Opinions, knowledge and resources from China Checkup's expert contributors

What is a China AIC?

by Matt Slater December 09, 2013

What is a China AIC?

We talk about AICs quite a lot here at China Checkup, so here’s a heads-up on what exactly a China AIC is and why they’re important for anyone interested in China’s business world.

AIC stands for Administration for Industry and Commerce. Technically this is a national organisation with local departments in every administrative region in China (generally each province and major city).

Practically speaking, though, it often makes more sense to see each region’s AIC branch department as an organisation in its own right with jurisdiction over industry and commerce in that region. People tend to use the term ‘AIC’ to refer to the local department, and say ‘State AIC’ or something similar for the national organisation.

Because of this, when people talk about AICs they usually mean an AIC local department and not the whole national apparatus.

Changning Branch of Shanghai AIC

What Does a China AIC Do?

China AICs perform a variety of roles in governing industry and commerce in their jurisdiction. This list of roles from Wikipedia gives a pretty clear picture of what AICs do (we’ve taken out the vague items to leave the clearest functions of a China AIC):

  • Anti-monopoly and Anti-unfair Competition Enforcement Bureau
  • Direct Selling Regulation Bureau
  • Consumer Protection Bureau
  • Department of Market Regulation
  • Regulation Department for Market Circulation of Food
  • Enterprise Registration Bureau
  • Bureau for Registration of Foreign-Invested Enterprises
  • Department of Advertising Regulation
  • Department for Regulation of the Private Economy
  • Department of Personnel
  • Trademark Office

As you can see, the AIC is very similar to government bodies such as the Department of Commerce in the US, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in the UK, the Department of Commerce in Australia and so on.

They have a very wide range of roles, so it might not immediately be clear why they’re relevant to anyone wishing to do business with Chinese companies.

How is a China AIC Useful to Me?

The local AIC will obviously impact all business dealings in China and with Chinese companies through its various regulations and work as a governing body.

However, the China AICs are also very useful for anyone interested in doing business with Chinese companies because they provide official registration records for all companies in their jurisdiction to China's National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.

National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System

It is through this website that company registration records are available online. This has obvious implications for anyone who’d like to know more about a particular Chinese company!

The company registration information available gives comprehensive information (but only in Chinese) about each registered company in Mainland China, including:

This information can be very useful in assessing a Chinese company if you know how to interpret it.

How Do I Find the AIC for a Particular Region?

Tracking down the particular AIC website that you want can be quite tricky without the necessary knowledge and language skills. Try searching for the name of the administrative region in Chinese combined with terms like “工商行政管理局”, “企业信息” or “红盾”. If that seems a bit daunting, then don’t worry – China Checkup has got you covered, as usual.

We compiled this handy list of AIC websites for each region in China. It’s got the name of the administrative region in English and a link to the AIC website.

Dongcheng Branch of Beijing AIC

Are China AIC Websites Hard to Use?

When we started China Checkup a few years ago, our answer to this question would have been an unequivocal yes!

However in recent years there have been many incremental improvements to the China AIC websites which have led to the creation of a nationwide search system and standardization across the country in the format of company registration records.

Usability is still an issue but greatly improved. Of course, the single thing making AIC websites hard to use for most of our readers is that they are only in the Chinese language.

Are China AIC Records Reliable?

Short answer: Yes. The data shown about companies on a China AIC website is the official record and as such is nearly always accurate and reliable. However, it’s important to understand that each AIC updates and maintains its public records on its own schedule, which may be quite irregular and at a ‘relaxed’ pace. Official records are primarily kept in hard-copy as paper records, and the online version is simply updated to reflect the hardcopy version. Because of this, there is some potential for the public records to become out of date and not reflect the most recent state of affairs.

The only way to avoid this problem is to dispatch a Chinese lawyer to go to the AIC in person and request paper copies of a company’s record. This will ensure that you’re seeing the most up-to-date version.

Is There a Convenient Way to Access the Information Provided by AICs?

Yes. China Checkup provides a convenient, affordable way to access the official registration records of any company in China. We will retrieve, translate and explain the registration record of a Chinese company you’re interested in, making the information fully accessible to you.

Read more about our Chinese company verification services.




Matt Slater
Matt Slater

Author

Hi there, I'm a British-Australian Engineer and Entrepreneur, based in Brisbane, Australia.

Frustrated by the scarcity of concise, high-quality and timely information about Chinese companies, I founded 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 safely.

Connect with me:
info@chinacheckup.com LinkedIn profile

 


Related Articles

Alibaba Ecommerce Platforms - An Overview
Alibaba Ecommerce Platforms - An Overview

Apart from the ubiquitous sourcing b2b platform alibaba.com, do you know any of the other Alibaba ecommerce platforms? Although the origins of Jack Ma's company were in helping Chinese companies sell their wares overseas, these days Alibaba has g...

6 Data Sources for China Market Research
6 Data Sources for China Market Research

Conducting China market research can be very challenging for foreign companies, due to the shortage of reliable information available in the English language. From researching many topics for our articles, we have however found some websites whic...

China Laboratory Accreditation Certificate - An Introduction
China Laboratory Accreditation Certificate - An Introduction

Before putting much faith in a Chinese factory's test results it makes sense to ensure that the laboratory which conducted the tests has a China laboratory accreditation certificate. Although many factory's have their own laboratories, few of thes...



Also in Safer, Better Business in China

7 China Trade Fairs for Sourcing Products
7 China Trade Fairs for Sourcing Products

by Matt Slater November 22, 2017

Sourcing from China involves making a lot of decisions, and one of the best choices you can make is to visit one of the huge China trade fairs.

Visiting a trade show helps you to meet a wide range of suppliers, discuss requirements face-to-face and build the beginnings of a succesful business relationship.

China has an incredible number of exhibitions and they vary in size and scope tremendously. Choosing one of these China trade fairs will help to make the most of your time and expense.

Continue Reading

Countries That Register Company Names in Chinese
Countries That Register Company Names in Chinese

by Matt Slater November 13, 2017

If you saw a list of company names in Chinese it would usually be safe to assume that they are companies from Mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

But did you know there are some other countries where it is possible to register company names in Chinese?

In recent years some countries have found a new stream of clients from Chinaa process which they help facilitate by allowing companies to be established with an official Chinese name.

Continue Reading

6 Asia Business Airports That Get You Nearer Downtown
6 Asia Business Airports That Get You Nearer Downtown

by Matt Slater October 24, 2017

Read how business travelers are saving time by using Asia business airports to get them closer to downtown.

New airports are usually far from downtown making them difficult to reach during rush hour.

Happily, the rise of Asia business airports is offering new alternatives.

Continue Reading