As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 12, 2018
Registration No. 333-
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
21Vianet Group, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|Cayman Islands||Not Applicable|
|(State or other jurisdiction of||(I.R.S. Employer|
|incorporation or organization)||Identification w.seNumber)|
M5, 1 Jiuxianqiao East Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100016
Peoples Republic of China
(86 10) 8456-2121
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrants principal executive offices)
2014 Share Incentive Plan, as amended
(Full title of the plan)
Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc.
801 2nd Avenue, Suite 403
New York, NY 10017
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, and emerging growth company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☐||Accelerated filer||☒|
|Non-accelerated filer||☐ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐
Sharon Xiao Liu
Chief Financial Officer
21Vianet Group, Inc.
M5, 1 Jiuxianqiao East Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100016
Peoples Republic of China
(86 10) 8456-2121
Z. Julie Gao, Esq.
Will H. Cai, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
15 Queens Road Central
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Securities
to be Registered(1)
Class A Ordinary Shares, par value $0.00001 per share, under the 2014 Share Incentive Plan, as amended
|21,457,536 (3)||US$1.47 (3)||US$31,542,577.92||US$3,927|
|(1)||These shares may be represented by the Registrants American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each of which represents six (6) Class A ordinary shares. The Registrants ADSs issuable upon deposit of the Class A ordinary shares registered hereby have been registered under a separate registration statement on Form F-6 (333-173331).|
|(2)||Represents Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of options and pursuant to other awards granted under the 2014 Share Incentive Plan, as amended (the Plan). In accordance with Rule 416(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), this registration statement also covers any additional shares that may be offered and issued to prevent dilution from share splits, share dividends or similar transactions as provided in the Plan. Any Class A ordinary shares covered by an award granted under the Plan (or portion of an award) that terminates, expires or lapses for any reason will be deemed not to have been issued for purposes of determining the maximum aggregate number of Class A ordinary shares that may be issued under the Plan.|
|(3)||These shares represent Class A ordinary shares that have been added to the award pool under the Plan and are reserved for future award grants under the Plan, and the proposed maximum offering price per share, which is estimated solely for the purposes of calculating the registration fee under Rule 457(h) and Rule 457(c) under the Securities Act, is based on the average of the high and low prices for the registrants ADSs as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market on January 11, 2018, adjusted for ADS to ordinary shares ratio.|
This registration statement on Form S-8 is filed pursuant to General Instruction E to Form S-8 for the purposes of registering an aggregate of 21,457,536 Class A ordinary shares of the Registrant that have been added to the award pool pursuant to the terms of the Plan.
Previously, an aggregate of 39,606,817 Class A ordinary shares of the Registrant were registered for issuance under the Plan pursuant to the Registrants registration statements on Form S-8 (File No. 333-197495) filed on July 18, 2014 and Form S-8 (File No. 333-208121) filed on November 20, 2015 (collectively, the Prior S-8 Registration Statements). In accordance with General Instruction E to Form S-8, the contents of the Original S-8 Registration Statements are incorporated herein by reference, except as otherwise set forth herein.
Pursuant to the terms of the Plan, the maximum aggregate number of Class A ordinary shares authorized for issuance under the Plan is 21,888,624 (such number, the Maximum Number), which shall increase by a number equal to 15% of the number of new Class A and Class B ordinary shares (on an as converted basis) issued by the Company from time to time. In December 2017, the board of directors of the Registrant has approved an increase of 21,457,536 Class A ordinary shares to the award pool under the Plan. The newly added 21,457,536 Class A ordinary shares are being registered on this registration statement.
INFORMATION REQUIRED IN THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT
|Item 3.||Incorporation of Documents by Reference|
The following documents previously filed by 21Vianet Group, Inc. (the Registrant) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) are incorporated by reference herein:
|(a)||The Registrants annual report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 filed with the Commission on April 12, 2017; and|
|(b)||The description of the Registrants Class A ordinary shares and ADSs incorporated by reference in the Registrants registration statement on Form 8-A (File No. 001-35126) filed with the Commission on April 6, 2011, including any amendment and report subsequently filed for the purpose of updating that description.|
All documents subsequently filed by the Registrant pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act), after the date of this registration statement and prior to the filing of a post-effective amendment to this registration statement which indicates that all securities offered have been sold or which deregisters all securities then remaining unsold, shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference in this registration statement and to be part hereof from the date of filing of such documents. Any statement in a document incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference in this registration statement will be deemed to be modified or superseded to the extent that a statement contained in this registration statement or in any other later filed document that also is or is deemed to be incorporated by reference modifies or supersedes such statement. Any such statement so modified or superseded will not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to be a part of this registration statement.
|Item 4.||Description of Securities|
|Item 5.||Interests of Named Experts and Counsel|
|Item 6.||Indemnification of Directors and Officers|
Cayman Islands law does not limit the extent to which a companys articles of association may provide for indemnification of directors and officers, except to the extent any such provision may be held by the Cayman Islands courts to be contrary to public policy, such as to provide indemnification against civil fraud or the consequences of committing a crime. The Registrants currently effective articles of association provide that the Registrant shall indemnify its directors and officers against actions, proceedings, costs, charges, expenses, losses, damages or liabilities incurred or sustained by such persons in their capacity as such, except through their fraud, willful default or dishonesty.
Pursuant to the indemnification agreements, the form of which was filed as Exhibit 10.3 to the Registrants registration statement on Form F-1, as amended (File No. 333-173292), the Registrant has agreed to indemnify its directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by law against risks and expenses incurred by such persons in connection with claims made by reason of their being such a director or officer.
The Underwriting Agreement, the form of which was filed as Exhibit 1.1 to the Registrants registration statement on Form F-1, as amended (File No. 333-173292), also provides for indemnification of the Registrant and its directors and officers for certain losses, claims, damages and liabilities, including liabilities arising under the Securities Act, but only to the extent that such liabilities are caused by information relating to the underwriters furnished to the Registrant in writing expressly for use in such registration statement and certain other disclosure documents.
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers or persons controlling the Registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, the Registrant has been informed that in the opinion of the Commission, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.
