Due Diligence
7
October 2013

How to Find Out Where a Chinese Company is Located?

You should find out where a Chinese company is located and assess the implications of this before doing business with them. Climate, economy and transport options will all be significant. We would advise you to try and independently verify the location of a Chinese company, rather than accepting their claimed location at face value. It’s also important to verify that you’re dealing directly with a supplier and not a trading company, if that applies to your situation.

Finding the Registered Address

Looking at the Business License

As usual, the first step is to request a copy of the company’s business license. This will list their registered address, which may be more reliable than the one given on their website or that they have stated in communications with you. As we always emphasize here on China Checkup, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask a company for a copy of their business license, as this is a very normal and legitimate request.

On the business license, the registered address looks like this:

 The address will be given in Chinese, of course, because all official documentation in China is done in Chinese. We recommend that you try to deal with Chinese text as much as possible when researching a Chinese company, as anything in English is unlikely to be official or registered in any way. Our glossary of address terms will help this process.

Looking at the Public Registration Record

To really confirm the address of a Chinese company, or to research it without asking for their business license, you can look up a company’s public registration record. These are made available to the general public online by AIC (The Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau, 工商行政管理局, Gōngshāng Xíngzhèng Guǎnlǐjú). First you need to identify which province the company is registered in (and thus which AIC it registered with), and then visit the AIC website for that province. Once there, you can search for the company’s registration record using its full Chinese name. The public registration record can be used to confirm the information shown on a business license, or to research a Chinese company without requiring a copy of their business license.

If you’d like a streamlined, easy way to access this information, you might like to consider a China Checkup company verification report. You simply submit identifying information about a Chinese company (usually the English name and website address, but we’re flexible!), and we do the rest. We’ll locate and retrieve their registration record, translate it, explain it, plus include a lot of other information you’ll find useful in assessing the company. We offer different report options to suit your needs and budget.

Make Sure You’re Dealing with the Supplier

One final thing to note is that it’s wise to ensure you’re dealing directly with the supplier and note with a trading company. We’ve written about this previously. The key point is that you need to view the company’s business license and/or registration record, and confirm that their registered business scope actually includes the specific product they’re offering. If you don’t see the product specifically listed in the business scope, you’re probably dealing with a trading company and not the supplier.

Again, China Checkup company verification reports can locate, translate and explain this information for you in detail, giving you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about a Chinese company.

Further reading