Xu Jian

Assistant Professor (Political Science), Division of Social Sciences, Yale-NUS College

Xu Jian is Assistant Professor (Political Science) at the Division Social Sciences of the Yale-NUS College in Singapore. He studies international and comparative political economy, focusing on government-business relations, the relationship between the rule of law and corruption, and the risk-mitigation strategies of multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in developing economies. He received his PhD in Political Science from Emory University in 2021 and was a pre-doctoral fellow with the Democracy Program at The Carter Center from 2020-2021. His dissertation examined the impact of transnational legal regimes on the rent-seeking behavior of public and private actors. His research on the way political connections affect commercial lawsuit outcomes in China was published in the journal Comparative Political Studies. His co-authored work on how MNCs’ political resources help mitigate the commitment problems in litigating in authoritarian courts received the David A. Lake Award for the Best Paper Presented at the 2019 IPES Conference. His paper on transnational anti-corruption regulation was nominated for the award of Georgetown Best Paper in International Business and Policy at the 2020 Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Paramilitary police members wearing protective face masks stand near surveillance cameras at the Bund, in Shanghai, China, 20 January 2022. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

China-focused multinational firms are facing increasingly complex legal environments

As one of the largest recipients of foreign investments, China has no shortage of publicly disclosed cases of corrupt business dealings. But transnational firms are still willing to take the risks and cultivate relationship-building strategies in their business activities. They are even prepared to face a “double jeopardy” situation when they are penalised in their home and overseas locations. But their operating environment could get even more challenging with the US and China clamping down on transnational crime, and the increasing use of domestic judiciaries to regulate extraterritorial legal matters.