The Registrant also maintains a directors and officers liability insurance policy for its directors and officers.
|Item 7.||Exemption From Registration Claimed|
See the Index to Exhibits attached hereto.
|(a)||The undersigned Registrant hereby undertakes:|
|(1)||To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:|
|(i)||to include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933;|
|(ii)||to reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of this registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in this registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the Calculation of Registration Fee table in the effective Registration statement;|
|(iii)||to include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;|
provided, however, that paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(ii) above do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the Registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are incorporated by reference in this Registration Statement;
|(2)||That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof; and|
|(3)||To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.|
|(b)||The undersigned Registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of the Registrants annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plans annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in this registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.|
|(c)||Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the Registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the Registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the Registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.|
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the Registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-8 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in Beijing, China, on January 12, 2018.
|21Vianet Group, Inc.|
|Title:||Chief Executive Officer and Director|
Power of Attorney
KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints, severally and not jointly, each of Steve Zhang and Sharon Xiao Liu, with full power to act alone, as his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact, with the power of substitution, for and in such persons name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments (including post-effective amendments) to this Registration Statement, and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, and other documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto each said attorney-in-fact full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done as fully to all intents and purposes as he or she might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that each said attorney-in-fact may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this Registration Statement has been signed by the following persons in the capacities indicated and on January 12, 2018.
|Chief Executive Officer and Director|
|Steve Zhang||(principal executive officer)|
|Kenneth Chung-Hou Tai|
|Chief Financial Officer|
|Sharon Xiao Liu||(principal financial and accounting officer)|
|4.1||Fourth Amended and Restated Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Registrant (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.2 to the registration statement on Form F-1, as amended (File No. 333-173292))|
|4.2||Ordinary Resolution increasing the authorised share capital of the Registrant (incorporated by reference to our Report of Foreign Private Issuer on Form 6-K furnished to the Commission on June 3, 2014)|
|4.3||Registrants Specimen Certificate for Ordinary Shares (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.2 to the registration statement on Form F-1, as amended (File No. 333-173292))|
|4.4||Deposit Agreement among the Registrant, Citibank, N.A., as depositary, and holders and beneficial owners of American Depositary Shares evidenced by American Depositary Receipts issued thereunder (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.3 to the registration statement on Form S-8, as amended, initially filed with the Commission on October 13, 2011 (File No. 333-177273))|
|5.1*||Opinion of Maples and Calder, Cayman Islands counsel to the Registrant, regarding the legality of the ordinary shares being registered|
|10.1*||2014 Share Incentive Plan, as amended on April 1, 2015 and further amended on December 22, 2017|
|23.1*||Consent of Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm|
|23.2*||Consent of Maples and Calder (included in Exhibit 5.1)|
|24.1*||Power of Attorney (included on signature page hereto)|
SIGNATURE OF AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE IN THE UNITED STATES
Pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the undersigned, the duly authorized representative in the United States of 21Vianet Group, Inc., has signed this registration statement or amendment thereto in New York on January 12, 2018.
|Authorized U.S. Representative|
on behalf of Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc.
|Title:||Service of Process Officer|
21Vianet Group, Inc.
M5, 1 Jiuxianqiao East Road
Peoples Republic of China
12 January 2018
21Vianet Group, Inc. (the Company)
We have acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to the Company in connection with a registration statement on Form S-8 to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) on 12 January 2018 (the Registration Statement, which term does not include any other document or agreement whether or not specifically referred to therein or attached as an exhibit or schedule thereto) relating to the registration under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the Securities Act) of 21,457,536 Class A Ordinary Shares, par value US$0.00001 per share (the Shares), issuable by the Company pursuant to the 2014 Share Incentive Plan adopted by the shareholders of the Company on 29 May 2014 and amended by the directors of the Company on 1 April 2015 and 22 December 2017 (such plan, to be referred to as the Plan, which term does not include any other document or agreement whether or not specifically referred to therein or attached as an exhibit or schedule thereto).
For the purposes of giving this opinion, we have examined copies of the Registration Statement and the Plan. We have also reviewed copies of the fourth memorandum and articles of association of the Company as adopted by a special resolution passed on 31 March 2011 and effective immediately prior to the completion of the Companys initial public offering of Class A ordinary shares represented by American depositary shares (the Memorandum and Articles), and the resolutions of the shareholders of the Company passed on 29 May 2015 and the resolutions of the directors of the Company passed on 1 April 2015, 19 November 2015 and 22 December 2017 (together, the Resolutions).
Based upon, and subject to, the assumptions and qualifications set out below, and having regard to such legal considerations as we deem relevant, we are of the opinion that:
|1||The Shares to be issued by the Company have been duly and validly authorised.|
|2||When issued and paid for in accordance with the terms of the Plan and in accordance with the Resolutions, and appropriate entries are made in the register of members (shareholders) of the Company, the Shares will be validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable.|
In this opinion letter, the phrase non-assessable means, with respect to the issuance of Shares, that a shareholder shall not, in respect of the relevant Shares, have any obligation to make further contributions to the Companys assets (except in exceptional circumstances, such as involving fraud, the establishment of an agency relationship or an illegal or improper purpose or other circumstances in which a court may be prepared to pierce or lift the corporate veil).
These opinions are subject to the qualification that under the Companies Law (2016 Revision) of the Cayman Islands, the register of members of a Cayman Islands company is by statute regarded as prima facie evidence of any matters which the Companies Law (2016 Revision) directs or authorises to be inserted therein. A third party interest in the shares in question would not appear. An entry in the register of members may yield to a court order for rectification (for example, in the event of fraud or manifest error).
These opinions are given only as to, and based on, circumstances and matters of fact existing and known to us on the date of this opinion letter. These opinions only relate to the laws of the Cayman Islands which are in force on the date of this opinion letter. We express no opinion as to the meaning, validity or effect of any references to foreign (i.e. non-Cayman Islands) statutes, rules, regulations, codes, judicial authority or any other promulgations.
We have also relied upon the assumptions, which we have not independently verified, that (a) all signatures, initials and seals are genuine, (b) copies of documents, conformed copies or drafts of documents provided to us are true and complete copies of, or in the final forms of, the originals, (c) where a document has been provided to us in draft or undated form, it will be duly executed, dated and unconditionally delivered in the same form as the last version provided to us, (d) the Memorandum and Articles remain in full force and effect and are unamended, (e) the Resolutions were duly passed in the manner prescribed in the Memorandum and Articles and have not been amended, varied or revoked in any respect, (f) there is nothing under any law (other than the laws of the Cayman Islands) which would or might affect the opinions set out below, (g) there is nothing contained in the minute book or corporate records of the Company (which we have not inspected) which would or might affect the opinions set out below, and (h) upon the issue of any Shares, the Company will receive consideration which shall be equal to at least the par value of such Shares.
This opinion letter is to and for the benefit solely of the addressee and may not be relied upon by any other person for any purpose.
We consent to the use of this opinion as an exhibit to the Registration Statement and further consent to all references to us in the Registration Statement and any amendments thereto. In giving such consent, we do not consider that we are experts within the meaning of such term as used in the Securities Act, or the rules and regulations of the Commission issued thereunder, with respect to any part of the Registration Statement, including this opinion as an exhibit or otherwise.
