies, practical and academic focus, and conclusion and preview. In this way, we look back at 2018 and look ahead.
In 2019, the related Annual Summit based on An Annual Review and Preview (2019) will address dispute resolution communities in Toronto, New York, and San Francisco, as well as those in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. With these steps, the BAC will keep practitioners in China and abroad connected, sharing knowledge of Chinese commercial dispute resolution, fostering better and faster development of Chinese dispute resolution, and making a fruitful contribution to the international dispute resolution community.
At the same time, we look for the readers to share their expertise in future editions of An Annual Review and Preview. Working cooperatively, we can expect more advancements in Chinese dispute resolution.