Ken Shao

Professor, LLB Nanjing, LLM, PhD Q.Mary (Lond.)

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 0 Citations
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Personal profile


Professor Ken Shao, PhD (London), LLM (London), LLB (Nanjing), is a professor at the Law School of the University of Western Australia, which is a Group of Eight Australian university. His research covers intellectual property law, innovation economy and China-related issues in an inter-disciplinary context of law, history and culture. He holds a PhD and an LLM from Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London, which is part of a top-3 UK law school (Guardian University Guide 2018). Prior to these, he received an LLB from Nanjing University, one of the oldest and most prestigious Chinese universities located in the Jiangnan/Shanghai region – the nation’s traditional and contemporary centre of education, economy and culture.

Ken is a key founder and member of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Overseas Expertise Centre for Intellectual Property Research Innovation and Technological Revolution, a 10-million yuan project and the only one of its kind funded in 2018 by China’s Ministry of Education. The Centre brings together some of the world-leading legal scholars, including Professors Madhavi Sunder, Susan Sell, Joseph Straus and Ken Shadlen, from such universities as University of California, Davis, the Australian National University, the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, LSE, Peking University, and Tsinghua University. Zhongnan is one of China’s six Double First Class (shuangyiliu) law schools (together with Peking, Tsinghua, Renmin, CUPL and Wuhan) and the home of China’s most well-respected intellectual property research centre founded by Professor Wu Handong, former Zhongnan President and former Chairman of China’s Intellectual Property Academy.      

Ken is a world pioneer and leader in inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural Chinese law education for the non-Chinese Learner. He has over ten years of unique experience in founding, managing and delivering innovative, career-boosting Chinese law and China knowledge courses for Australia’s young elites and future leaders. The courses, welcomed by global top employers, aim to empower students with culturally smart, holistic, socio-legal and critical perspective of China. Benefited from Perth’s recent position as Australia’s largest two-way trading partner with China and generous funding from top-tier multinational law firm MinterEllison and the Australian Federal Government grants, Ken has founded two Chinese law programs, initially for Murdoch University and then for the University of Western Australia. The Programs have received excellent student testimonials, including an almost 100% satisfaction rate in an independent survey conducted by Murdoch University in 2010. Some of the program graduates are now working for leading multinationals, such as Woodside, PwC, KPMG and King & Wood Mallesons, in Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai.   

Ken has published with renowned journals such as the WIPO Journal, Kritika, Tsinghua Law, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, Hong Kong Law Journal and Peking University Intellectual Property Law Review. One of his key research areas is a counter to Harvard Professor William Alford’s widely accepted view on China’s copyright history. His latest works include a SIPO-funded Chinese translation (with Dr Nan Zhang) of global IP authority Professor Peter Drahos’s landmark book, The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and their Clients (Cambridge University Press, 2010; China Intellectual Property Publishing House, 2013), and Innovation and Intellectual Property in China: Strategies, Contexts and Challenges (edited with Xiaoqing Feng; Edward Elgar, 2014). The latter elaborates on China’s latest innovation policies and IP strategies from socio-legal perspectives and is contributed by leading experts from UK, US, Australia and China, including the former Intellectual Property Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of China. His multi-year scholarly work, Elegant Creativity as a Tradition: How Chinese Culture could Become a Constructive Participant in Global (Knowledge) Governance, will be published by the prestigious Tsinghua University Press in September 2018. He has been invited as a reviewer by leading publishers/journals such as Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Edward Elgar, and UNSW Law Journal.

Ken serves as an Education Committee member at the Australia China Business Council (ACBC), which is the premier China-Australia business organization, and as an adjunct professor and research fellow at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing (ranked #1 among China’s law universities). He has been invited to speak at high-level international conferences held in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Britain and Australia, and to give lectures in internationally leading universities such as Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hokkaido University. He has been interviewed by SkyNews, ABC, China Radio International, New York Times, The Australian, Guardian (UK), and Bloomberg News on topical issues such as Huawei’s NBN bids, Chinese outbound investment, and U.S. President Obama’s formal visit to Australia.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a Group of Eight Australian university. It is the third most popular university of choice for students, next only to the University of Melbourne and UNSW, and its graduates earn the second-highest starting salary in Australia (Good Universities Guide 2018). UWA graduates include former Prime Minister the Hon. Bob Hawke, Nobel Prize winners Professors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, and five of the last six Australian Ambassadors to China.


Chinese culture & business, innovation economy & intellectual property

Previous positions


Mandarin Chinese

External positions

Research Fellow, China University of Political Science and Law

Education Committee member (WA), The Australia China Business Council (ACBC)

Adjunct Professor, The Centre for Studies of Intellectual Property Rights of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law


  • Cultural Literacy
  • Chinese Philosophy
  • Chinese Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Innovation
  • Chinese cultural intelligence
  • China's outbound investment
  • Intellectual property strategies
  • China's innovation policies (cultural industries and high-tech industries)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ken Shao is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

intellectual property Social Sciences
patent Social Sciences
capitalist society Social Sciences
China Social Sciences
high technology Social Sciences
globalization Social Sciences
innovation Social Sciences
market Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2009 2019

intellectual property
capitalist society
high technology

Taobao, WeChat and Xiaomi: How Innovation Flourishes in China’s ‘Fertile Land of Intellectual Property Piracy’

Shao, K., 2017, Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property. Ghidini, G., Ullrich, H. & Drahos, P. (eds.). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Vol. 2. p. 22-43 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Public Domain in China: a Historical and Empirical Survey

Shao, K., 2016, In : University of Western Australia Law Review. 41, 2, p. 101-117 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle