77907 - Law and Business in China

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Marina Timoteo (Modulo 1) Angela Carpi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Legal Studies (cod. 9062)

    Also valid for Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Law (cod. 9232)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit, students: - know the fundamentals of Chinese legal system, especially the structure and legal process, with a focus on legal aspects of economic and commercial transactions guided by sustainable development; - are capable to apply Chinese law sources in the economic and commercial fields and can interact with institutional and private actors dealing with business.

Course contents

The course is divided into two modules of 23 and 25 hours.

The course program is organized as follows:

1. Chinese Legal System in General

1.1. The sources of contemporary Chinese law; 1.2. The Modernization; 1.3. The entry into the WTO; 1.4. The structure of the Chinese administrative system; 1.5. Special economic zones.

2. Foreign Investments: Company Law

2.1. The sources of law; 2.2. The wholly-foreign owned enterprises; 2.3. Joint ventures; 2.4. Companies with foreign capital.

3. Foreign Investments: Contract Law

3.1. From the tripod system to the modern Chinese contract law; 3.2. The general principles of civil law; 3.3. The law on contracts of 1999; 3.4. The new Chinese civil code.

4. Dispute Resolution

4.1. Chinese judicial system; 4.2. The role of the Supreme People’s Court; 4.3. Alternative dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration; 4.4. The major Chinese arbitration institutions; 4.5. The execution of arbitral awards.

5. Sustainable development and its reflection on investments

5.1. The environmental issue in China; 5.2. China and sustainable development; 5.3. The position of China in international environmental protection organizations; 5.4. International cooperation projects on climate change; 5.5. The environmental protection law and the new green rules on foreign investments.

6. Development and Innovation: the protection of intellectual property rights in China

6.1. The evolution of Chinese legal framework of IPR protection; 6.2. Trademark law; 6.3. Patent Law; 6.4. Copyright Law; 6.5. Trademark registration procedure; 6.6. The dual track system; 6.7. Analysis of relevant cases: focus on well-known trademarks.


Timoteo Marina (ed.), Law and Sustainable Business in China, Bononia University Press, Bologna, 2015.

Teaching methods

The course follows an interdisciplinary approach. The teaching method aims at the involvement of the students and at the cooperative learning in class, combining the classic frontal lessons with the study and critical analysis of cases and writings that played a decisive role in the evolution of Chinese modern and contemporary legal system. In this perspective, for interested students attending the course, it will be possible to elaborate (individually or in groups) presentations or papers on specific topics to be discussed in class.

The course is held by prof. Marina Timoteo and prof. Angela Carpi.

The lessons of the first semester of the academic year 2021/2022 will be held in a mixed method, in presence and online, in order to allow students that are not able to be in class, to follow the course.

The intensity and continuity of participation to the course will be assessed by self-certification.

Assessment methods

The final exam will be done orally, through an interview with the professor and its assistants. The marks are out of 30/30.

The oral examination is designed to appreciate the level of understanding and mastery of the comparative method in the study of Chinese legal system and the active ability of working with the fundamental rules governing the sectors of the law object of course. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the issues addressed, and in particular the ability to capture the dynamic aspects of the processes of modernization of Chinese business law, in a comparative perspective, will be evaluated with marks of excellence. The knowledge of the topics covered in the course that is mainly mnemonic and notional and that will lead to an oral colloquium not well supported by reasoning of synthesis and analysis of the issues, and the using an organic and correct language but not always appropriate, will lead to an average pass outcome; training gaps and / or inappropriate language, albeit in the context of a minimal knowledge of the exam material, will lead to just enough mark; training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the texts, will be adversely evaluated.

For students attending the course, it will be possible to substitute part of the oral examination with papers on topics agreed upon with the teachers.

In order to sit for the exam, registration through the electronic platform "Almaesami" is required, in compliance with mandatory deadlines (usually 7 days before the date set for the examination). Those who do not succeed with the enrolling by the due date, are required to report promptly (and in any event before the official closing of the registration lists) the problem to the school's secretary office. The professor, evaluated the problem, will decide about the admission to sit for the exam.

The record of the evaluation can be done only on the date set and indicated in Almaesami, following the previous registration.

The course will be held in the first semester and therefore students who have chosen the course in the current year will be able to sit for the exam starting from the month of January.

Only students that are regularly enrolled, that paid all the due university taxes, will be able to sit for the examinations. Under no circumstances it will be possible to sit the examination and proceed with the registration not simultaneously.


For the purposes of assigning a Bachelor’s degree project in Law and Business in China, the knowledge of at least one foreign language is required. The level of the foreign language will be verified through a preliminary interview. Interested students are therefore invited to contact the teacher or prof. Angela Carpi to agree on the date on which the colloquium is to be held.
Once the subject of the dissertation has been identified and approved by the teacher, the students will have to periodically inform the rapporteur on the state of progress of the work, according to a work program agreed upon. Once the thesis is completed and the teacher's permission is received, the students will be able to proceed with the secretarial delivery within institutionally established terms.

Where strictly necessary, the correlation request must be discussed and agreed with the teacher, who will eventually contact the chosen teacher for correlation.

Teaching tools

During the course, additional materials (ie, judicial decisions, academic writings and videos) will be made available for student. Moreover, experts will be invited to hold lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Marina Timoteo

See the website of Angela Carpi


Affordable and clean energy Climate Action Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.