Zhiwei Chen

Associate
Shanghai
zchen@crowellmoring.asia
Phone: +86.21.8030.1688
R1901-03 Link Square 1, 222 Hubin Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai 200021
China

Zhiwei Chen is an associate in Crowell & Moring’s Shanghai office, where he is a member of the firm’s International Trade and Privacy & Cybersecurity groups. Zhiwei has more than a decade of experience advising multinational clients on a wide range of complex customs, trade, data privacy, and regulatory issues.

Clients benefit from Zhiwei’s experience and insight in managing the risks and maximizing the opportunities associated with China’s increasing regulation of cross-border flow of goods, services, and data. He brings to clients an unusual blend of regulatory, transactional, and litigation experience, which makes him a trusted adviser on various complex China regulatory issues.

With his nuanced understanding of regulatory landscapes, Zhiwei regularly helps Fortune 500 clients create business strategies to optimize supply chain models, develop corporate compliance procedures and provide training, conduct internal audits or investigations, and navigate self-disclosure to China Customs and other regulatory agencies. Clients regularly call up Zhiwei to represent them in customs audits and in dealing with seizures, forfeitures, and other enforcement actions. He has successfully defended clients in a number of high-profile customs audit and investigation cases, including a primary case investigated directly under the supervision of China’s General Administration of Customs. He also advises on other trade-related regulatory issues, including cross-border e-commerce, export control, Section 301, inspections and quarantine, foreign exchange control, compulsory product certification, product safety standards, labeling, and food, drug, and medical device registration issues.

Zhiwei has extensive experience in advising leading technology and digital companies in developing strategies and navigating issues related to cybersecurity, data privacy, telecommunications, cloud computing, encryption, and other digital regulations and policies in China.

Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Zhiwei worked with a global firm’s Los Angeles/Shanghai office and a leading Chinese customs law firm. 

Representative Matters

Customs, Trade and Regulatory Compliance

  • Advised multiple U.S. and Chinese clients on country of origin, tariff classification and global supply chain restructuring and other strategic issues in response to the U.S.-China trade war.
  • Advised a leading U.S. food company on strategies in response to China’s suspension of poultry products from its facilities where employees have tested positive for the COVID-19.
  • Advised multiple U.S. and EU companies on various regulatory issues related to their purchase of COVID-19 testing kits, masks, sanitizer and thermometers and other PPE from China.
  • Advised a leading American flooring company on tariffs imposed on Chinese imported flooring products pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
  • Represented a leading state-owned Chinese chemical company to file a Section 301 exclusion request in the U.S.
  • Advised a world-leading logistic company and a professional services company on strategies in response to the U.S.’ addition of a leading Chinese technology company to the Entity List.
  • Advised an American company on strategies and transaction models related to return of an equipment back to the U.S.
  • Advised a world-leading e-commerce company and multiple American manufacturing companies on their PRC cross-border e-commerce strategies.
  • Advised a leading wearable device manufacturer on various regulatory compliance issues relevant to their mobile payment and pre-paid card business.
  • Advised a leading automobile navigation system manufacturer on various PRC mapping-related regulatory issues.
  • Advised multiple American technology companies on their PRC encryption law and CCC certification issues.
  • Conducted comprehensive customs regulatory audits and advised on the internal customs risk control schemes for multiple Fortune 500 companies in the chemical, automobile, electronics and engineering industries.
  • Conducted legal audits for a leading global aircraft parts manufacturer and an Italian luxury decorative material manufacturer with respect to each of their bonded material disposition and advised on voluntary self-disclosure of the identified non-compliances to customs; represented the clients in the ensuing customs investigation proceedings and successfully resolved the problem without incurrence of criminal liability on the company or the management.
  • Advised a Fortune 500 company in a customs price challenge proceeding on its intercompany transfer pricing policy and practice
  • Advised several Fortune 500 companies on the dutiability of their royalty payments, preparation of the internal compliance audit and revision of the license agreements.
  • Advised a world-leading aerospace company in designing a business model suitable for its aircraft repair and maintenance business in China.
  • Advised an American aircraft engine manufacturer in designing a business model for its engine overhaul by exchange program in China.
  • Assisted an American company in designing a business model for import of duty-free machinery which will be contributed as the registered capital to the FIE established by its clients across China.
  • Advised an American company in designing a business model for the importation of its equipment on a duty-free basis and delivery to its customers across China.
  • Advised a world-leading heavy equipment manufacturer and an electronic component manufacturer on an import & export clearance model for used equipment and recycled products.
  • Advised a Fortune 500 company on the possible solutions to the importation of controlled chemicals into the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) of China, which encountered legal obstacles under then-existing Chinese customs laws; advised the client in communicating the proposed solutions with Customs and other relevant government agencies, applying for an ad hoc approval and urging modification of relevant laws and regulations regarding the importation of controlled chemicals into the EPZ.
  • Advised a Taiwan company on a rule of origin matter and the eligibility of its products for preferential duty treatment under the FTA between mainland China and Taiwan.
  • Advised a world-leading healthcare product producer in a customs audit on its year-end retroactive transfer pricing adjustment practice.
  • Advised a leading lifting and material processing product manufacturer on China export control issues.
  • Advised a U.S. pharmaceutical company on the importation of certain medical products into China.
  • Advised a leading American medical device company on various medical device registration and importation issues.
  • Advised multiple leading dairy product manufacturers on foreign manufacturer registration, product registration, labeling and China’s national food safety standard (GB standard) issues.

