Skip to content

Sang Yop Kang

Professor of Law

sykang@stl.pku.edu.cn
sang918@gmail.com

“At STL, I dedicate myself to teach my students as future scientists and artists who analyze corporate governance issues with ‘warm hearts and cold brains.’ I am always happy at STL as my students develop themselves and prepare as future leaders who will accomplish 經世濟民 for their society and country.”

  • BIO

    KANG, Sang Yop (姜尚燁 in Chinese: 강상엽 in Korean) is Professor of Law (full professorship with tenure) at Peking University, School of Transnational Law. He teaches and researches in the areas of corporate governance, corporate law (general theory; US; Korea; China), securities regulations, M&As, capital markets, financial market regulations, banking policies and regulations, law and economics, law and finance, law and politics, executive compensation, Chinese economic policies, Chinese corporate governance, East Asian economies and legal systems, political economy, etc. In addition, more specifically, he currently conducts research on startups and venture capitals, corporate groups, institutional investors, hedge funds and private equity funds, shareholder activism and institutional investors’ stewardship, ESG (environmental, social, and governance), digital economy (e.g., metaverse, cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies), the platform business, and fintech.

    In high school, Professor Kang was interested in politics, economics, and law as well as mathematics, science, and music. Originally, he was a student in the science major (理科) in high school. However, he seriously considered studying music in a university as a major to become a professional composer. After much confusion and thought in high school, when he took a national university entrance examination, he eventually decided to study economics. Professor Kang entered Yonsei University in Korea as a recipient of the four-year full scholarship, which was awarded to the entering students with the highest national university entrance examination scores. At Yonsei University’s College of Business and Economics, he graduated in the top 1%. After graduation from his undergraduate study at Yonsei, Professor Kang was admitted to economics Ph.D. programs at two Ivy League universities in the U.S. However, he gave up such an opportunity since he thought that it was the last chance to study international relations that he had been interested in for a long time. Accordingly, Professor Kang decided to study at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. After graduation from the Fletcher School, he worked in the capital market, where he was curious about corporate governance and capital market regulation. To resolve his curiosity, Professor Kang decided to study law. He finished his law degree at Yonsei University (College of Law, graduation at top 1%). Then, Professor Kang studied law further in the U.S. He holds an LL.M. (Master of Law) degree and a J.S.D. (Doctor of the Science of Law) degree at Columbia University School of Law. Professor Kang is also a Research Member of the ECGI (European Corporate Governance Institute), the most prestigious global academic association for the corporate governance scholarship (law, economics, and finance). He is one of a few ECGI Research Members in mainland China.

    At Columbia Law School, Professor Kang was Fiske Harlan Stone Scholar (academic distinction), Herman Finkelstein Fellow, and a research fellow in the Visiting Scholar Program. Since he taught at Peking University School of Transnational Law, Professor Kang visited Columbia Law School as a fellow in the Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets. In addition, he visited Harvard Law School by invitation from the Program on Corporate Governance. Also, Professor Kang visited Stanford Law School and researched corporate governance with a faculty member there. He was invited to conduct research at Seoul National University Law School (서울대학교 법학전문대학원) as well. In addition, Professor Kang was invited to teach corporate governance at the University of Tokyo (东京大学) Law School in Japan. He has been often invited as a speaker in numerous conferences from many countries. Professor Kang also visited as a guest scholar in law firms in Korea such as Kim & Chang and Shin & Kim (Sejong).

    Since Professor Kang started teaching at the Peking University, School of Transnational Law in 2011, he has received twice the “Excellent Teaching Award” from Peking University (the best teaching prize awarded to one professor at the Peking University, School of Transnational Law). In addition, in 2017, based on his research and article on the independent director system in China, Professor Kang won Tsinghua China Law Review Award for Excellence in Research from Tsinghua University (清华大学). Professor Kang is a lawyer. Before studying law, he worked as an analyst and a fund manager in the capital market. Professor Kang is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter-holder. Also, he is an FRM (Financial Risk Manager) charter-holder. In addition, Professor Kang is an arbitrator in the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) and was invited to join the SCIA Hong Kong Panel of Arbitrators. He is also an editor of the Journal of Korean Law published by Seoul National University Law School (서울대학교 법학전문대학원).

