Return of the Prodigal Form? - Partnerships and Partnership Law in the People's Republic of China

Research Handbook on Partnerships, LLCs and Alternative Forms of Business Organizations (Robert W. Hillman and Mark J. Loewenstein, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming)

35 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2014

Date Written: August 21, 2014

Abstract

This paper provides a broad introduction to the legal partnership form of business organization in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), focusing on: historical antecedents of the law-based partnership form in China’s imperial, Republican, and Communist post-1949 but pre-reform periods; critical aspects of the PRC’s current partnership law and applied partnership norms (including those designed for foreign-invested but China-domiciled partnership vehicles); and the ways in which China’s judicial institutions presently engage with both formal partnership establishments and other law-based and non-law-based alternative enterprise forms in contemporary China (including holdovers from an entirely different ideological and political economic context). Initial findings from the review of more than one thousand post-2006 partnership-related PRC People’s Court case law opinions indicate that the PRC judiciary is moving aggressively and with some real competence in this most “private” corner of China’s state-dominated economy to identify partnerships and apply statutory or apparently equitable partnership law principles ex post with respect to capital aggregating arrangements that are not ex ante registered as formal partnerships under PRC law or subject to explicit partnership agreements, and indeed arrangements that are registered or self-declared as something else entirely. The paper will be published as a chapter in the book “Research Handbook on Partnerships, LLCs and Alternative Forms of Business Organizations” (Robert W. Hillman and Mark J. Loewenstein, eds.) forthcoming from Edward Elgar Publishing.

Keywords: partnership law, business organizations, China, PRC, courts, company law

JEL Classification: K11, K12, K2, K34, L23, M11, M12, M13, N25, P2, P31

Suggested Citation

Howson, Nicholas Calcina, Return of the Prodigal Form? - Partnerships and Partnership Law in the People's Republic of China (August 21, 2014). Research Handbook on Partnerships, LLCs and Alternative Forms of Business Organizations (Robert W. Hillman and Mark J. Loewenstein, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2484677

Nicholas Calcina Howson (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

701 South State Street
3234 South Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
United States

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