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by Matt Slater
30 October 2013
Foreign companies wishing to do business in China do not necessarily need to establish any kind of organisation in China. If they do want to set up a ‘China arm’, it can be one of the following types of entity:
Note that rep. offices are becoming an increasingly rare choice for foreign companies wishing to operate in China as the Chinese government is gradually reducing the legally permitted capabilities of ROs. JVs and WFOEs are the more common choices as they allow a much broader range of business operations to take place.
The process of checking the public registration record of a JV, WFOE or RO is much the same as that for checking a domestically owned Chinese company. All of these records can be checked via the website for the AIC (Administration of Industry and Commerce – 工商行政管理局) for the province the entity is registered in. Each province in China (‘province’ including major cities which have their own AICs) has an AIC, and they are required by Chinese law to make their company registration records publicly available online.
Unfortunately, the quality of these public registration record websites varies considerably between different AICs. There is currently no consistent, standardised system. Instead, you will have to determine how the particular AIC for the relevant province makes its records available. Some have intelligent search functions that accept only part of the entity’s registered name. Others require the full name to be entered exactly for any results to be displayed. Further, each AIC updates its public records on its own schedule, which in some cases can mean that the records get out of date before they are updated with the latest information.
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The easiest way to find the AIC website for the province where your entity is registered is to do a websearch in Chinese for the name of the province and the term 工商行政管理局. AIC websites will include the letters ‘AIC’ in their address. For example, the AIC website for Gansu province looks like this in search results:
Once you’ve identified the AIC website for the province your entity is registered in, you can search for its registered name. This is likely to be its Chinese name, although some JVs, WFOEs and ROs are registered with an official English name. Depending on the search functionality of the AIC website and the accuracy of your search, the AIC website will display the public records it has on file for the entity you’re interested in. This record will display, at a minimum, the following information about the entity:
You can use this record to check that your JV, WFOE or RO in China has been registered correctly, and to see what registration information regarding it is being displayed to the general public. Note that all AIC records are displayed in Chinese and not in English, as are AIC website interfaces in general. Searching for a registered entity usually requires using its Chinese name, as it’s somewhat unusual for a company to be registered with an official English name.
China Checkup provides a hassle-free way to check the public registration records of any registered entity in China. We handle retrieval of the public registration record, and provide a full translation and explanation of the information displayed. Read more about our Chinese company reports for more information.
Hi there, I'm Matt, the Founder & CEO of China Checkup. Originally from the UK, I am now based in Brisbane, Australia.
Frustrated by the scarcity of concise, high-quality and timely information about Chinese companies, I setup China Checkup whilst living in Shanghai in 2013.
My team are proud that China Checkup's company verification reports have now helped thousands of clients from all corners of the world to do business in China more safely.
by Matt Slater
18 May 2020
This article takes a look at the 6 different China city types and the various levels of autonomy and power each type holds.
China has over 700 official cities, from the metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong down to the smaller cities of Beihai, Shangrao and Qufu, but they are not all governed equally.
Read this guide if you want to understand the difference between China city types, including municipalities, prefecture-level cities, county-level cities and more.
by Matt Slater
30 January 2020
Launched by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the decades long process of Chinese economic reform has transformed China beyond recognition.
This article highlights some of the most significant events during this period in the form of a year by year timeline.
by Matt Slater
09 January 2020
Listening to China business podcasts can be a great way to get insights on the Chinese market, pick up new knowledge and get fresh perspectives.
The great news is that there is actually a lot of great podcasts out there on this topic - and in this article I have chosen my current top ten.
These podcasts cover business in China from a range of angles - including tech startups, importing/sourcing, economics and more - so if you are interested in learning more about China business you are sure to find quality material here.
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