    Professor Kang publishes numerous articles in academic journals such as the Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, the Berkeley Business Law Journal, the Virginia Law & Business Review, the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, Tsinghua China Law Review, etc. Also, with world-leading scholars, Professor Kang is a coauthor of “Law and Finance of Related Party Transactions” (Cambridge University Press), “Comparative Corporate Governance” (Edward Elgar), and “Global Shareholder Stewardship” (Cambridge University Press). Professor Kang likes to read and study Chinese history. Often, he attempts to find corporate governance implications from Chinese history. Also, Professor Kang sometimes “claims” that he majored in Chinese history (which is not true). In addition, he likes to discuss Chinese legal systems and economic policies. Professor Kang learned Chinese calligraphy when he was a kid. As a hobby, Professor Kang likes to play piano as well. Indeed, he performed piano in several events at STL and other places (like Peking University PHBS Business School). Professor Kang likes music and fine arts. Moreover, he loves to talk with STL students and study together with them at the STL library and self-study classrooms.

    Academic Position (Peking University, School of Transnational Law)

    • Professor of Law (Full Professorship with Tenure): 2017 ~ Present
    • Associate Professor: 2014 ~ 2017
    • Assistant Professor: 2011 ~ 2014

    Education

    • Columbia University, School of Law, J.S.D. (Doctor of Science of Law)
    • Columbia University, School of Law, LL.M.
    • Yonsei University, LL.B (Law)
    • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, M.A.L.D.
    • Yonsei University, B.A. (Economics)

    Research and Teaching Experience at Other Academic Institutions

    • Seoul National University (서울대학교), Visiting Researcher, Asia Pacific Law Institute (Summer 2021)
    • University of Tokyo (东京大学), Law School: Invited to teach corporate governance (August 2019)
    • Stanford University (Law School): Researched corporate governance for the joint projects with a faculty member at Stanford Law School (May 2019)
    • Harvard University (Law School): Researched corporate governance (invited by the Program on Corporate Governance) (January ~ February 2017)
    • Columbia University (Law School): Visiting Fellow (Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets) (Summer 2016; April 2015)
    • Columbia University (Law School): Visiting Research Fellow in Visiting Scholar Program (Summer 2011; 2007 ~ 2008)

    Research Areas

    • Corporate Governance
    • Corporate Law (General Theory; US; Korea; China)
    • M&A
    • Capital Markets and Regulations; Financial Markets and Regulations
    • Banking Policies and Regulations
    • Startups and Venture Capitals
    • Corporate Groups
    • Institutional Investors; Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds
    • Shareholder Activism and Institutional Investors’ Stewardship
    • ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
    • Digital Economy (e.g., Metaverse, Cryptocurrencies, Central Bank Digital Currencies); Platform Business; Fintech
    • Executive Compensation
    • Chinese Economic Policies; Chinese Corporate Governance; East Asian Economies and Legal Systems
    • Law and Economics; Law and Finance; Political Economy

    Professional Qualification, Memberships, etc.

