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Hannah Yao (Yao Hua) is a Partner in the Corporate department of Appleby’s Shanghai office.

Hannah is a dual qualified lawyer and was admitted in US (New York) and in PRC, specialising in Private Equity Funds, M&A and General Corporate. Hannah has extensive experience in various cross-border investments, especially in TMT sectors.

Hannah is a native Mandarin speaker and fluent in English. Coming from a leading PRC firm, she has considerable experience in assisting and representing PRC clients on their legal requirements. Her clients whilst practicing onshore comprised leading PE funds (Softbank, Sequoia, Bain Capital, Primavera Capital and China Silkroad Fund, amongst others) as well as leading technology companies (Apple, Tesla, ByteDance, 21Vianet Group and Hans Laser).

Prior to joining Appleby, Hannah worked with King & Wood Mallesons in Shanghai and New York, and most recently with Fangda Partners in Beijing.

Work Highlights

Some of Hannah’s major cases include:

  • Represented Softbank Vision Fund in the series D financing of Zhejiang Xunshi Technology Co., Ltd, a global high-tech conglomerate focusing on the R&D of 3D printers and materials and the series D financing of Shanghai Keenon Technology Co., Ltd., a leading AI company focusing on indoor intelligent service robot;
  • Represented Bain Capital in its USD 570 million investment in the China-based data center developer and operator Beijing Qinhuai Technology and the reorganization of Bain Asia IDC assets and the strategic cooperation with a key customer of IDC portfolio company;
  • Represented Bytedance in its angel investment into an online game start-up;
  • Represented Sequoia in its series A investment into a semiconductor start-up;
  • Represented Asia Investment Fund in its purchase of USD 50 million convertible note issued by 21Vianet Group, Inc.(世纪互联), a Nasdaq-listed company and a leading carrier- and cloud-neutral Internet data center services provider in China;
  • Represented Apple Operations (a subsidiary of Apple Inc.) in its equity investment into various solar PV and wind power projects operated by Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd and Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd as well as acquisition of environmental attributes related to such projects; and
  • Represented Sequoia Capital in its acquisition of a minority equity interest in Shanghai Raindrop Financial Services Co. Ltd. ‘s series A financing.

* Includes transactions completed by the lawyer prior to joining Appleby

Qualifications & Education

  • New York State Bar & PRC Bar
  • Master in International Law – Xiamen University (China)
  • LL.M – University of Wisconsin Law School Madison (WI, U.S.A)
  • Graduate Certificate in Chinese and American Studies – Johns Hopkins University (Nanjing University Centre) (China)
  • Bachelor of Law (Tianjin University) (China)
  • Bachelor of Finance (Nankai University) (China)

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