/s/ Maples and Calder (Hong Kong) LLP
21Vianet Group, Inc.
2014 SHARE INCENTIVE PLAN
(Adopted on May 29, 2014, as amended by the board of directors on April 1, 2015 and December 22, 2017)
The purpose of the 21Vianet Group, Inc. Share Incentive Plan (the Plan) is to promote the success and enhance the value of 21Vianet Group, Inc., a company formed under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the Company) by linking the personal interests of the members of the Board, Employees, and Consultants to those of the Companys shareholders and by providing such individuals with an incentive for outstanding performance to generate superior returns to the Companys shareholders. The Plan is further intended to provide flexibility to the Company in its ability to motivate, attract, and retain the services of members of the Board, Employees, and Consultants upon whose judgment, interest, and special effort the successful conduct of the Companys operation is largely dependent.
DEFINITIONS AND CONSTRUCTION
Wherever the following terms are used in the Plan, they shall have the meanings specified below unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The singular pronoun shall include the plural where the context so indicates, and vice versa.
2.1 Applicable Laws means the legal requirements relating to the Plan and the Awards under applicable provisions of the corporate, securities, tax and other laws, rules, regulations and government orders, and the rules of any applicable stock exchange or national market system, of any jurisdiction applicable to Awards.
2.2 Award means an Option, Restricted Share or Restricted Share Units award granted to a Participant pursuant to the Plan.
2.3 Award Agreement means any written agreement, contract, or other instrument or document evidencing an Award, including through electronic medium.
2.4 Board means the board of directors of the Company.
2.5 Change of Control means a change in ownership or control of the Company after the Registration Date effected through either of the following transactions:
(a) the direct or indirect acquisition by any person or related group of persons (other than an acquisition from or by the Company or by a Company-sponsored employee benefit plan or by a person that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, the Company) of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act) of securities possessing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total combined voting power of the Companys outstanding securities pursuant to a tender or exchange offer made directly to the Companys shareholders which a majority of the Incumbent Board (as defined below) who are not affiliates or associates of the offeror under Rule 12b-2 promulgated under the Exchange Act do not recommend such shareholders accept; or
(b) the individuals who, as of the Effective Date, are members of the Board (the Incumbent Board), cease for any reason to constitute at least fifty percent (50%) of the Board; provided that if the election, or nomination for election by the Companys shareholders, of any new member of the Board is approved by a vote of at least fifty percent (50%) of the Incumbent Board, such new member of the Board shall be considered as a member of the Incumbent Board.
2.6 Code means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 of the United States, as amended.
2.7 Committee means the committee of the Board described in Article 9.
2.8 Consultant means any consultant or adviser if: (a) the consultant or adviser renders bona fide services to a Service Recipient; (b) the services rendered by the consultant or adviser are not in connection with the offer or sale of securities in a capital-raising transaction and do not directly or indirectly promote or maintain a market for the Companys securities; and (c) the consultant or adviser is a natural person who has contracted directly with the Service Recipient to render such services.
2.9 Corporate Transaction means any of the following transactions, provided, however, that the Committee shall determine under (d) and (e) whether multiple transactions are related, and its determination shall be final, binding and conclusive:
(a) an amalgamation, arrangement or consolidation or scheme of arrangement in which the Company is not the surviving entity, except for a transaction the principal purpose of which is to change the jurisdiction in which the Company is incorporated;
(b) the sale, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company;
(c) the complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company;
(d) any reverse takeover or series of related transactions culminating in a reverse takeover (including, but not limited to, a tender offer followed by a reverse takeover) in which the Company is the surviving entity but (A) the equity securities of the Company outstanding immediately prior to such takeover are converted or exchanged by virtue of the takeover into other property, whether in the form of securities, cash or otherwise, or (B) in which securities possessing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total combined voting power of the Companys outstanding securities are transferred to a person or persons different from those who held such securities immediately prior to such takeover or the initial transaction culminating in such takeover, but excluding any such transaction or series of related transactions that the Committee determines shall not be a Corporate Transaction; or
(e) acquisition in a single or series of related transactions by any person or related group of persons (other than the Company or by a Company-sponsored employee benefit plan) of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act) of securities possessing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total combined voting power of the Companys outstanding securities but excluding any such transaction or series of related transactions that the Committee determines shall not be a Corporate Transaction.
2.10 Disability means that the Participant qualifies to receive long-term disability payments under the Service Recipients long-term disability insurance program, as it may be amended from time to time, to which the Participant provides services regardless of whether the Participant is covered by such policy. If the Service Recipient to which the Participant provides service does not have a long-term disability plan in place, Disability means that a Participant is unable to carry out the responsibilities and functions of the position held by the Participant by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment for a period of not less than ninety (90) consecutive days. A Participant will not be considered to have incurred a Disability unless he or she furnishes proof of such impairment sufficient to satisfy the Committee in its discretion.
2.11 Effective Date shall have the meaning set forth in Section 10.1.
2.12 Employee means any person, including an officer or member of the Board of the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company, who is in the employment of a Service Recipient, subject to the control and direction of the Service Recipient as to both the work to be performed and the manner and method of performance. The payment of a directors fee by a Service Recipient shall not be sufficient to constitute employment by the Service Recipient.
2.13 Exchange Act means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 of the United States, as amended.
2.14 Fair Market Value means, as of any date, the value of Shares determined as follows:
(a) If the Shares are listed on one or more established stock exchanges or national market systems, including without limitation, The New York Stock Exchange and The Nasdaq Stock Market, its Fair Market Value shall be the closing sales price for such shares (or the closing bid, if no sales were reported) as quoted on the principal exchange or system on which the Shares are listed (as determined by the Committee) on the date of determination (or, if no closing sales price or closing bid was reported on that date, as applicable, on the last trading date such closing sales price or closing bid was reported), as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Committee deems reliable;
(b) If the Shares are regularly quoted on an automated quotation system (including the OTC Bulletin Board) or by a recognized securities dealer, its Fair Market Value shall be the closing sales price for such shares as quoted on such system or by such securities dealer on the date of determination, but if selling prices are not reported, the Fair Market Value of a Share shall be the mean between the high bid and low asked prices for the Shares on the date of determination (or, if no such prices were reported on that date, on the last date such prices were reported), as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Committee deems reliable; or
(c) In the absence of an established market for the Shares of the type described in (a) and (b), above, the Fair Market Value thereof shall be determined by the Committee in good faith and in its discretion by reference to (i) the placing price of the latest private placement of the Shares and the development of the Companys business operations and the general economic and market conditions since such latest private placement, (ii) other third party transactions involving the Shares and the development of the Companys business operation and the general economic and market conditions since such sale, (iii) an independent valuation of the Shares, or (iv) such other methodologies or information as the Committee determines to be indicative of Fair Market Value and relevant.