    • Research Member, ECGI (European Corporate Governance Institute)
    • Lawyer (New York State)
    • CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
    • FRM (Financial Risk Manager)
    • Arbitrator, Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA); Panelist, SCIA Hong Kong Panel of Arbitration
    • Editor, the Journal of Korean Law (Seoul National University)
  • COURSES
    • Business Associations (U.S. Corporate Law)
    • Corporate Governance from the Global Perspective
    • Economic Analysis of Corporate Law
    • Securities Regulation
    • Seminar: Corporations and Financial Markets
    • Seminar: East Asian Economic Structure
  • PUBLICATIONS
    • Diversified Enterprises with Controlling Shareholders: A Theoretical Analysis of Risk-Sharing, Control/Voting Leverage, and Tunneling in the Research Handbook on Comparative Corporate Governance (Afra Afsharipour & Martin Gelter eds., Edward Elgar, forthcoming) (single authored)
    • Korea’s Stewardship Code and the Rise of Shareholder Activism: Agency Problems and Government Stewardship Revealed in Global Shareholder Stewardship: Complexities, Challenges and Possibilities (Dionysia Katelouzou & Dan W. Puchniak eds., Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (co-authored with Kyung-Hoon Chun)    
    • Book Review: Independent Directors in Asia, Cambridge University Press Asian Journal of Law and Society (2019) (single-authored)
    • Optimally Restrained Tunneling: The Puzzle of Controlling Shareholders’ “Generous” Exploitation in Bad-Law Jurisdictions, in The Law and Finance of Related Party Transactions: A Comparative Analysis (Luca Enriques & Tobias H. Tröger eds., Cambridge University Press 2019) (single-authored; an abbreviated version of “Generous Thieves”: The Puzzle of Controlling Shareholder Arrangements in Bad-Law Jurisdictions, Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance (2015))
    • “Game of Thrones”: Children’s Competition and Corporate Governance Issues in Family-Controlled Corporations, Berkeley Business Law Journal (2018) (single-authored)    
    • The Independent Director System in China: Weaknesses, Dilemmas, and Potential Silver Linings, Tsinghua China Law Review (2017) (single-authored)
    • Rethinking Self-Dealing and the Fairness Test: A Law and Economics Framework for Internal Transactions in Corporate Groups, Virginia Law & Business Review (2016) (single-authored)
    • Tension Between Shareholder Primacy and (Quasi) Monopoly: A Theoretical Analysis of Controlling Shareholder Economies and China, University of Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review (2015) (single-authored)
    • “Generous Thieves”: The Puzzle of Controlling Shareholder Arrangements in Bad-Law Jurisdictions, Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance (2015) (single-authored)
    • Taking Voting Leverage and Anti-Director Rights More Seriously: A Critical Analysis of the Law and Finance Theory, Columbia Journal of Asian Law(2015) (single-authored)
    • Competition Law Meets Corporate Governance: Ownership Structure, Voting Leverage, and Investor Protection of Large Family Corporate Groups in Korea, Peking University Transnational Law Review (2014) (co-authored with Nansulhun Choi) 
    • Re-envisioning the Controlling Shareholder Regime: Why Controlling Shareholders and Minority Shareholders Often Embrace Each Other, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law (2014) (single-authored)
    • Transplanting a Poison Pill in Controlling Shareholder Regimes: Why It Is So Difficult, Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business (2013) (single-authored)

    Other Publications

    • Rethinking Self-Dealing and the Fairness Test: A Law and Economics Framework for Internal Transactions in Corporate Groups, Oxford Business Law Blog (based on the invitation from University of Oxford, the summary of an article with the same title—which was published by The Virginia Law & Business Review in 2016—was posted on the blog)

