Company: Frederick W. Hong Law Offices
Position: Attorney, Founder and Principal of Frederick W. Hong Law Offices
Hometown: Los Angeles, US
Where is your hometown?
My hometown is Los Angeles, a gateway city of America for the Asia Pacific. It also has a significant Chinese-American population.
What advice would you give to prospective lawyers?
The current millennial generation tends to perform well if they are motivated. My advice to prospective lawyers would be that the main reason you pursue the legal profession as your career should be because you are interested in and motivated by law. Do not just get into it because it may give you a good income.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Over the past 40 years, I have focused my practice on general business and corporate areas, with particular emphasis on international business transactions and cross-border investment matters. I have represented a good number of business enterprises from the US and European countries in their business dealings in China. I have also represented PRC companies and individuals in their business transactions and investments in the United States. The most difficult and at the same time most exciting part of my job has been acting as the cultural and legal bridge between the East and the West to connect both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
What led you to start your own law firm?
I started my own law firm in 1977 first as a community law firm serving Chinese immigrant communities in the Greater Los Angeles area. As business, economic and cultural interactions between Asia and America grew leaps and bounds in the 80’s and 90’s, my firm gradually developed our practice more internationally and across the Asia Pacific.
Have you read any good books lately?
I recently read Business Law by Jane P. Mallor. This book is very helpful for understanding the international business law and the legal environment of business. The world is changing rapidly; reading is one of the most powerful and efficient ways to catch up with the changes in the world.
What is one important and interesting legal issues facing MNCs in China?
MNCs have made significant contributions to China’s economic development throughout the last thirty plus years since its opening up to the outside world. Despite this opening, I am fully aware that because of certain legal restrictions, market access remains a major barrier for some US MNCs in China. Nevertheless, instead of merely relying on the US government to pressure China to further open its market to MNCs, we should learn from what Amway accomplished about twenty years ago when China banned multi-level marketing in the country. Amway did not pull out of China. Instead, it worked diligently with the Chinese laws and regulations, reorganized its China business activities and now, it is the biggest and best run 'Amway-style' company in China!
Why did you decide to join AmCham China?
AmCham China is a great platform for American companies to join together for advocacy in China and the US as well as for sharing good information and experiences in doing business in China. Our firm was a member of AmCham China for several years a few years back. We are just rejoining the AmCham China family now.