11 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS CHINA • 亚洲法律杂志-中国版 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM/CHINA COVER STORY experiences accumulated at different stages have contributed to her growth as a better legal leader. At the onset of her career, Christy Zhou chose to become a lawyer. “This allowed me to transition from being a law student to a professional lawyer. I gained overall improvement in my expertise and, as the counterparty, developed valuable skills in communication while dealing with clients,” she recalled. Later, Christy Zhou joined a futures company as the head of legal and compliance. “The three-year experience allowed me to gain a lot in the compliance field, and I learned good compliance-management thinking and logic.” In 2019, armed with this wealth of experience, Christy Zhou joined CanSino. She describes herself as a “grassrootsraised GC”: starting as the sole member of the legal team and now expanding to a team of 17, providing support to the company’s legal, compliance, intellectual property, internal controls, and internal audit departments. Christy Zhou tells ALB that her rapid growth after joining CanSino was indeed due to the rapid expansion of the company and the industry in recent years. As the legal team’s size and functions expand, she feels her management skills continue to improve. “In fact, for over a year, I have been trying to adjust the internal organizational structure to make management more reasonable. This has brought me great joy and has been a good exercise for my management abilities.” Zhou Benqiang is the chief compliance officer and general counsel at Sinohydro Engineering Bureau 8. He has been part of the company’s legal team for 16 years, serving as legal head for the past decade, during which he continuously explored and deepened his understanding of the GC role. Today, Benqiang describes the essential qualities a qualified GC should possess as “strategic vision, strong professional competence, and exceptional management skills.” He explains, “having a strategic vision means that a GC should start from the big picture of the company and make accurate judgments on any legal matter, providing precise decision-making support and strategic analysis for the company’s leadership.” “Strong professional competence is the foundation for our profession,” Zhou adds. “A GC needs to be familiar with and master all aspects of the company’s business.” “Finally, a GC should have the management capabilities of an entrepreneur. When handling problems, they should not only analyze legal risks but also comprehensively consider the actual needs of the company’s development from a management perspective,” he concludes. EXPANDED FUNCTIONS With the continuous improvement of their abilities and the “call of the times” prompted by external environmental changes in recent years, GCs have keenly felt the widening of their professional boundaries. “In recent years, there has indeed been a profound feeling that the responsibilities of a GC within the company keep expanding. In my case, for example, I am responsible for both legal and compliance matters, in addition to other management responsibilities,” says Benqiang. “The expansion of responsibilities reflects the importance placed on the rule of law and compliance, but it also brings challenges and increased practice risks for GCs. Therefore, achieving responsibility expansion while ‘staying within the boundaries’ is crucial, and it is also the direction I will explore in the future.” In Christy Zhou’s view, the expansion of GCs’ responsibilities responds to the demands of the times. “If we go back 5 to 10 years, many aspects, such as internal control and audit, would be managed by the finance department, and intellectual property would be managed by the research and development department. However, the current trend is to centralize them under the GC, and we have indeed found that many matters can be better coordinated when placed under the GC,” she says. Specifically for CanSino, Zhou believes that as a biotech company, CanSino has been continuously TRACY GUO 郭易玥 Vaillant Group (China) Heating, Cooling and Environmental Technology Co., Ltd 威能(中国)供热制冷环境技术有限公司 HONG YUWEN 洪育文 China National Aviation Logistics Co. 中国航油集团物流公司 JIN HAO 金浩 IBM Greater China Group IBM大中华区 RICHARD LI 李程 I-Mab 天境生物 LI QIONGJIA 李琼嘉 HIVE BOX NETWORK TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 丰巢网络技术有限公司 LEO LI 李阳 Lingong Heavy Machinery Co., Ltd. 临工重机股份有限公司 ANNIE LING 凌涛涛 Micro Connect Group 滴灌通集团 ROCKY PAN 潘高翔 Shanghai M&G Stationery INC. 晨光文具 RICKY SHEN 慎凯 Full Truck Alliance Co. Ltd. 满帮集团 EVE WAN 万宜 Tianqi Lithium Corporation 天齐锂业股份有限公司 LUCY XU 徐斓 China Literature Group 阅文集团 ZHANG XIAOFENG 张小凤 China Tea Co., Ltd. Under COFCO Corporation 中粮集团中国茶叶股份有限公司 ZHOU BENQIANG 周本强 SINOHYDRO ENGINEERING BUREAU 8 CO.,LTD. 中国水利水电第八工程局有限公司 LEO ZHOU 周永强 Suez (Shanghai) Investment Co. Ltd. 苏伊士(上海)投资有限公司 CHRISTY ZHOU 周媛 CanSino Biologics Inc. 康希诺生物股份公司