    Presentations

    • Shareholder Stewardship in Korea, Conference at King’s College London (forthcoming, September 2019)
    • Foreign Listing and Bonding Theory (tentative title), Symposium at University of Tokyo (forthcoming, August 2019)
    • The Vanke-Baoneng Case and Beyond: Hostile Takeover and Corporate Governance in China, Comparative Corporate Governance Conference 2019, Singapore Academy of Law (January 2019)
    • (Startup Companies and Their) Control Issues, Legal and Funding Issues for Successful Startups, Peking University School of Transnational-University of California, Berkeley Joint Conference (December 2018)
    • Corporate Groups, in the Perl River Delta Academy of International Trade and Investment Law (PRAIA) Program (November 2018)
    • Hostile Takeover and Corporate Governance in China: Based on the Vanke Case, Conference on Corporate Governance and Business Transactions in Asia, National Singapore University (jointly organized by National University of Singapore and Stanford Law School) (September 2018)
    • Hostile Takeover and Corporate Governance in China: Based on the Vanke Case, 2018 Trans-Pacific Business Law Dialogue, Seoul National University (July 2018)
    • Corporate Law and Corporate Governance, Peking Univ. STL Road Show Lecture in Fudan University (复旦大学) (June 2018)
    • Hostile Takeover and Corporate Governance in China: Based on the Vanke Case, Asian Law Institute (ASLI) Conference, Seoul National University (May 2018)
    • Unpacking Voting Leverage Mechanisms: Theoretical Analysis, 2018 Beijing Conference German and East Asian Perspectives on Corporate and Capital Market Law: Diversity of Shareholders and Corporate Governance, Peking University (Beijing) (March 2018)
    • Board Composition and Independent Directors in Korea, University of Leeds (January 2018)
    • Corporate Groups and Internal Transactions, in the Perl River Delta Academy of International Trade and Investment Law (PRAIA) Program (November 2017)
    • Issuing New Shares, Convertible Bonds and Corporate Governance, Tsinghua University (清华大学) School of Law International Conference (October 2017)
    • Related Party Transactions in China, Goethe University (October 2017)
    • Related Party Transactions in China, University of Oxford (May 2017)
    • “King Lear Problems”: Succession and Corporate Governance Issues in Family Corporations, Peking University School of Transnational Law (Faculty Seminar) (March 2017)
    • King Lear Problems”: Corporate Governance Issues of Succession in Family Corporations, University of California, Berkeley, International Conference entitled “Comparative Corporate Governance” (February 2017)
    • Internal Transactions and Fairness, Korea Economic Research Institute (January 2017)
    • “King Lear Problems”: Corporate Governance Issues During the Succession in Family Corporations, Peking University PHBS Business School (Faculty Seminar) (December 2016)
    • “King Lear Problems”: Corporate Governance Issues During the Succession in Family Corporations, Tsinghua University (清华大学) School of Law (Public Lecture) (December 2016)
    • “King Lear Problems”: Corporate Governance Issues During the Succession in Family Corporations, Peking University School of Transnational Law (Public Lecture) (December 2016)
    • Rethinking Self-Dealing and the Fairness Test: A Law and Economics Framework for Internal Transactions in Corporate Groups, Renmin University (人民大学) School of Law (Public Lecture) (November 2016)
    • Hostile Takeovers and Defenses: Lessons from Korea for China, Tsinghua University (清华大学) School of Law International Conference (October 2016)
    • Reconsidering the Independent Director System in China: A Silver Lining Amidst Weaknesses?, Peking University School of Transnational Law (Faculty Seminar) (October 2016)
    • Understanding Corporate Groups in Asia: Transnational Law and Economics Perspective, in the Perl River Delta Academy of International Trade and Investment Law (PRAIA) Program (July 2016)
    • Rethinking Self-Dealing and the Fairness Test: A Law and Economics Framework for Internal Transactions in Corporate Groups, Peking University PHBS Business School Seminar (July 2016)
    • King Lear Problem: Succession Crisis in Family-Controlled Corporations, Asian Law and Economics Association Conference (June 2016)
    • Cumulative Voting, Corporate Groups, and Institutional Investors, Asian Law Institute Conference (May 2016)
    • Rethinking Self-Dealing and the Fairness Test: A Law and Economics Framework for Internal Transactions in Corporate Groups, Peking University School of Transnational Law (Faculty Seminar) (May 2016)
    • Dilemmas of the Independent Director System in China, Tsinghua University (清华大学) School of Law International Conference (November 2015)
    • Market Dominant Corporation, Shareholder Wealth, and Welfare of a Nation: Analysis in Controlling Shareholder Economies and China, Korea Law and Economics Association Conference (June 2015)
    • Market Dominant Corporation, Shareholder Wealth, and Welfare of a Nation: Analysis in Controlling Shareholder Economies and China, Peking University School of Law (Faculty Seminar) (June 2015)
    • Refining Disciplines on State-Owned Enterprises: Lessons from China, Korea, Japan, and the ICSID Convention (with Mark Feldman), Peking University School of Law (Faculty Seminar) (May 2015)
    • Tension Between (Quasi) Monopoly and Shareholder Value Maximization, Korea Securities Law Association (February 2015) 
    • The Puzzle of Controlling Shareholder Arrangements: Why Some Controlling Shareholders “Generously” Expropriate from Minority Shareholders, Shin & Kim (August 2014)
    • Re-envisioning Investors’ Anti-Director Rights Index: Theory, Criticism, and Implications, Korean Securities Law Association (July 2014)
    • Law and Economics Analysis on (Unfair) Self-Dealing in Chaebols: Problems, Reforms, and Evaluation, University of Tokyo Law Faculty (May 2013)
    • Nonlegal Mechanisms for Constraining Controlling Shareholders: Analysis of “Roving” and “Stationary” ControllersPeking University School of Transnational Law (Faculty Seminar) (March 2013)
    • Controlling Shareholders: “Roving” v. “Stationary”, Seoul National University Law Research Institute, International Conference “Recent Trends in Research on Corporate Law” (September 2012)
    • Efficiency Market Hypothesis, Behavioral Finance, and the Securities Regulation, Korea Law and Economics Association (August 2012)
    • S. Takeover Doctrines and Their Implications, Korea Securities Law Association (July 2012)
    • Evaluating Macro-level Corporate Governance Index, Peking University School of Transnational Law (May 2012)
    • Re-envisioning the Controlling Shareholder Regime: Why Controlling Shareholders and Minority Shareholders Embrace Each Other?, Peking University School of Transnational Law (March 2011)

