On 1 February 2019, CIETAC published its 2018 statistics and 2019 work plan. The statistics show a substantial increase in CIETAC’s caseload and the total amounts in dispute, as well as a growing diversity of cases administered by CIETAC.
CIETAC received 2,962 new cases during 2018, representing a 28.89% increase compared to the previous year. 522 of these cases are foreign-related, of which 36 are between non-Chinese parties: 9.66% more than 2017. CIETAC accepted 2,440 new domestic cases in 2018, an increase of 33.92% on the previous year.
In its decision of 4 July 2018, the Delhi High Court (“Court“) has agreed to enforce a China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) award against an Indian company, despite the award debtor’s arguments that the dispute should have been referred to and administrated by the now independent Shanghai International Arbitration Centre (SHIAC), which until mid-2012 was the Shanghai Sub-Commission of CIETAC (“Shanghai Sub-Commission“). The Court’s decision is interesting not only in discussing the 2012 split of CIETAC, but also because it may provide some guidance on how Indian courts may, in future, deal with structural changes to other arbitral institutions, such as the very recent termination of the joint venture between LCIA and Mauritius (the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre), or the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIETAC/SCIA) and the Shenzhen Arbitration Commission (SAC) merger at the beginning of 2018. Last but not least, this decision reinforces a pro-enforcement approach of Indian courts in relation to foreign arbitral awards.
Two key developments emerge from the long-running proceedings in Xiamen Xinjingdi Group Co Ltd v Eton Properties Ltd  2 HKLRD 1106 and Xiamen Xinjingdi Group Co Ltd v Eton Properties  HKCFI 910. The Hong Kong Court of Appeal (CA) has held that, when parties enter into an arbitration agreement, they make an implied promise that they will honour the terms of any subsequent arbitral award. If one party fails to honour the award, this may give rise to a separate cause of action at common law, for which the Hong Kong courts have jurisdiction to grant a full range of remedies, including damages. These proceedings also confirm that the Hong Kong Court of First Instance (CFI) has statutory powers to stay proceedings before it, pending the determination of an application for leave to appeal to the higher courts. Continue reading
On 1 October 2017, the International Investment Arbitration Rules of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC Investment Arbitration Rules or Rules) came into force. This is the first set of investment arbitration rules ever promulgated by a Chinese arbitration institution; no Chinese institution has heard an investor-state dispute to date. As China’s Belt and Road Initiative continues to gain momentum, disputes between investors and states along the Belt and Road region will, inevitably, arise. As the number of Belt and Road projects grows, so the number of disputes is bound to increase. The CIETAC Investment Arbitration Rules are designed to offer an alternative institution and rules to resolve these disputes between investors and states.
A recent judgment from the Hong Kong High Court (Chen Hongqing v Mi Jingtian) illustrates the manner in which parties may seek interim relief in Hong Kong to support arbitral proceedings being conducted elsewhere – in this case, the appointment of receivers in connection with a CIETAC arbitration in Mainland China. The decision illustrates the wide-ranging power of the Hong Kong courts to grant measures to preserve assets or evidence (or simply to preserve the status quo between parties) in support of foreign arbitral proceedings, which will be of particular interest to parties arbitrating in Mainland China given the relatively limited powers of the PRC Courts to grant equivalent interim relief.
On 16 May 2017, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) launched the CIETAC Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Arbitration Centre. The opening ceremony was attended by Wang Chengjie, the CIETAC Secretary General and Vice Chairman, Jiao Xiaoping, Director of PPP of the Ministry of Finance, other leading officials, and arbitrators and experts from the PPP industry, construction and engineering supervision industries.
The stated purpose of the CIETAC PPP Arbitration Centre is to encourage arbitration for disputes arising out of public-private partnerships, including those which may arise from the One Belt One Road project. It is the first of its kind in China.
At the ceremony, Jiao Xiaoping noted that the creation of the PPP Arbitration Centre would help guarantee cooperation between the government and social capital, whilst protecting the interests of both investors and other citizens.
The new arbitration centre may also represent an expansion by CIETAC to PPP dispute resolution.
While it is too soon to assess the volume of such disputes, the establishment of the PPP Arbitration Centre may mark the beginning of a new era for dispute resolution in the context of Chinese public-private partnerships.
We previously reported the publication of our new ADR in Asia Guide. As well as distilling the results of our client survey on mediation in Hong Kong, the Guide contains a summary of the main ADR processes and their use across Asia. This summary also contains our Dispute Resolution Wheel, which explains at a glance the characteristics of the various dispute resolution processes you may encounter. Click here to access the summary and our Dispute Resolution Wheel.
If you would like a copy of our Guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.