Mar 04
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Superpower Legal Rivalry and the Global Compliance Dilemma

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Superpower Legal Rivalry and the Global Compliance Dilemma


Date & Time: March 4, 2024 (Monday) 12:00-13:00
Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU
(In-person only)


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The intensifying rivalry between the United States and China has spawned a proliferation of contradictory laws and regulations, plunging transnational actors into a vexing compliance dilemma—conformity with U.S. law often necessitates contravention of Chinese law, and vice versa. Ji illuminates this superpower legal rivalry and how multinational corporations (MNCs), as prime beneficiaries of post-Cold War economic globalization, navigate this fractured, intricate legal terrain when compelled to take sides amid the great power competition. He triangulates this comparative analysis with novel empirical evidence, leveraging two sets of original survey data to investigate Chinese MNCs’ varying exposure to the compliance dilemma. This talk formulates a theoretical framework that models the superpower legal rivalry and corporate reactions as parts of a dynamic, strategic, multi-actor process. Applying insights from neo-institutionalism, this paradigm-shifting account integrates the analyses of corporate internal and external responses to the fractured, intricate global compliance environment. The legal rivalry and the responses of transnational actors will profoundly reshape the existing international legal, economic, and political orders.


Ji Li is John & Marilyn Long Professor of US-China Business and Law, Irvine School of Law, University of California. Professor Li’s teaching and scholarship explores a broad range of topics including Chinese law and politics, international business transactions, contracts, comparative law, and empirical legal studies.


Jedidiah Kroncke is Associate Professor of Law at The University of Hong Kong. He currently teaches property, equity and trusts, as well as courses in common law reasoning for civil law students.


Angela Zhang is the Director of Philip K.H. Wong Centre for Chinese Law at The University of Hong Kong


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The Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong promotes legal scholarship with the aim to develop a deeper understanding of China and facilitate dialogue between East and West. For more information, visit: Centre for Chinese Law 


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