Due Diligence
November 2013

How to Make a China Company Registration Check

Carrying out a China company registration check is very doable but requires some knowledge of both the Chinese company registration system and the Chinese language. We’ve put together this useful guide on making such checks to help you through the process.

China Company Registration Check in Just 3 Steps

Making a simple registration check on a Chinese company boils down to three steps:

  • Confirming the Chinese name of the company
  • Determining Which Province the Company is Registered in
  • Using the AIC China Company Registration Check Website to Find the Company’s Record

We’ve explained each step and the knowledge involved below.

1. Confirm the Chinese Name of the Company

Unlike in Hong Kong and elsewhere, the registration of Mainland China companies is done solely in Chinese language – there are very few, if any, English details recorded and no system for looking up these details.

This means that a Chinese company’s English name is usually not official, and by itself, is not sufficient information in order to carry out a China company registration check.

You will need to determine the official Chinese name of the company in order to lookup and verify their registration.

Unless you can read Chinese, determining the Chinese name of the company can be quite a difficult task. If you are unsure you can simply ask the Chinese company you are dealing with to tell you.

If this seems a little too direct, another method would be to request a copy of their business license which lists the name next to the text “名称”. See the below image:

2. Determine Which Province the Company is Registered in

Although the new "National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System" has allowed users to search companies throughout the Mainland without selecting the province where companies are registered since late 2016, it seems that the information in the "nationwide system" are updated less frequently than that recorded in each province's systems.

National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System

Therefore, determining which province a company is registered in is still required for an accurate check. This can be a little frustrating, but if you consider that China is larger than mainland Europe and that each Chinese province is more akin to a country in scale, this situation is quite understandable.

Thankfully, identifying the place of registration of a Chinese company is often quite straightforward. Most Chinese company names begin with the location of the company. If you’re lucky, this will be a province (indicated by the character 省) and you don’t need to do anything else to identify it.

Many Chinese company names begin with something smaller than a province, though, such as a city (市) or county (县). In those cases, you’ll have to figure out which of the following needs doing:

  • If it’s a province-level municipality, i.e. Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin or Chongqing, it will have its own AIC, so you’re already done for this step
  • If it’s another city (of which there are literally hundreds in China), you’ll need to find out which province that city is in – Wikipedia can be helpful with this
  • If it’s a county, you also need to find the province that county is in – identifying which city this county is administered under is usually the best way to go about this

Once you’ve identified which province the Chinese company is located in, you’re ready to lookup their details.

3. Use the AIC China Company Registration Check Website to Find the Company’s Record

Select the Province of Registration

Once you have the company’s Chinese name and have determined which province they are located in, it is time to lookup their registration details.

Your first obstacle may be actually opening the AIC’s China company registration check website because sometimes access from overseas can be troublesome.

Once you are in, you can navigate to the province you wish to check – see image above right. Each province and their Chinese name is identified on this wikipedia article.

After selecting the necessary province you can search the system for the company’s name (in Chinese of course!). You can also search using the company’s registration number if you have that too.

At this stage you need to ensure you are a real person not a robot data mining, but you don't have to answer the challenging security question anymore.

You are required to press and hold the left slider, and then drag it to complete the puzzle above.

If you get past the security verification you will be presented with a list of company(s) that match your search term.

Identify the company you are looking for and browse their company information.

Note that the database includes companies that have been de-registered, so just because the company is there doesn’t mean it is currently active.

Our Streamlined China Company Registration Check Service

If you’d like an affordable, convenient way to access and understand Chinese company’s registration records, you should take a look at China Checkup’s company verification services.

Save your precious time and get a result you can be confident in with our clearly worded, English language company verification reports.

Verify a China Company.

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Further reading