2.15 Incentive Share Option means an Option that is intended to meet the requirements of Section 422 of the Code or any successor provision thereto.
2.16 Independent Director means (i) before the Shares or other securities representing the Shares are listed on a stock exchange, a member of the Board who is not an Employee of the Company; and (ii) after the Shares or other securities representing the Shares are listed on a stock exchange, a member of the Board who meets the independence standards under the applicable corporate governance rules of such stock exchange.
2.17 Non-Qualified Share Option means an Option that is not intended to be an Incentive Share Option.
2.18 Option means a right granted to a Participant pursuant to Article 5 of the Plan to purchase a specified number of Shares at a specified price during specified time periods. An Option may be either an Incentive Share Option or a Non-Qualified Share Option.
2.19 Participant means a person who, as a member of the Board, Consultant or Employee, has been granted an Award pursuant to the Plan.
2.20 Parent means a parent corporation under Section 424(e) of the Code.
2.21 Plan means this 2014 Share Incentive Plan, as it may be amended from time to time.
2.22 Related Entity means any business, corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other entity in which the Company or a Subsidiary of the Company holds a substantial ownership interest, directly or indirectly, but which is not a Subsidiary and which the Board designates as a Related Entity for purposes of the Plan.
2.23 Restricted Share means a Share awarded to a Participant pursuant to Article 6 that is subject to certain restrictions and may be subject to risk of forfeiture.
2.24 Restricted Share Unit means the right granted to a Participant pursuant to Article 6 to receive a Share at a future date.
2.25 Securities Act means the Securities Act of 1933 of the United States, as amended.
2.26 Service Recipient means the Company, any Subsidiary of the Company and any Related Entity to which a Participant provides services as an Employee, a Consultant or a Director.
2.27 Share means the Class A Ordinary Shares of the Company, par value 0.00001 per share, and such other securities of the Company that may be substituted for Shares pursuant to Article 8.
2.28 Subsidiary means any corporation or other entity of which a majority of the outstanding voting shares or voting power is beneficially owned directly or indirectly by the Company. For purposes of this Plan, Subsidiary shall also include any consolidated variable interest entities of the Company.
2.29 Trading Date means the closing of the first sale to the general public of the Shares pursuant to an effective registration statement under applicable laws, which results in the Shares being publicly traded on one or more established stock exchanges or national market systems.
SHARES SUBJECT TO THE PLAN
3.1 Number of Shares.
(a) Subject to the provisions of Article 8 and Section 3.1(b), the maximum aggregate number of Shares that may be issued pursuant to all Awards (including Incentive Share Options) is 21,888,624 Shares (such number, the Maximum Number); provided, however, if, after the Effective Date, the Company issues any new Class A and Class B Ordinary Shares, such Maximum Number should be automatically increased by a number that is equal to 15% of the number of new Class A and Class B Ordinary Shares (on an as converted basis) issued by the Company from time to time. In addition, to the extent that the Company repurchases its Shares (including without limitation, Shares represented by ADSs), the Companys Board is expressly authorized, but not obligated, to increase the Maximum Number by the number of, or a portion of, the Shares the Company has repurchased. The forgoing provision applies to Shares repurchased by the Company since January 1, 2014. The Options granted using Shares repurchased and then reserved pursuant to the foregoing provision shall be considered Non-Qualified Share Options.
(b) To the extent that an Award terminates, expires, or lapses for any reason, any Shares subject to the Award shall again be available for the grant of an Award pursuant to the Plan. To the extent permitted by Applicable Laws, Shares issued in assumption of, or in substitution for, any outstanding awards of any entity acquired in any form or combination by the Company or any Subsidiary of the Company shall not be counted against Shares available for grant pursuant to the Plan. Shares delivered by the Participant or withheld by the Company upon the exercise of any Award under the Plan, in payment of the exercise price thereof or tax withholding thereon, may again be optioned, granted or awarded hereunder, subject to the limitations of Section 3.1(a). If any Restricted Shares are forfeited by the Participant or repurchased by the Company, such Shares may again be optioned, granted or awarded hereunder, subject to the limitations of Section 3.1(a). Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section 3.1(b), no Shares may again be optioned, granted or awarded if such action would cause an Incentive Share Option to fail to qualify as an incentive share option under Section 422 of the Code.
3.2 Shares Distributed. Any Shares distributed pursuant to an Award may consist, in whole or in part, of authorized and unissued Shares, treasury shares (subject to Applicable Laws) or Shares purchased on the open market. Additionally, in the discretion of the Committee, American Depository Shares in an amount equal to the number of Shares which otherwise would be distributed pursuant to an Award may be distributed in lieu of Shares in settlement of any Award. If the number of Shares represented by an American Depository Share is other than on a one-to-one basis, the limitations of Section 3.1 shall be adjusted to reflect the distribution of American Depository Shares in lieu of Shares.
ELIGIBILITY AND PARTICIPATION
4.1 Eligibility. Persons eligible to participate in this Plan include Employees, Consultants, and all members of the Board, as determined by the Committee.
4.2 Participation. Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee may, from time to time, select from among all eligible individuals, those to whom Awards shall be granted and shall determine the nature and amount of each Award. No individual shall have any automatic right to be granted an Award pursuant to this Plan.
4.3 Jurisdictions. In order to assure the viability of Awards granted to Participants employed in various jurisdictions, the Committee may provide for such special terms as it may consider necessary or appropriate to accommodate differences in local law, tax policy, or custom applicable in the jurisdiction in which the Participant resides or is employed. Moreover, the Committee may approve such supplements to, or amendments, restatements, or alternative versions of, the Plan as it may consider necessary or appropriate for such purposes without thereby affecting the terms of the Plan as in effect for any other purpose; provided, however, that no such supplements, amendments, restatements, or alternative versions shall increase the share limitations contained in Section 3.1 of the Plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may not take any actions hereunder, and no Awards shall be granted, that would violate any Applicable Laws.
5.1 General. Subject to Article 9, the Committee is authorized to grant Options to Participants on the following terms and conditions:
(a) Exercise Price. The exercise price per Share subject to an Option shall be determined by the Committee and set forth in the Award Agreement and may be a fixed or variable price related to the Fair Market Value of the Shares. The exercise price per Share subject to an Option may be amended or adjusted in the absolute discretion of the Committee, the determination of which shall be final, binding and conclusive. For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent not prohibited by Applicable Laws, a downward adjustment of the exercise prices of Options mentioned in the preceding sentence shall be effective without the approval of the Companys shareholders or the approval of the affected Participants.
