Contact Information


1050 K Street NW, Suite 400

Washington, DC 20001

D: +1 202 312 7004
F: +1 202 312 7461


Harvard Business School
Executive Education
Valparaiso University School of Law
Indiana University
M.A. in Journalism
Beijing Language and Culture University
B.A. in English Language and Literature

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


English Mandarin Chinese

Sarah (Xiaohua) Zhao


Sarah Zhao helps clients solve the challenges associated with international commercial transactions. She advises Fortune 500 companies on corporate and regulatory issues related to corporate formation and maintenance, mergers and acquisitions, technology transactions, and privacy and cybersecurity. Sarah leverages an understanding of Chinese culture and language to adeptly negotiate and close transactions between China and other countries. 

For more than 20 years, Sarah has advised clients in the broad industries of information technology, energy, financial services, life sciences, agriculture, aviation, shipping, transportation, manufacturing, real estate, publishing, data protection, sports and entertainment, and other related industries. She also has arbitration and litigation experience related to China. 

International Corporate and Transactional Experience

Sarah guides companies through the challenges of corporate registration, maintenance and restructuring, joint ventures, financing, mergers and acquisitions, securities, licensing, IP protection, leasing, contract drafting and negotiation, technology transfer, labor, tax, arbitration, trade, governmental affairs, and legislative issues in China. She also has assisted Chinese companies and sports clubs with corporate formation and maintenance, M&A, financing, public listing and NBA issues in the United States.   

Transactions Sarah has conducted include but are not limited to:

  • A solar power company assets acquisition
  • A satellite cable television transmission system financing
  • A seeds production joint venture formation and maintenance
  • An aviation company FCPA investigation
  • A life science company public listing in the U.S.
  • An auto service company acquisition of a publicly listed company in the U.S. 
  • A coal thermal power plant financing and acquisition
  • A railway transportation project financing
  • An auto manufacturing equity transfer
  • A lease finance company restructuring and acquisition
  • An online advertisement joint venture formation and maintenance
  • A major software company’s technology licensing and transfers
  • A multinational information technology company restructuring and acquisition

International Regulatory Experience

Sarah has done substantial regulatory work related to foreign investment in China, especially in the areas of internet and telecom, social media, e-commerce, VOIP, data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. She has worked with private companies, trade associations and governmental officials to enhance China’s business environment for foreign companies, in accordance with World Trade Organization (WTO) principles. As a result, several Chinese rules have been amended or abolished.

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • International Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Valparaiso University Law School National Advisory Council — Board Member
  • Global Forum, an international telecom organization — Steering Committee for Asian Affairs


Sarah is a frequent speaker and commentator on foreign investment issues related to China. She has been regularly invited to give speeches by prominent institutions and international organizations including: Harvard China Review Annual Conference, Practising Law Institute, International Telecom American Association, Pacific Basin Economic Council Policy Conference, Global Forum and International Bar Association.

Published Articles

Sarah has written for and has been interviewed on foreign investment issues by the Law360Legal Times, Chicago Tribune, Telecom Report International of FCC, Corporate Counsel, Boao Magazine and China Law Press


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