David Ben Kay

Chairman and Founder, Yuanfen~Flow, Yuanfen~Flow -- Consultancy for creative industries and indivuals
Beijing, China

About David Ben


Email: davidbenkay@gmail.com

2010 – Present: Yuanfen~Flow Consultancy www.yuanfenflow.org
Yuanfen~Flow is a consultancy to the “creative industries” which we define as companies and individuals that create innovative intellectual property. We focus on the "emerging" and the "emerged". On the emerging side, we offer a co-working space and we're interested in accelerating emerging entrepreneurs, designers, technologists and artists. On the "emerged" side we provide foreign companies with a soft-landing in China, so they can learn about the market and their potential position in it before taking the big plunge and making the big investments. We also provide Skunkworks®-like services for established onshore companies - acting as that space outside their regular structures, environments and comfort-zones to help them brainstorm innovative solutions and develop action plans to implement them.

2008 – Present- Yuanfen New Media Art Space, Dashanzi 798, Beijing. www.yuanfenart.com
With a background as a lawyer specializing in intellectual property and high-tech, it was a natural segue for me to become the owner, operator and curator of a new media art platform in the center of Beijing’s contemporary art world: 798. At Yuanfen, art and technology meet. Reflecting the melding of artistic and technologically advanced inspirations, Yuanfen exhibits cutting-edge digital art, videos, installations and performance art. From the Yuanfen platform, I have also worked to develop arts outreach to the community, something we call ASR – Artists’ Social Responsibility. For example, Yuanfen hosted the UN-sponsored “Red Scarf” event in commemoration of International AIDS/HIV Day and a charity benefit for PlaNet Finance, a microfinance and poverty alleviation NGO. I am currently working on building strategic partnerships to create a new media art lab that will function as both an R&D/Incubation center as well as the focal point of a residency program. I remain a frequent speaker on doing business in China and new media art.

2003-2008 - Microsoft China. General Counsel (2003-2005), General Manager, Genuine Software Initiatives (2005-2008). As General Counsel I headed the Law & Corporate Affairs Department in charge of all legal and government affairs for this wholly foreign-owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation. In addition to leading negations on complex business transactions and supervising all of the subsidiaries commercial activities, as a member of Microsoft China’s Leadership Team, I was involved in developing and implementing a wide range of strategies involving, corporate governance, investment. anti-piracy and other legalization efforts. General Software Initiatives General Manager (aka “Piracy Czar”) (2005-2008) was a new position created by Steve Ballmer to manage Microsoft China’s anti-piracy efforts end-to-end, from government relations through sales and marketing. During my tenure as Piracy Czar, Microsoft software’s piracy rate in China dropped over 10%.

2001-2003 - Private legal practice, focusing on private equity investment in China and the representation of PRC companies in overseas mergers and acquisitions. I managed the then-largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese enterprise, handling financial and legal risk assessments and playing a major role in negotiations.

1993 – 2001 - Managing Partner, Denton Wilde Sapte, Beijing. I was the head of the China Practice Group of this UK-based law firm (formerly Denton Hall). My practice focused on direct investment, business strategy and operational issues for IT and other intellectual-property intensive companies. Clients included Microsoft, Intel, Toshiba and a number of global telecommunications companies. I was listed in the Legal 500 – (Asia Pacific) as a Leading PRC Adviser; highlighted in Chambers Global Guide to the Legal Profession as a leader in the field of Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions: China; was ranked in Chambers and Partners “***” and, for several years, named as a Leading Lawyer in Asia in the area of Intellectual Property by Asia Law & Practice. I was a frequent speaker at seminars and symposia on PRC legal issues and doing business in China.

1989 - 1993 Resident lawyer and chief representative, Beijing Office, Graham & James
1986 - 1989 Associate, Baker & McKenzie, Hong Kong
1985 Hong Kong, Summer associate, Baker & McKenzie
1984 Washington DC - Summer associate, Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays, Handler


Chinese, English

Areas of Expertise

Intellectual Property, Doing Business in China, Creative Industries

An idea worth spreading

After running as a new media art space since 2008, we have now evolved into a consultancy to creative indusctYuanfen is currently running as a new media art gallery in the 798 district of Beijing, www.yuanfenart.com but my plan is to expand the platform into a lab: An R&D Center and Incubator for Great Artistic Ideas. It will be a platform (and facility) for the meeting of artistic inspiration, technical innovation and business implementation. Key stakeholders will be new media artists, technical innovators, keen businesspeople and manufacturers, those in need (focusing on those marginalized due to economics and physical and emotional challenges), and the public (to build their appreciation for the value of IP).shed a platform called Yuanfen~Flow. The English word "synchronicity" possibly comes closest to describing this ChineseTaoist concept.

I'm passionate about

The creative process and curating creative solutions within a community of entrepreneurs, technologists, artists and designers.

Favorite talks