(b) Time and Conditions of Exercise. The Committee shall determine the time or times at which an Option may be exercised in whole or in part, including exercise prior to vesting; provided that the term of any Option granted under the Plan shall not exceed ten years, except as provided in Section 11.1. The Committee shall also determine the conditions, if any, that must be satisfied before all or part of an Option may be exercised.
(c) Payment. The Committee shall determine the methods by which the exercise price of an Option may be paid, the form of payment, including, without limitation (i) cash or check denominated in U.S. Dollars, (ii) to the extent permissible under the Applicable Laws, cash or check in Chinese Renminbi, (iii) cash or check denominated in any other local currency as approved by the Committee, (iv) Shares held for such period of time as may be required by the Committee in order to avoid adverse financial accounting consequences and having a Fair Market Value on the date of delivery equal to the aggregate exercise price of the Option or exercised portion thereof, (v) after the Trading Date the delivery of a notice that the Participant has placed a market sell order with a broker with respect to Shares then issuable upon exercise of the Option, and that the broker has been directed to pay a sufficient portion of the net proceeds of the sale to the Company in satisfaction of the Option exercise price; provided that payment of such proceeds is then made to the Company upon settlement of such sale, (vi) other property acceptable to the Committee with a Fair Market Value equal to the exercise price, (vii) cashless exercise; or (viii) any combination of the foregoing. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan to the contrary, no Participant who is a member of the Board or an executive officer of the Company within the meaning of Section 13(k) of the Exchange Act shall be permitted to pay the exercise price of an Option in any method which would violate Section 13(k) of the Exchange Act.
(d) Evidence of Grant. All Options shall be evidenced by an Award Agreement between the Company and the Participant. The Award Agreement shall include such additional provisions as may be specified by the Committee.
5.2 Incentive Share Options. Incentive Share Options may be granted to Employees of the Company or of a Subsidiary of the Company. Incentive Share Options may not be granted to Employees of a Related Entity or to Independent Directors or Consultants. The terms of any Incentive Share Options granted pursuant to the Plan, in addition to the requirements of Section 5.1, must comply with the following additional provisions of this Section 5.2:
(a) Expiration of Option. An Incentive Share Option may not be exercised to any extent by anyone after the first to occur of the following events:
(i) Ten years from the date it is granted, unless an earlier time is set in the Award Agreement;
(ii) Three months after the Participants termination of employment as an Employee; and
(iii) Upon the Participants Disability or death, subject to Sections 7.2 and 7.3.
(b) Individual Dollar Limitation. The aggregate Fair Market Value (determined as of the time the Option is granted) of all Shares with respect to which Incentive Share Options are first exercisable by a Participant in any calendar year may not exceed $100,000 or such other limitation as imposed by Section 422(d) of the Code, or any successor provision. To the extent that Incentive Share Options are first exercisable by a Participant in excess of such limitation, the excess shall be considered Non-Qualified Share Options.
(c) Ten Percent Owners. An Incentive Share Option shall be granted to any individual who, at the date of grant, owns Shares possessing more than ten percent of the total combined voting power of all classes of shares of the Company only if such Option is granted at a price that is not less than 110% of Fair Market Value on the date of grant and the Option is exercisable for no more than five years from the date of grant.
(d) Transfer Restriction. The Participant shall give the Company prompt notice of any disposition of Shares acquired by exercise of an Incentive Share Option within (i) two years from the date of grant of such Incentive Share Option or (ii) one year after the transfer of such Shares to the Participant.
(e) Expiration of Incentive Share Options. No Award of an Incentive Share Option may be made pursuant to this Plan after the tenth anniversary of the Effective Date.
(f) Right to Exercise. During a Participants lifetime, an Incentive Share Option may be exercised only by the Participant.
6.1 Grant of Restricted Shares. Subject to Article 9, the Committee is authorized to make Awards of Restricted Shares to any Participant selected by the Committee in such amounts and subject to such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee. All Awards of Restricted Shares shall be evidenced by an Award Agreement.
6.2 Issuance and Restrictions. Restricted Shares shall be subject to such restrictions on transferability and other restrictions as the Committee may impose (including, without limitation, limitations on the right to vote Restricted Shares or the right to receive dividends on the Restricted Share). These restrictions may lapse separately or in combination at such times, pursuant to such circumstances, in such installments, or otherwise, as the Committee determines at the time of the grant of the Award or thereafter.
6.3 Forfeiture/Repurchase. Except as otherwise determined by the Committee at the time of the grant of the Award or thereafter, upon termination of employment or service during the applicable restriction period, Restricted Shares that are at that time subject to restrictions shall be forfeited or repurchased in accordance with the Award Agreement; provided, however, the Committee may (a) provide in any Restricted Share Award Agreement that restrictions or forfeiture and repurchase conditions relating to Restricted Shares will be waived in whole or in part in the event of terminations resulting from specified causes, and (b) in other cases waive in whole or in part restrictions or forfeiture and repurchase conditions relating to Restricted Shares.
6.4 Certificates for Restricted Shares. Restricted Shares granted pursuant to the Plan may be evidenced in such manner as the Committee shall determine. If certificates representing Restricted Shares are registered in the name of the Participant, certificates must bear an appropriate legend referring to the terms, conditions, and restrictions applicable to such Restricted Shares, and the Company may, at its discretion, retain physical possession of the certificate until such time as all applicable restrictions lapse.
6.5 Restricted Share Units. The Committee is authorized to make Awards of Restricted Share Units to any Participant selected by the Committee in such amounts and subject to such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee. At the time of grant, the Committee shall specify the date or dates on which the Restricted Share Units shall become fully vested and nonforfeitable, and may specify such conditions to vesting as it deems appropriate. At the time of grant, the Committee shall specify the maturity date applicable to each grant of Restricted Share Units which shall be no earlier than the vesting date or dates of the Award and may be determined at the election of the grantee. On the maturity date, the Company shall, subject to Sections 7.4 and 7.5, transfer to the Participant one unrestricted, fully transferable Share for each Restricted Share Unit scheduled to be paid out on such date and not previously forfeited.
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO AWARDS
7.1 Award Agreement. Awards under the Plan shall be evidenced by Award Agreements that set forth the terms, conditions and limitations for each Award which may include the term of an Award, the provisions applicable in the event the Participants employment or service terminates, and the Companys authority to unilaterally or bilaterally amend, modify, suspend, cancel or rescind an Award.