Investigation

  • Advised a U.S. medical device company in a Chinese customs investigation proceeding on its supply chain model which is alleged to be restructured to change origin of its products to avoid additional retaliatory tariffs imposed by China
  • Advised a leading dental device company in a Chinese FDA investigation involving the compliance of its upgrading businesses in China.
  • Acted as defense counsel for a Fortune 500 chemical company in a criminal smuggling case relevant to unauthorized exchange and domestic sales of bonded raw materials. The case was the primary smuggling case in the Shanghai Customs district that year and was investigated directly under the supervision of Chinese General Administration of Customs. The case ended with no criminal liability.
  • Acted as defense counsel for a Fortune 500 chemical company in criminal proceedings relevant to the under-declaration of import price. The case ended with only nominal administrate penalties without affecting client’s customs credit grading
  • Advised a multinational on a customs investigation case relevant to the suspected under-declaration of import prices; represented the client as defense counsel in the subsequent smuggling prosecution proceedings and succeeded in the innocence pleading and defense.
  • Acted as defense counsel for multiple domestic and multinational companies in corporate smuggling cases which involve issues including importation of prohibited plastic wastes and incorrect declaration of HS code and import price
  • Acted as defense counsel for multiple individuals in corporate smuggling cases involving incorrect declaration of HS code and under-declaration of import price.
  • Represented a multinational in an administrative review procedure regarding a MOFCOM ruling declaring the export product of the client to be a dual-use item subject export control. The case eventually ended with the voluntary revocation of the ruling after panel review.
  • Represented a world-leading automobile safety system producer and an American chemical company in the customs investigation proceedings regarding their royalty payments made to overseas related companies; represented the clients in the subsequent customs audit procedure and successfully resolved the problem without incurrence of duty liability or penalty.
  • Represented a world-leading oil field services company in a customs investigation proceeding on the customer-owned duty-free equipment stored in its warehouse.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

  • Advised a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer on the proposed use of wireless access points for building occupancy tracking and contact tracing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advised a U.S. university on various regulatory issues related to the use of VPN by international students to access remote education resources.
  • Advised a leading security solutions provider on various China cybersecurity and data privacy compliance issues related to its enterprise security products to be launched in China .
  • Advised a leading cloud computing company on various China cybersecurity, anti-competition and intellectual property protection issues related to its proposed new profile sharing and webpage scraping features.
  • Advised a world-leading aerospace company on various China cybersecurity and data privacy compliance issues related to an insider threat program to be implemented in China.
  • Advised a U.S. human capital management company on various China cybersecurity and telecommunications compliance issues related to its contemplated moving of data to cloud.
  • Advised a leading security solutions provider on various China compliance issues related to its contemplated responsible disclosure of identified vulnerabilities in a digital door lock system.
  • Advised a U.S. media and entertainment company on various China cybersecurity law issues related to its employee privacy notices implemented in China.
  • Advised a leading American hardware and technology integration service provider on PRC Cybersecurity Law and data privacy issues.
  • Advised a hospitality software and solution provider on PRC Cybersecurity Law and data privacy issues.
  • Advised a leading pharmaceutical packaging manufacturer on cross-border data transfer and other PRC Cybersecurity Law issues.
  • Advised a leading corporate reward program service provider on various regulatory issues relevant to China’s Cybersecurity Law, travel agency business, tax and foreign exchange control.


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: New York, People's Republic of China



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