Layton Z. Niu

Layton Z. Niu

Asia Pacific Counsel, Corporate
Layton Z. Niu advises public and private companies, private equity funds and major financial institutions on mergers, acquisitions, investments, disposals and other corporate matters.


Some of Mr. Niu’s recent experience includes advising: Baidu, Inc. in its proposed US$3.6 billion acquisition of JOYY Inc.’s livestreaming business in China; Baidu, Inc. in the divestment of its financial services business and sale of a majority stake of that business for US$1.9 billion to a consortium of investors led by TPG Capital and The Carlyle Group; the special committee of the board of directors of Bitauto Holdings Limited in its US$1.1 billion going-private acquisition by an investor consortium led by an affiliate of Tencent Holdings Limited and Hammer Capital Opportunities Fund L.P.; International, Ltd. in a share exchange transaction with Naspers Limited, in which Naspers exchanged its stake in the Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip Limited for newly issued shares in Ctrip;, Inc. in its strategic partnership with Google, including Google’s US$550 million investment in JD;, Inc. in its strategic cooperation with Tencent Holdings Limited valued at over US$800 million; LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. in its issuance and sale of US$300 million convertible notes to PAG; Meituan Dianping in its acquisition of the bike-sharing firm mobike Ltd; NIO, Inc. in its issuance and sale of convertible notes to various investors; Pinduoduo Inc. in its issuance and sale of US$1.1 billion of Class A ordinary shares to certain investors; Renren Inc., the owner of Kaixin Auto Group, in Kaixin’s US$454 million combination with CM Seven Star Acquisition Corporation; Sina Group Holding Company Limited, an entity led by Sina Corporation’s chairman Mr. Charles Chao, in its US$2.6 billion going-private acquisition of Sina Corporation; WeWork Companies, Inc. in a US$500 million investment in WeWork China led by Trustbridge Partners, Temasek, SoftBank, SoftBank Vision Fund and Hony Capital; ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. Ltd. in its US$100 million joint venture with SoftBank Vision Fund; and ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc. in a strategic agreement with Alibaba and Cainiao Network, pursuant to which investors led by Alibaba and Cainiao invested US$1.38 billion in ZTO in exchange for an approximately 10% equity stake in ZTO.

In addition, Mr. Niu has acted as counsel to: FountainVest Partners in its establishment of a joint venture in China with WME | IMG together with Sequoia Capital China and Tencent, and in other investments in leading China-based businesses, such as DIH Technology Limited and Codoon; Horizons Ventures Limited, the private investment arm of Li Ka-Shing, in its investments in various early-stage technology companies based in the U.S. and Canada; LionRock Capital in connection with several investment and acquisition transactions; Ping An ZQ China Growth Opportunity Limited in a US$210 million strategic investment in the NYSE-listed Nu Skin Enterprises; Princeville Capital in its equity investments in multiple private companies; and ZQ Capital Limited in a leveraged buyout transaction for the acquisition of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, a medical device manufacturer.

Mr. Niu also has experience in certain other areas of law, including Rule 144A and Regulation S private placements, SEC-registered securities offerings and private investment fund formation. He joined Skadden’s New York office in 2013, before relocating to the Hong Kong office.



  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 2013
  • B.A., China University of Political Science and Law, 2010


  • Hong Kong
  • New York
  • District of Columbia

Layton Z. Niu

Asia Pacific Counsel, Corporate