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 advises international and Chinese corporates, state and private enterprises and financial institutions on China-related M&A transactions, both inbound and outbound, including share and asset acquisitions, project developments, joint venture transactions and commercial contracts.

John has particular knowledge of the sectors in financial services, retail, food &beverage, and energy.

Based in Shanghai, John was seconded to the firm’s Beijing office in 2001 and the firm’s Hong Kong office in 2005/2006, both for 12 months.  

Work highlights

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

  • Dairy Farm, the Asian retail arm of Jardine Matheson, on its strategic investment in Yonghui Superstores
  • Citigroup on establishing Citi Orient Securities Company, its securities joint venture in China
  • Mitsui & Co. on the US$100m sale of 50% of Galaxy NewSpring (GNS)
  • Bright Food Group on the 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 72% 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 is a member of the Legal Focus group of British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai and a member of the European Chamber of Commerce Shanghai.

John has contributed to a number of practical guides on doing business in China, including:

“Preliminary Agreements: China: International Acquisitions”, Private Company Acquisitions International Transaction Guide, 2016, with Nicola Mayo and Bryan Chan

“Acquisition Structures: China: International Acquisitions”, Private Company Acquisitions International Transaction Guide, Thomson Reuters Practical Law, 2015, with Nicola Mayo and Bryan Chan

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.