Taiwan in the changing global landscape

Significant legal and business developments during 2020

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Executive summary

By David Li, Taiwan Practice Head

2020 witnesses a year filled with significant changes to all of our professional and personal lives.

Businesses and individuals worldwide are witnessing significant geopolitical fractures that have resulted in significant changes to various aspects of the global legal landscape, such as financing, trade, sanctions, foreign direct investment (FDI), intellectual property and antitrust. The COVID-19 pandemic has also negatively affected many aspects of deal-making, with general corporate finance transactional activity levels significantly lower than last year. On the other hand, distressed M&A, restructuring and financing activities are on the upswing, as is the case for investments in sectors that are primed to take center stage in a post-COVID-19 world.

Taiwanese companies and financial institutions are not immune to these global developments. Indeed, Taiwan's unique positioning in the global supply chain and other areas warrants special attention to some of these issues faced by other players globally.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented us from seeing clients in person in Taiwan this year, we continue to focus on the latest legal issues and trends affecting our Taiwanese clients and other contacts globally. Through a series of webinar presentations and online meetings, our objective this year is to deliver to you updates on the following key topics of interest:

  • A series of key antitrust developments in Europe and the US highlight the continuing focus on regulatory enforcement in those jurisdictions
  • The convergence of adversarial capital and COVID-19 is ratcheting up FDI controls worldwide in a growing list of sectors
  • While the current de-coupling trend between the US and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is creating opportunities for Taiwanese exporters, it also raises significant risks for companies caught in the middle, particularly if they ship finished goods to the US that contain non-Taiwan-origin parts
  • A new "rocket docket" for patent litigation in the US serves as a potential obstacle for Taiwanese companies that maintain operations in and around Austin, Texas, a growing US technology hub 
  • Finally, we discuss the current state of Asia-Pacific lending markets, with insights for Taiwanese businesses on where regional credit activity may focus in the coming months, and explore what current private equity and M&A trends in the Asia-Pacific region may mean for Taiwanese investors

We hope this report and our recent webinars are helpful in navigating a swiftly changing landscape.

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