This paper focusses on the Chinese approach to corporate governance. It begins with a survey of the historical foundations of the modern corporate law of China. The unique relationship which arose between Chinese markets and foreign suppliers from the consular judiciary power enjoyed by many nations in the early twentieth century and its impact on the development of Chinese corporate law is considered first. A specific focus is the circumstances surrounding the drafting of the first Chinese Corporate Law of 1904, enacted with the goal of making China a strong commercial power. The hybrid nature of the first Chinese corporate law, being drawn from Japanese and English structures, and its impact on modern legislative approaches to corporate law form the basis of the discussion of the relationship between the facets of the modern corporation in China. The position of shareholders as the corporate power centre, their relationship with the boards of directors and supervisors, and the powers of each are noted.
Another core focus is the method of enforcement of the corporate law in China. The proper plaintiff, defendant and the possibility of derivative actions under the Corporate Law of 2013 are discussed, with a particular focus on the ability of shareholders to bring actions to protect the interests of the corporation. These powers must be exercised so as to guard against possible abuses of restrictions on action by wrongdoing supervisors and directors acting in collusion. The article concludes with an analysis of the role of the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in improving corporate governance. Significantly, it is noted, that the possibility of class actions in China can be used to hold corporations, controlling shareholders, and management accountable for exercises of power which are against the public interest.European Business Law Review