Image of John Xu

John Xu

Corporate Partner, Shanghai

“I am a senior Chinese practitioner with extensive experience in cross-border M&A transactions into and out of China. I am responsive, innovative and used to helping clients overcome legal, practical and cultural dissimilarities between international and Chinese businesses.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


John is a corporate partner of Linklaters Shanghai office. He has close to 20 years of experience in China-related cross-border M&A, restructuring, joint venture transactions and commercial contracts in a wide range of sectors including financial services, private equity, retail, food &beverage, chemicals and energy.

John knows how to negotiate and conclude deals in and out China through his deep understand of cultural and linguistic capabilities. Combined with the firm’s cross-practice strengths and sector knowledge, clients rely on him to achieve the commercial objectives and manage risk.

Work highlights

John has acted for clients in many major corporate transactions. These include advising:

  • on its acquisition of 80% shares in Carrefour China (awarded 2019 Deals of the Year by China Business Law Journal)
  • Morgan Stanley on its acquisition of 51% control interest in Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities Company Limited
  • Citigroup on its establishment of Citi Orient Securities Co., Ltd, the securities joint venture in China, and the subsequent exit from the joint venture
  • the underwriters on the US$1.538 billion GDR offering of Huatai Securities, the first GDR offering under the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme
  • Dairy Farm, the Asian retail arm of Jardine Matheson, on its strategic investment in Yonghui Superstores
  • Mitsui & Co. on its US$100 million sale of 50% interest in Galaxy NewSpring (GNS)
  • Bright Food Group on its acquisition of a controlling interest in Weetabix in 2012, the largest by a Chinese company in the food and beverage industry at the time
  • China Construction Bank on its acquisition of 100% of Banco Industrial e Comercial (BicBanco), a Brazilian bank listed on the San Paulo Stock Exchange, the biggest Chinese bank deal in Latin America
  • Hongkong Land China Holdings on its joint venture with CIFI Holdings to jointly develop a mixed-use property project in Shanghai's Pudong District

Professional experience

John frequently speaks at industry forum and conducts client trainings. He delivered a training to Shanghai MOFCOM on China outbound investment in 2019 and joined panel discussions at China Finance Forum on 8 Oct 2019 in Luxembourg. He also delivered a Lecture at Cambridge University on "The International Legal Environment and Global Firms" in August 2019.

John is often invited by leading media to share insight on market trends and other related topics. See media mentions below:

John is recognised as “Next generation partners” by Legal500 in its 2020 Asia Pacific Guide. He was also nominated as International Dealmaker by China Law & Practice Awards 2019.

Education and qualifications

John studied international economic law at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade and obtained a master’s in law from Columbia Law School.

He is a native mandarin speaker and fluent in English.