David Chen


  • JD, Boston University, 2008
  • MA (International Relations), Boston University School of Law, 2008
  • LLM (Chinese Law), Tsinghua University Law School, 2008
  • BA (Business Economics, Sociology), University of California, Los Angeles, 2002


  • California, 2009
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • California Bar Association
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific: Rising Star (2020)

David Chen


View the Chinese version.

David is an intellectual property transactions and data privacy counsel based in Ropes & Gray’s Shanghai office. His practice includes a broad range of intellectual property and general commercial matters, data protection and privacy, and IT. He advises global companies and private equity funds in mergers and acquisitions, foreign direct investments, and commercial transactions involving intellectual property assets. He focuses on licensing arrangements, joint ventures, partnerships, technology transfers, and R&D activities, and assisting clients in the evaluation, monetization, acquisition and disposal of IP assets. David also regularly advises clients on protecting their trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and other intellectual property rights in China.

David regularly assists pharmaceutical, biotech, digital health, and medical device companies in their transactions encompassing the entire pharma, biologic, and medical device value chain, including on early-stage collaboration on drug discovery, in-licensing and out-licensing of drug candidates, CMO and CRO arrangements, supply and distribution, and promotion.

David also works with mobile apps, gaming, digital media, and data-driven companies on their transactions involving app, game, and content development and distribution and data sharing.

David has advised clients in the life science, mobile apps, gaming, digital medicine, chemical, education, consumer products, software, consumer electronics, auto, and telecommunications industries. He is a California native and has lived and practiced in China since 2009.


  • Advised Zai Lab in a number of in-licensing initiatives to develop and commercialize products for China.
  • Advised Innovent Biologics in various in-licensing and out-licensing arrangements.
  • Advised a US multinational pharmaceutical company in its collaboration with a Chinese biotech to develop AI algorithms for disease diagnosis.
  • Advised a consortium of investors in a going-private transaction involving Shangpharma, one of the largest Chinese life sciences services providers.
  • Advised a US multinational pharmaceutical company to engage another multinational pharma to promote its diabetes product in China.
  • Regularly advises biotechs to in-license drug assets for development and commercialization in China.
  • Advised Alibaba in its joint venture with Richemont and YOOX Net-A-Porter Group.
  • Regularly advises and counsels multinational companies on China data protection and privacy compliance.


  • "Technology Transfer in China: Guidance for Businesses," China IPR SME Helpdesk
  • "Guide to Protecting Your Trade Secrets in China," China IPR SME Helpdesk
  • "Guide to Copyrights in China," China IPR SME Helpdesk
  • "Guide to IPR Protection in China for the Creative Industries," China IPR SME Helpdesk
  • "Managing IP Risk When Off-shoring Technology to China," International Outsourcing Law Guide, Global Business Magazine (March 2011)
  • "Interior Designs Protected as Copyrightable Works in China," IP Newsletter (October 2010), Hogan Lovells International LLP; also in Intellectual Property Forum, No. 83 J. IP Society of AU and NZ (December 2010)
  • "The Innovative Leap Forward: What Indigenous Innovation Means and What Foreign Businesses Can Expect," IAM Magazine
  • "Trade Secrets - Not to be Forgotten," IPR Newsletter (Winter 2009/10), China-Britain Business Council 


  • Webinar, "IPR Protection in China for European SMEs in Clean Technology Industries" (September 29, 2011)Webinar, "IPR Protection in China for EU SMEs: Focus on Creative Industries" (May 31, 2011)
  • Presenter, "Protect your Ideas, Product and Brand: Use Your Intellectual Property Rights," Dutch Design Workspace in Shanghai (September 7, 2011)
  • Presenter, "How to Conduct an IP Audit," FINCHI Innovation Center in Shanghai (September 8, 2011)
  • JD, Boston University, 2008
  • MA (International Relations), Boston University School of Law, 2008
  • LLM (Chinese Law), Tsinghua University Law School, 2008
  • BA (Business Economics, Sociology), University of California, Los Angeles, 2002
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