Mathew Alderson, Attorney

Balancing international expectations and local realities.

Mathew is an international transactional lawyer and corporate advisor with a focus on IP, entertainment, media, and technology transactions.

Once described as a “game-changing attorney” by Variety Magazine, he led our China office and media and entertainment practice from 2011 until 2023. During that period, Mathew represented major Hollywood studios and producers on both motion picture and television projects.

He now divides his time between Beijing and Sydney. With over 14 years’ experience living and working in Beijing, he is well positioned to handle deals involving China. As a practising Australian solicitor, Mathew also advises our clients on their legal affairs in Australia, where his expertise extends to the importation and commercial sale of medicinal cannabis products.

More About Mathew

China’s film & TV industry — legal & business affairs issues for foreigners, a masterclass (with Liu Chun, general manager China Film Co-Production Corporation), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile, Beijing, October 20, 2021.

Commercial Opportunities for UK “IPs”, DHMTC Salon Series, UK Deputy HM Trade Commissioner for China, Beijing, September 13, 2021.

China’s Music Industry: Hot Topics in Legal & Business Affairs, Harris Sliwoski webinar, March 31, 2021.

The Impact of Changes to China’s Copyright Law, UK-China Music Industry Webinar, British Phonographic Industry and UK Government Department for International Trade, Beijing/London, January 26, 2021.

In Conversation: Legal Panel on Key Issues Facing Chinese Producers/Distributors Abroad, Mip China Online 2020, Reed MIDEM, October 27, 2020.

Invitation-Only Online Roundtable on China Live Sport Broadcasting and Copyright Law, UK Department for International Trade, Beijing/London, August 10, 2020.

Current Legal Issues in China’s Music Business, China Music Mission Webinar, British Phonographic Industry, June 22, 2020.

Intellectual property protection in China’s entertainment industry, SupChina, April 29, 2020.

Effects of COVID-19 on Doing Business with China, WTC Utah Webinar, March 19, 2020.

Streaming ahead in China?, Internal Legal Professional Development Conference, NBCUniversal, Beijing, September 20, 2019.

Impact of Regulatory Changes on the Entertainment Sector in the PRC: Trends and Challenges, San Francisco Summit on Dispute Resolution in China, Beijing Arbitration Commission, San Francisco, June 28, 2019.

Production and distribution agreements with China: key legal issues, Mip China, Reed MIDEM, Hangzhou, June 5, 2019.

Legal Issues in China’s Music Business, China-Britain Business Council UK Music Mission, Beijing, April 4, 2019.

UK-China Film & TV Co-Production Treaty Workshop, UK Department for International Trade, Beijing, March 29, 2019.

US-China trade conflict — IPR issues for the US entertainment industry, AmCham China, Beijing, January 25, 2019.

Legal issues in the production and distribution of episodic content for the China market, Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television, Beijing, June 15, 2018.

The regulation of foreign involvement in China’s TV market, MIP China, Hangzhou, June 5, 2018.

Current legal issues in China’s film industry, British Film Institute, Beijing, April 19, 2018.

Music Streaming in China, British Phonographic Industry, Beijing, April 10, 2018.

Online Gaming in China, China Britain Business Council Open to Export webinar, Beijing, November 14, 2017.

IP & Film in China, UK Embassy, Beijing, July 10, 2017.

Sports Broadcast Copyright in China: the Stranglehold of Originality, International Seminar on Legal Protection for Sports Broadcasts, United States Patent and Trademarks Office and National Copyright Administration of China, Beijing, June 23, 2017.

Film Finance in China, a panel with Ellen Eliasoph, Bennet Pozil and April Ye, AmCham, Beijing, April 17, 2017.

China and Hollywood: Distribution and Censorship in a Cross-Pacific Partnership, 14th Annual Media Law Conference, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, January 19, 2017.

Film production in China — an overview of legal & regulatory issues, British Film Institute, London, August 5, 2016.

TV production in China — an overview of legal & regulatory issues, Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television, London, August 4, 2016.

China Film Finance – In Conversation with Bennett Pozil of East West Bank, AmCham China, Beijing, April 21, 2016.

Intellectual Property and Film in China, British Film Institute China Delegation, Beijing, April 17, 2016.

IP in China’s Entertainment Industry – the Big Issues, AmCham China, AmCham China Conference Center, Beijing, March 21, 2016, 12PM-2PM.

