Place: Professionals / Details
Zhao, Deming

D. 86-21-2310-9558

T. 86-21-2310-8288

F. 86-21-2310-8299


Practice Areas

Dr. Deming Zhao is a partner based in our Shanghai office. His practices cover corporate and regulatory compliance, customs and trade compliance, M&A, IP licensing and assignment, shipping and logistics, insurance, employment and litigation & arbitration. His clients include multinational companies, foreign-invested enterprises, insurance companies and state-owned enterprises and private domestic companies. Dr. Zhao is one of the pioneers who has developed the legal practice of customs & trade compliance in China, which has won wide recognition among multinational clients.


Apart from general corporate work, Dr. Zhao has also provided regulatory compliance and crisis solution services covering anti-monopoly, anti-commercial bribery, customs and AQSIQ, product labeling, import compliance regarding pharmaceutical, medical, food, healthcare, cosmetics and luxury products. He has acted as the leading counsel in various joint venture, acquisition, merger, divestiture and corporate restructuring projects, and also participated in overseas investment and offshore listing, covering aviation, banking, internet, mining, motor, electric, electronic, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical instrument, textile, cosmetics, other consumer product, shipping & shipbuilding, real estate and human resources consulting service industries.


In the practice of customs & trade compliance, Dr. Zhao has advised, represented or defended many renowned multinational companies in connection with import & export duty and VAT, consumption tax, anti-dumping duty, retaliation duty, import duty deduction and exemption programs, export tax rebate, transfer pricing and valuation consultation, valuation, tariff classification, HS code precedent database, customs pre-ruling, royalties, assist, country of origin, customs survey and inspection, import & export license, quarantine and non-tariff barriers, processing trade, bonded logistics models, customs supervision zones, plant relocation, deep processing transit (inter-plant transfer), and outsourced processing.


Deming Zhao has also advised, represented and defend many corporate clients in administrative and criminal cases concerning customs audits, ASB investigations and criminal cases with smuggling or other charge. He has led many legal audits and health-check on trade compliance, training and consultation projects for business operations of multinationals in China. Dr. Zhao frequently gives speech on practical and legislative issues concerning Chinese customs regulatory environment at customs law symposiums and at different law schools in and outside China.


For export control and economic sanctions, Dr Zhao advises and trains many clients on export control or economic sanctions, and frequently makes speeches on China export control and customs supervision practices at symposiums or seminars in Europe. In 2019, Dr Zhao was invited by the International Anti-Corruption Academy to lecture on China and US export control practices in Seoul to professional audiences from Asian countries. In an administrative review case, Dr Zhao successfully defended a multinational client against the export licensing requirement for a given chemical product.


Dr. Zhao has worked as an outside legal counsel providing various legal services (including aircraft leasing) for a leading Chinese airline company. Dr. Zhao has been a maritime law expert as well. He was specialized in maritime law during his study at University College London and has many years of experience in teaching and practicing maritime law, and serving as counsel for shipping companies. His services have covered litigation and non-litigation matters concerning insurance, charter parties, cargo claims, subrogation claims, bills of lading frauds, P&I defence, marine pollution, limitation of liabilities, collision, general average and international sale of goods. Dr. Zhao has also advised clients on their logistics and supply chain models.


Dr. Zhao has an extensive experience both as an in-house and outside counsel in supporting human resources functions of multinational companies and foreign-invested enterprises. He has advised clients on labor union, employee representatives and employee club issues, labor aspects of M&A transactions, expatriate issues, overtime issues, social security issues as well as the risk control and management of labor arbitration and litigation and intellectual property protection in labor relations. He helps his clients in preparing confidentiality and non-competition agreements, service invention agreements, corporate rules and policies, labor severance guidelines, employee handbooks, labor contracts, training contracts, optional employee benefits and secondment agreements.


Dr. Zhao has more than 25 years of experience in litigation and arbitration in relation to investment,M&A, financing, insurance, shipping, domestic & international trade and engineering projects. He as an arbitrator also has participated in CIETAC and other arbitration cases.


Mr. Zhao is the chief editor of International Maritime Law, a popular textbook for law school students. He has contributed articles in Chinese, English or German on customs and trade compliance aspects to domestic and foreign publications or magazines, including the Yearbook of Global Ethics, Compliance & Integrity published in English by Deutscher Fachverlag – dfv, and the magazine Der Zoll-Profi (The Customs Professional) in German.

Work Experience

Prior to joining GLO in 2018, Dr. Zhao worked in Haoliwen Partners (Haoliwen has consolidated its business into GLOBAL LAW OFFICE as from September 1, 2018).

Senior Consultant, Hong Kong and Shanghai Offices of PAUL HASTINGS


Legal Counsel, Greater China Region of EASTMAN KODAK

Associate Professor of Law, XIAMEN UNIVERSITY 


Chinese Bar (1993)


LLM in Commercial & Corporate law, University College London (UCL)

LLB, LLM & Ph. D., Xiamen University Law School


Highly recommended lawyers, Top Ranked, Customs, Export Control and Economic Sanctions, Chambers, 2021

Client Choice – Top 20 Lawyers in China, the First Survey by ALB, 2012

Leading Lawyers, General Corporate Practice, Asialaw Leading Lawyers (2010-2013)

Pre-eminent M&A Practitioner, Expert Guide: China

Associations and Memberships

Arbitrator, Xiamen Arbitration Commission

Arbitrator, Harbin Arbitration Commission

Visiting Professor of Law, Xiamen University and Xi’an Jiaotong University

Master Program Supervisor, Shanghai Customs College