Image of John Xu

John Xu

Corporate Partner (Linklaters LLP, England & Wales), Registered Foreign Lawyer (New York), Hong Kong SAR

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


Education and qualifications


John has more than 20 years of experience in China-related cross-border M&A, corporate financing, 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 is highly experienced in negotiating and concluding cross-border deals and GDR listings in European stock exchanges, with his profound understanding of both Chinese and foreign, regulatory environment, cultures and native-level language capabilities. He is known to clients as the “go-to” for cross-border transactions and a trusted advisor who effectively manages risk and prioritises clients’ commercial objectives. 

John is shortlisted as the “International Dealmaker of the Year” for two consecutive years by China Law & Practice Awards 2021 and 2022. He is also recognised as a “Leading Individual” in China Private Equity and a “Next Generation Partner” in China Corporate/M&A by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024.

Work highlights

GDR listings

  • GDR listings on the London Stock Exchange via the Shanghai-London Stock Connect and Shenzhen-London Stock Connect: Ming Yang Smart Energy Group Limited (the first GDR listing under the expanded Stock Connect regime), China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co., Ltd and Huatai Securities Co., Ltd. (the first GDR listing on the Shanghai-London Stock Connect segment).  
  • GDR listings on the SIX Swiss Exchange via the China-Switzerland Stock Connect: Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd., Kunshan Dongwei Technology Co., Ltd., Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Zhejiang Supcon Technology Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Eastern Shenghong Co., Ltd., as well as Keda Industrial Group Co Ltd, Ningbo Shanshan Co Ltd, GEM Co Ltd and Gotion High-tech Co Ltd which are among the first batch of GDR listings on the SIX Swiss Exchange via the China-Switzerland Stock Connect. John also advised the SIX Swiss Exchange on the amendments to the GDR rules relating to the China-Switzerland Stock Connect programme.


  • Morgan Stanley on the establishment of Morgan Huaxin Securities and its acquisitions of equity interests in Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities Company Limited to become the controlling shareholder of Morgan Huaxin Securities.
  • Citigroup on its establishment of Citi Orient Securities Co., Ltd, the securities joint venture in China, and the subsequent exit from the joint venture.
  • 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 at the time.
  • Alphawave, one of the largest semiconductor companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, on its US$1.2bn formation of a joint venture in China with Wise Road.
  • Glencore on its strategic investment in Shenzhen Energy Gas Investment Holding (“SEGH”), a subsidiary of Shenzhen-listed Shenzhen Energy Group, and the long-term supply arrangement between Glencore and SEGH with respect to the LNG supply. It is one of the first mixed-ownership reforms of local SOEs in the new energy sector.
  • Dairy Farm, the Asian retail arm of Jardine Matheson, on its strategic investment in Yonghui Superstores
  • on its acquisition of 80% shares in Carrefour China.

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.