    Comments

    • Invited as a commentator at Tsinghua University (清华大学) School of Law International Conference (October 2018)
    • Invited as a commentator in a conference organized by National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU) (January 2018)
    • Invited as a commentator at Renmin University (人民大学) School of Law in the Symposium, “The Development of Legal Journals in English in China” (December 2016)
    • Invited as a commentator at Renmin University (人民大学) School of Law in the conference organized by the two journals, The Frontiers of Law in China and The Journal of Contemporary China (May 2016)

    Other Academic Activities

    • Invited as a participant in a conference, “Investors, Firms, and ESG” held at University of Oxford Saïd Business School (June 2019)
    • Worked as a reviewer of a manuscript submitted to the Journal of Business Ethics (February 2019)
    • Organized a conference, “Legal and Funding Issues for Successful Startups” (a joint conference held by Peking University School of Transnational-University of California, Berkeley) (December 2018)
    • Invited as a chair/moderator in a session of a conference, “China, United States, and Comparative Law Today” held at Peking University School of Transnational Law (November 2018)
    • Invited as a chair/moderator in a session of a conference, “Legal Policies for Sustainable Development in China and Korea) (a joint conference held by Peking University Law School and Yonsei University Law School) (August 2018)
    • Worked as a reviewer of a manuscript submitted to the Journal of Business Ethics (August 2018)
    • Invited as a commentator in a conference organized by National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU) (January 2018)
    • Invited as a participant in the discussion group at the conference of “German and East Asian Perspectives on Corporate and Capital Market Law” organized by Seoul National University and Max Planck Institute (March 2017)
    • Worked as a reviewer of a manuscript submitted to the Asian Journal of Comparative Law (Cambridge Journal) (December 2015)

    Work-in-Progress

    • Hostile Takeover and Corporate Governance in China: Based on the Vanke Case (First Draft)
    • Related Party Transactions in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises (First Draft)
    • Cumulative Voting, Corporate Groups, and Institutional Investors (First Draft)
    • Understanding State-Owned Enterprises (First Draft)
    • Takeover Defense Mechanisms in Korea (First Draft)
    • Bonding Theory and Cross-Listing of Chinese Corporations
    • Why Stock Options “Can” Be Inefficient in China
    • Limits of Shareholder Wealth Maximization
    • Corporate Groups and Controlling Family Shareholders: Critiques of the Traditional View
    • Does Hedge Fund Activism Improve the Quality of Corporate Governance?
    • It Might Be Better to Live with Devils That We Know: Why Fundamental Reforms on the Controlling Shareholder System Would Fail
    • Efficient Market Hypothesis, Behavioral Finance, and Securities Regulation in Developing Economies
  • EDUCATION
    • Columbia University, School of Law, J.S.D. (Doctor of Science of Law)
    • Columbia University, School of Law, LL.M.
    • Yonsei University, LL.B (Law)
    • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, M.A.L.D.
    • Yonsei University, B.A. (Economics)
  • NEWS