China Australia Film Collaboration, Cinefest Oz Film Festival, Western Australia, August 27, 2015.

An Overview of Intellectual Property in Film and Online Broadcasting (VOD) Regulation in China, China Britain Business Council, June 23, 2015.

Legal aspects of China film production, British Film Institute Roundtable, Beijing, March 7, 2015.

China’s entertainment industry: exploring the evolving legal and business landscape, Beverly Hills Bar Association, November 3, 2014.

China’s booming entertainment business: a lawyer’s view, Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, September 17, 2014.

Intellectual property aspects of film production in China, British Film Institute Roundtable, April 15th, 2014.

Film Finance Seminar, Shanghai International Film Festival, Shanghai, June 13, 2013.

Australia-China Publishing Forum, Beijing International Literary Festival, March 20, 2013.

Market Access for Services in China, American Chamber of Commerce in China, August 20, 2012.

Current issues for American business in China, United States Department of Commerce, Beijing, August 15, 2012.

The role of foreign lawyers in assisting Chinese foreign direct investment, The China International Fair for Trade in Services, May 29th, 2012.

Sino-Foreign Film Co-Productions, Beijing International Film Festival, April 23, 2012.

Don’t Be a Bull in the China Shop, 2011 Screen Producers Association of Australia Annual Conference, November 16, 2011.

Sino-Foreign Feature Co-Productions: Legal Compliance for Foreigners in China, Australia-China Film Forum, Beijing, December 10, 2010.

Trump Trade War Starts to Threaten Hollywood’s Business in ChinaVariety, June 5, 2019.

Will China open the door to Disney+?, The Hollywood Reporter, April 29, 2019.

Chinawood, 60 Minutes, August 14, 2016.

China’s Dalian Wanda Sets Its Sights on Hollywood With Legendary DealThe Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2016.

Legendary Deal Will Transform China’s Wanda Into Entertainment Giant, Variety, January 5, 2016.

Hollywood goes to China but Arnie fans must play the gameFinancial Review, September 12, 2015.

Wechat is Tencent’s ace in China’s online entertainment race, Reuters, May 12, 2015.

2014: The year China’s film industry got more industrial, China Economic Review, January 27, 2015.

The Inside Intel on Wanda Group’s $8.2 Billion China Studio PlanThe Hollywood Reporter, November 25, 2013.

Chinese Factual: Initial Fears Before a Long Haul, Screen Hub, October 12, 2013.

Chinese Mogul Wang Jianlin Lays Down Challenge to Hollywood, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 23, 2013.

China’s Loming Entertainment Problem: Not Enough LawyersThe Hollywood Reporter, June 21, 2013.

‘Man of Steel’ Takes in Nearly $6 Million in China Opening, Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2013.

After the Controversy, ‘Django Unchained’ Flops in ChinaLos Angeles Times, June 4, 2013.

Hollywood Tasting Bittersweet Success in China, China Digest, Issue 29, May 13, 2013.

How Hollywood’s Obsession with China May Change Movies Forever, Buzzfeed, May 12, 2013.

China May Pit ‘Skyfall’ vs. ‘Hobbit’Variety, November 12, 2012.

Regular contributor to the award-winning China Law Blog.

Author of the UK-China Film & TV Toolkit.

Work published frequently on China Film Insider and Conventus Law.

Co-author, Media and Entertainment Chapter, American Business in China (White Paper), AmCham-China, 2011-2016.

Digital Redemption for China’s Movie MarketBusiness Now, March 1, 2015.

Contributing Editor, Current Issues in Film Law, Butterworths, 2001.

Advised foreign copyright collection society on China legal and business affairs.

Advised US streamer on content license deals with Chinese streamers.

Provided China production legals for major Hollywood studio.

Provided China production legals for US streamer.

Advised major Hollywood studio on China production and distribution deals for episodic content.

Advised major Hollywood studio on China distribution agreements and China format licenses for episodic content.

Structured and papered VIE-led China streaming venture for foreign syndicate.

Advised foreign government on China co-creation, co-development and co-production issues and prepared suite of bilingual forms for use by foreign industry.

Advised major US experience marketing company on China client and supplier contracts and prepared suite of bilingual forms.

Represented Chinese production company on local-language projects for US and European branded content.

  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (B.A. & LL.B)
  • The College of Law, Sydney, Australia (Legal Practice Course)
  • English (Native)
  • Chinese (Intermediate)