7.2 Limits on Transfer. No right or interest of a Participant in any Award may be pledged, encumbered, or hypothecated to or in favor of any party other than the Company or a Subsidiary, or shall be subject to any lien, obligation, or liability of such Participant to any other party other than the Company or a Subsidiary. Except as otherwise provided by the Committee, no Award shall be assigned, transferred, or otherwise disposed of by a Participant other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution. The Committee by express provision in the Award or an amendment thereto may permit an Award (other than an Incentive Share Option) to be transferred to, exercised by and paid to certain persons or entities related to the Participant, including but not limited to members of the Participants family, charitable institutions, or trusts or other entities whose beneficiaries or beneficial owners are members of the Participants family and/or charitable institutions, or to such other persons or entities as may be expressly approved by the Committee, pursuant to such conditions and procedures as the Committee may establish. Any permitted transfer shall be subject to the following conditions: that (a) the Committee receive evidence satisfactory to it that the transfer is being made for asset protection, estate and/or tax planning purposes (or to a blind trust in connection with the Participants termination of employment or service with the Company or a Subsidiary to assume a position with a governmental, charitable, educational or similar non-profit institution) and on a basis consistent with the Companys lawful issue of securities, and (b) after the transfer, the Participant and the transferee comply with all of the original agreements and covenants granted by the Participant in favor of the Company.
7.3 Beneficiaries. If the Committee so determines, then notwithstanding Sections 5.2(a) and 7.2, a Participant may, in the manner determined by the Committee, designate a beneficiary to exercise the rights of the Participant and to receive any distribution with respect to any Award upon the Participants death. A beneficiary, legal guardian, legal representative, or other person claiming any rights pursuant to the Plan is subject to all terms and conditions of the Plan and any Award Agreement applicable to the Participant, except to the extent the Plan and Award Agreement otherwise provide, and to any additional restrictions deemed necessary or appropriate by the Committee. If the Participant is married and resides in a community property state, a designation of a person other than the Participants spouse as his or her beneficiary with respect to more than 50% of the Participants interest in the Award shall not be effective without the prior written consent of the Participants spouse. If no beneficiary has been designated or survives the Participant, payment shall be made to the person entitled thereto pursuant to the Participants will or the laws of descent and distribution. Subject to the foregoing, a beneficiary designation may be changed or revoked by a Participant at any time provided the change or revocation is filed with the Committee.
7.4 Share Certificates. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Company shall not be required to issue or deliver any certificates evidencing the Share pursuant to the exercise of any Award, unless and until the Committee has determined, with advice of counsel, that the issuance and delivery of such certificates is in compliance with all Applicable Laws, including, if applicable, the requirements of any exchange on which the Shares or securities representing the Shares are listed, quoted or traded. All Share certificates delivered pursuant to the Plan are subject to any stop-transfer orders and other restrictions as the Committee deems necessary or advisable to comply with all Applicable Laws, including, if applicable, the rules of any national securities exchange or automated quotation system on which the Shares or securities representing the Shares are listed, quoted, or traded. The Committee may place legends on any Share certificate to reference restrictions applicable to the Shares. In addition to the terms and conditions provided herein, the Committee may require that a Participant make such reasonable covenants, agreements, and representations as the Committee, in its discretion, deems advisable in order to comply with any such laws, regulations, or requirements. The Committee shall have the right to require any Participant to comply with any timing or other restrictions with respect to the settlement or exercise of any Award, including a window-period limitation, as may be imposed in the discretion of the Committee.
7.5 Paperless Administration. Subject to Applicable Laws, the Committee may make Awards, provide applicable disclosure and procedures for exercise of Awards by an internet website or interactive voice response system for the paperless administration of Awards.
7.6 Foreign Currency. A Participant may be required to provide evidence that any currency used to pay the exercise price of any Award were acquired and taken out of the jurisdiction in which the Participant resides in accordance with Applicable Laws, including foreign exchange control laws and regulations. In the event the exercise price for an Award is paid in Chinese Renminbi or other foreign currency, as permitted by the Committee, the amount payable will be determined by conversion from U.S. dollars at the official rate promulgated by the Peoples Bank of China for Chinese Renminbi, or for jurisdictions other than the Peoples Republic of China, the exchange rate as selected by the Committee on the date of exercise.
CHANGES IN CAPITAL STRUCTURE
8.1 Adjustments. In the event of any share dividend, share split, combination or exchange of Shares, amalgamation, arrangement or consolidation, spin-off, recapitalization or other distribution (other than normal cash dividends) of Company assets to its shareholders, or any other change affecting the Shares or the price of a Share, the Committee shall make such proportionate adjustments, if any, as the Committee in its discretion may deem appropriate to reflect such change with respect to (a) the aggregate number and type of shares that may be issued under the Plan (including, but not limited to, adjustments of the limitations in Section 3.1); (b) the terms and conditions of any outstanding Awards (including, without limitation, any applicable performance targets or criteria with respect thereto); and (c) the grant or exercise price per share for any outstanding Awards under the Plan.
8.2 Acceleration upon a Change of Control. Except as may otherwise be provided in any Award Agreement or any other written agreement entered into by and between the Company and a Participant, if a Change of Control occurs and a Participants Awards are not converted, assumed, or replaced by a successor, such Awards shall become fully exercisable and all forfeiture restrictions on such Awards shall lapse. Upon, or in anticipation of, a Change of Control, the Committee may in its sole discretion provide for (i) any and all Awards outstanding hereunder to terminate at a specific time in the future and shall give each Participant the right to exercise such Awards during a period of time as the Committee shall determine, (ii) either the purchase of any Award for an amount of cash equal to the amount that could have been attained upon the exercise of such Award or realization of the Participants rights had such Award been currently exercisable or payable or fully vested (and, for the avoidance of doubt, if as of such date the Committee determines in good faith that no amount would have been attained upon the exercise of such Award or realization of the Participant s rights, then such Award may be terminated by the Company without payment), (iii) the replacement of such Award with other rights or property selected by the Committee in its sole discretion or the assumption of or substitution of such Award by the successor or surviving corporation, or a subsidiary thereof, with appropriate adjustments as to the number and kind of Shares and prices, or (iv) payment of Awards in cash based on the value of Shares on the date of the Change of Control plus reasonable interest on the Award through the date such Award would otherwise be vested or have been paid in accordance with its original terms, if necessary to comply with Section 409A of the Code.
