Ken Shao

Professor, LLB, LLM, PhD (London)

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

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Professor Ken Shao, PhD (London), is a world learning expert on global intellectual property law and China's transition to innovation economy in an inter-disciplinary context of law, history and culture. He holds a PhD from Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London, which is part of a top-3 UK law school (Guardian University Guide 2018).  

One of Ken’s key research areas is a counter to Harvard Professor William Alford’s widely accepted view on China’s copyright history. He has published with renowned journals such as the WIPO JournalKritikaTsinghua LawQueen Mary Journal of Intellectual PropertyHong Kong Law Journal and Peking University Intellectual Property Law Review. 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, is published by the prestigious Tsinghua University Press in 2019. 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 is a world pioneer and leader in inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural Chinese law education for the non-Chinese Learner. He has over 14 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. 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 been an Education Committee member at the Australia China Business Council (ACBC), which is the premier China-Australia business organization. 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 AustralianGuardian (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

Research expertise keywords

  • 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)


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