Continuing my series on bankruptcy law, this blogpost gives a quick report on 2015 first quarter bankruptcy cases in the Chinese courts, drawn from this report (including the charts used).
During that period, the Chinese courts accepted 264 bankruptcy cases. Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong had the top number of cases, followed by Shanxi, Anhui, and Hunan. The top bar is cases is the rest of the country.
The piechart sets out the percentage distribution of cases by province (the largest percentage is from the rest of the country).
A listing of the courts that have accepted the most bankruptcy cases bears out earlier analysis on this blog about the Shenzhen courts (Shenzhen is the court that has accepted the most bankruptcy cases in the country, with Zhangjiagang (Jiangsu Province) in second place.
As for the types of cases, the piechart below shows that most cases (about 2/3s) were bankruptcy liquidation cases, followed by reorganization (about 1/3), with very few settlement cases. This article explains the three different types of cases.
On the geographical distribution of the liquidation cases.the piechat above shows that most arose in Jiangsu Province (about 23%), with Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shanxi, and Anhui Provinces following in descending order. The 40% is from the rest of the country. Several cases involve multi-tiered, overlapping layers of complex entities (as elsewhere in the world), leading Chinese courts to consolidate the bankruptcy cases of several related companies (this Harvard Law School article gives a US bankruptcy perspective on consolidation).
On the geographical distribution of the reorganization cases, the piechart above shows that greatest proportion of reorganization cases were in Zhejiang (25%) (the site of at least one pilot court for bankruptcy cases), followed by Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong/Shanxi) (the 30% is for the rest of the country).
As mentioned previously, the Supreme People’s Court expects to see an upturn in bankruptcy cases, and I would expect to see initiatives in transferring cases from enforcement to bankruptcy (an outstanding issue for the courts) and proposed solutions to achieve more reorganization and settlement cases. These are likely to happen because (as mentioned previously) the Chinese government has committed to reducing the number of zombie enterprises. Early this spring, a conference will be held in China on the trial of bankruptcy cases, where these issues are likely to be discussed. If the organizers (and funding) permit, I will attend.