8.3 Outstanding Awards Corporate Transactions. In the event of a Corporate Transaction, each Award will terminate upon the consummation of the Corporate Transaction, unless the Award is assumed by the successor entity or Parent thereof in connection with the Corporate Transaction. Except as provided otherwise in an individual Award Agreement, in the event of a Corporate Transaction and:
(a) the Award either is (x) assumed by the successor entity or Parent thereof or replaced with a comparable Award (as determined by the Committee) with respect to shares of the capital stock of the successor entity or Parent thereof or (y) replaced with a cash incentive program of the successor entity which preserves the compensation element of such Award existing at the time of the Corporate Transaction and provides for subsequent payout in accordance with the same vesting schedule applicable to such Award, then such Award (if assumed), the replacement Award (if replaced), or the cash incentive program automatically shall become fully vested, exercisable and payable and be released from any restrictions on transfer (other than transfer restrictions applicable to Options) and repurchase or forfeiture rights, immediately upon termination of the Participants employment or service with all Service Recipient within twelve (12) months of the Corporate Transaction without cause; and
(b) For each Award that is neither assumed nor replaced, such portion of the Award shall automatically become fully vested and exercisable and be released from any repurchase or forfeiture rights (other than repurchase rights exercisable at Fair Market Value) for all of the Shares at the time represented by such portion of the Award, immediately prior to the specified effective date of such Corporate Transaction, provided that the Participant remains an Employee, Consultant or Director on the effective date of the Corporate Transaction.
8.4 Outstanding Awards Other Changes. In the event of any other change in the capitalization of the Company or corporate change other than those specifically referred to in this Article 8, the Committee may, in its absolute discretion, make such adjustments in the number and class of shares subject to Awards outstanding on the date on which such change occurs and in the per share grant or exercise price of each Award as the Committee may consider appropriate to prevent dilution or enlargement of rights.
8.5 No Other Rights. Except as expressly provided in the Plan, no Participant shall have any rights by reason of any subdivision or consolidation of Shares of any class, the payment of any dividend, any increase or decrease in the number of shares of any class or any dissolution, liquidation, merger, or consolidation of the Company or any other corporation. Except as expressly provided in the Plan or pursuant to action of the Committee under the Plan, no issuance by the Company of shares of any class, or securities convertible into shares of any class, shall affect, and no adjustment by reason thereof shall be made with respect to, the number of shares subject to an Award or the grant or exercise price of any Award.
9.1 Committee. The Plan shall be administered by the Board or the Compensation Committee of the Board; provided, however that the Board or the Compensation Committee may delegate to a committee of one or more members of the Board the authority to grant or amend Awards to Participants other than senior executives of the Company. The Committee shall consist of at least two individuals, each of whom qualifies as an Independent Director. Reference to the Committee shall refer to the Board if the Compensation Committee has not been established or ceases to exist and the Board does not appoint a successor Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the full Board, acting by majority of its members in office, shall conduct the general administration of the Plan if required by Applicable Laws, and with respect to Awards granted to Independent Directors and for purposes of such Awards the term Committee as used in the Plan shall be deemed to refer to the Board.
9.2 Action by the Committee. A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. The acts of a majority of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present, and acts approved in writing by a majority of the Committee in lieu of a meeting, shall be deemed the acts of the Committee. Each member of the Committee is entitled to, in good faith, rely or act upon any report or other information furnished to that member by any officer or other employee of the Company or any Subsidiary, the Companys independent certified public accountants, or any executive compensation consultant or other professional retained by the Company to assist in the administration of the Plan.
9.3 Authority of the Committee. Subject to any specific designation in the Plan, the Committee has the exclusive power, authority and discretion to:
(a) Designate Participants to receive Awards;
(b) Determine the type or types of Awards to be granted to each Participant;
(c) Determine the number of Awards to be granted and the number of Shares to which an Award will relate;
(d) Determine the terms and conditions of any Award granted pursuant to the Plan, including, but not limited to, the exercise price, grant price, or purchase price, any restrictions or limitations on the Award, any schedule for lapse of forfeiture restrictions or restrictions on the exercisability of an Award, and accelerations or waivers thereof, any provisions related to non-competition and recapture of gain on an Award, based in each case on such considerations as the Committee in its sole discretion determines;
(e) Determine whether, to what extent, and pursuant to what circumstances an Award may be settled in, or the exercise price of an Award may be paid in, cash, Shares, other Awards, or other property, or an Award may be canceled, forfeited, or surrendered;
(f) Prescribe the form of each Award Agreement, which need not be identical for each Participant;
(g) Decide all other matters that must be determined in connection with an Award;
(h) Establish, adopt, or revise any rules and regulations as it may deem necessary or advisable to administer the Plan;
(i) Interpret the terms of, and any matter arising pursuant to, the Plan or any Award Agreement; and
(j) Make all other decisions and determinations that may be required pursuant to the Plan or as the Committee deems necessary or advisable to administer the Plan.
9.4 Decisions Binding. The Committees interpretation of the Plan, any Awards granted pursuant to the Plan, any Award Agreement and all decisions and determinations by the Committee with respect to the Plan are final, binding, and conclusive on all parties.
EFFECTIVE AND EXPIRATION DATE
10.1 Effective Date. The Plan is effective as of the date the Plan is approved by the Companys shareholders in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Companys Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association (the Effective Date).
10.2 Expiration Date. The Plan will expire on, and no Award may be granted pursuant to the Plan after, the tenth anniversary of the Effective Date. Any Awards that are outstanding on the tenth anniversary of the Effective Date shall remain in force according to the terms of the Plan and the applicable Award Agreement.
AMENDMENT, MODIFICATION, AND TERMINATION
11.1 Amendment, Modification, And Termination. With the approval of the Board, at any time and from time to time, the Committee may terminate, amend or modify the Plan; provided, however, that (a) to the extent necessary and desirable to comply with Applicable Laws, the Company shall obtain shareholder approval of any Plan amendment in such a manner and to such a degree as required, unless the Company decides to follow home country practice as permitted under applicable stock exchange rules, and (b) unless the Company decides to follow home country practice as permitted under applicable stock exchange rules, shareholder approval is required for any amendment to the Plan that (i) increases the number of Shares available under the Plan (other than any adjustment as provided by Article 8), (ii) permits the Committee to extend the term of the Plan or the exercise period for an Option beyond ten years from the date of grant, or (iii) results in a material increase in benefits or a change in eligibility requirements.
11.2 Awards Previously Granted. Except with respect to amendments made pursuant to Section 11.1, no termination, amendment, or modification of the Plan shall adversely affect in any material way any Award previously granted pursuant to the Plan without the prior written consent of the Participant.
12.1 No Rights to Awards. No Participant, employee, or other person shall have any claim to be granted any Award pursuant to the Plan, and neither the Company nor the Committee is obligated to treat Participants, employees, and other persons uniformly.
12.2 No Shareholders Rights. No Award gives the Participant any of the rights of a Shareholder of the Company unless and until Shares are in fact issued to such person in connection with such Award.
12.3 Taxes. No Shares shall be delivered under the Plan to any Participant until such Participant has made arrangements acceptable to the Committee for the satisfaction of any income and employment tax withholding obligations under Applicable Laws. The Company or any Subsidiary shall have the authority and the right to deduct or withhold, or require a Participant to remit to the Company, an amount sufficient to satisfy all applicable taxes (including the Participants payroll tax obligations) required or permitted by law to be withheld with respect to any taxable event concerning a Participant arising as a result of this Plan. The Committee may in its discretion and in satisfaction of the foregoing requirement allow a Participant to elect to have the Company withhold Shares otherwise issuable under an Award (or allow the return of Shares) having a Fair Market Value equal to the sums required to be withheld. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, the number of Shares which may be withheld with respect to the issuance, vesting, exercise or payment of any Award (or which may be repurchased from the Participant of such Award after such Shares were acquired by the Participant from the Company) in order to satisfy the Participants income and payroll tax liabilities with respect to the issuance, vesting, exercise or payment of the Award shall, unless specifically approved by the Committee, be limited to the number of Shares which have a Fair Market Value on the date of withholding or repurchase equal to the aggregate amount of such liabilities based on the minimum statutory withholding rates for income tax and payroll tax purposes that are applicable to such supplemental taxable income.
12.4 No Right to Employment or Services. Nothing in the Plan or any Award Agreement shall interfere with or limit in any way the right of the Service Recipient to terminate any Participants employment or services at any time, nor confer upon any Participant any right to continue in the employment or service of any Service Recipient.
12.5 Unfunded Status of Awards. The Plan is intended to be an unfunded plan for incentive compensation. With respect to any payments not yet made to a Participant pursuant to an Award, nothing contained in the Plan or any Award Agreement shall give the Participant any rights that are greater than those of a general creditor of the Company or any Subsidiary.
12.6 Indemnification. To the extent allowable pursuant to Applicable Laws, each member of the Committee or of the Board shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company from any loss, cost, liability, or expense that may be imposed upon or reasonably incurred by such member in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit, or proceeding to which he or she may be a party or in which he or she may be involved by reason of any action or failure to act pursuant to the Plan and against and from any and all amounts paid by him or her in satisfaction of judgment in such action, suit, or proceeding against him or her; provided that he or she gives the Company an opportunity, at its own expense, to handle and defend the same before he or she undertakes to handle and defend it on his or her own behalf. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other rights of indemnification to which such persons may be entitled pursuant to the Companys Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association, as a matter of law, or otherwise, or any power that the Company may have to indemnify them or hold them harmless.
12.7 Relationship to other Benefits. No payment pursuant to the Plan shall be taken into account in determining any benefits pursuant to any pension, retirement, savings, profit sharing, group insurance, welfare or other benefit plan of the Company or any Subsidiary except to the extent otherwise expressly provided in writing in such other plan or an agreement thereunder.
12.8 Expenses. The expenses of administering the Plan shall be borne by the Company and its Subsidiaries.
12.9 Titles and Headings. The titles and headings of the Sections in the Plan are for convenience of reference only and, in the event of any conflict, the text of the Plan, rather than such titles or headings, shall control.
12.10 Fractional Shares. No fractional shares of a Share shall be issued and the Committee shall determine, in its discretion, whether cash shall be given in lieu of fractional shares or whether such fractional shares shall be eliminated by rounding up or down as appropriate.
12.11 Limitations Applicable to Section 16 Persons. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, the Plan, and any Award granted or awarded to any Participant who is then subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act, shall be subject to any additional limitations set forth in any applicable exemptive rule under Section 16 of the Exchange Act (including any amendment to Rule 16b-3 of the Exchange Act) that are requirements for the application of such exemptive rule. To the extent permitted by Applicable Laws, the Plan and Awards granted or awarded hereunder shall be deemed amended to the extent necessary to conform to such applicable exemptive rule.
12.12 Government and Other Regulations. The obligation of the Company to make payment of awards in Shares or otherwise shall be subject to all Applicable Laws and to such approvals by government agencies as may be required. The Company shall be under no obligation to register any of the Shares paid pursuant to the Plan under the Securities Act or any other similar law in any applicable jurisdiction. If the Shares paid pursuant to the Plan may in certain circumstances be exempt from registration pursuant to the Securities Act or other Applicable Laws, the Company may restrict the transfer of such shares in such manner as it deems advisable to ensure the availability of any such exemption.
12.13 Governing Law; Dispute Resolution. The Plan and all Award Agreements shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the Cayman Islands. Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the Plan and all Award Agreements, or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as at present in force and as may be amended by the rest of this Section 12.13. The appointing authority shall be Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. The place of arbitration shall be in Hong Kong at Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. There shall be only one arbitrator. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English.
12.14 Section 409A of the Code. To the extent that the Committee determines that any Award granted under the Plan is or may become subject to Section 409A of the Code, the Award Agreement evidencing such Award shall incorporate the terms and conditions required by Section 409A of the Code. To the extent applicable, the Plan and the Award Agreements shall be interpreted in accordance with Section 409A of the Code and the U.S. Department of Treasury regulations and other interpretative guidance issued thereunder, including without limitation any such regulation or other guidance that may be issued after the Effective Date. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, in the event that following the Effective Date the Committee determines that any Award may be subject to Section 409A of the Code and related Department of Treasury guidance (including such Department of Treasury guidance as may be issued after the Effective Date), the Committee may adopt such amendments to the Plan and the applicable Award agreement or adopt other policies and procedures (including amendments, policies and procedures with retroactive effect), or take any other actions, that the Committee determines are necessary or appropriate to (a) exempt the Award from Section 409A of the Code and /or preserve the intended tax treatment of the benefits provided with respect to the Award, or (b) comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code and related U.S. Department of Treasury guidance.
12.15 Appendices. The Committee may approve such supplements, amendments or appendices to the Plan as it may consider necessary or appropriate for purposes of compliance with Applicable Laws or otherwise and such supplements, amendments or appendices shall be considered a part of the Plan; provided, however, that no such supplements shall increase the share limitations contained in Section 3.1 of the Plan.
Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
We consent to the incorporation by reference in the Registration Statement (Form S-8) pertaining to the 2014 Share Incentive Plan, as amended, of 21Vianet Group, Inc. of our reports dated April 12, 2017, with respect to the consolidated financial statements of 21Vianet Group, Inc. and the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting of 21Vianet Group, Inc. included in its Annual Report (Form 20-F) for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
/s/ Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP
Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China
January 12, 2018