This China Checkup glossary is comprised of some of the most common China business acronyms such as AIC, MOFCOM and SAFE.
Love them or hate them, acronyms are a useful way for people working in a particular field to communicate more concisely. For professionals engaged with business in China this is also the case and there are many English language acronyms which you may encounter.
The problem with all acronyms is that they only make sense if you know what they stand for, so this glossary of China business acronyms is here to address that need.
Tip: If you are looking for a specific term, try using the search function (CTRL-F)
|ABC||Agricultural Bank of China||One of the five state-controlled joint-stock commercial banks|
|AEO||Authorized Economic Operator||A status given by China Customs to certified companies - see What is the China Customs Enterprise Classification System?|
|AIC||Administration for Industry and Commerce||Regional company registration authorities with departments in every administrative region of China - see What is a China AIC?|
|AIIB||Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank||An international financial institution that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, was proposed as an initiative by the government of China|
|ALI||Alibaba||The biggest Chinese e-commerce company that provides C2C, B2C and B2B sales services via web portals, also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services|
|AQSIQ||General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine||In charge of national quality, metrology, entry-exit commodity inspection, entry-exit health quarantine, entry-exit animal and plant quarantine, import-export food safety, certification and accreditation, standardization, as well as administrative law enforcement|
|BAT||Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent||The Big Three Internet companies in China|
|BCM||Bank of Communications||One of the largest banks in China|
|BOC||Bank of China||One of the five state-controlled joint-stock commercial banks|
|CBRC||China Banking Regulatory Commission||An agency authorized by the State Council to regulate Mainland China's banking sector|
|CCAA||China Certification & Accreditation Association||A nonprofit industry organization for Chinese certification bodies|
|CCAM||China Customs Advanced Manifest||A submission made to China Customs by overseas exporters when shipping cargo|
|CCB||China Construction Bank||One of the five state-controlled joint-stock commercial banks|
|CCBA||China Customs Brokers Association||A national industrial association for Chinese customs brokers which is directly under the leadership of the General Administration of Customs|
|CCC||China Compulsory Certification||The CCC mark is a compulsory safety mark for many products imported, sold or used in the Chinese market - see China CCC Certificate – An Introduction|
|CCIC||China Certification & Inspection Group||A third party certification, inspection and testing organization under, but run independently of AQSIQ|
|CCPIT||China Council for the Promotion of International Trade||A national foreign trade and investment promotion agency, their responsibilities include: implement relevant major national development strategies, promote foreign trade, bilateral investment and economic & technological cooperation|
|CEDZ||China Economic Development Zones||A special economic development zone where foreign direct investment is encouraged - also known as Economic & Technological Development Zone (ETDZ)|
|CFDA||China Food and Drug Administration||Government agency responsible for supervision and administration of drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, healthy food and restaurant food safety|
|CIQ||China Inspection & Quarantine Bureau||Directly governed by AQSIQ, CIQ bureaus are established at each of China's ports for inspecting shipments|
|CITIC||China International Trust and Investment Corporation||One of the biggest conglomerates in China with leading businesses including financial services, resources and energy, engineering contracting, manufacturing and real estate|
|CLIC||China Life Insurance Co., Ltd.||One of the largest insurance companies in China|
|CMB||China Merchants Bank||The first and largest privately-owned commercial bank in China|
|CMBC||China Minsheng Bank Corp||The first bank in China to be owned mostly by non-government enterprises, it focuses on making loans to small and medium-sized enterprises|
|CMCC||China Mobile Communications Corporation||China Mobile Ltd's current parent company|
|CNAS||China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment||China's national accreditation body - the authority solely responsible for accreditation of certification bodies, laboratories and inspection bodies|
|CNCA||Certification and Accreditation Administration||This institution oversees the management, supervision and coordination of certification and accreditation activities across the country|
|CNNIC||China Internet Network Information Center||An administrative agency responsible for Internet affairs under the Ministry of Information Industry of China|
|CNY||Chinese Yuan||CNY is the official currency code of China's currency, the Renminbi (See RMB)|
|COSCO||China Ocean Shipping Company||The largest multi-purpose ship transportation company in China, state owned|
|CPIC||China Pacific Insurance Co., Ltd.||The second largest property insurance company (after PICC) and the third largest life insurance company (after CLIC and Ping An Insurance) in Mainland China|
|CQC||China Quality Certification||China's largest professional certification body|
|CR||China Railway||The national railway operator with rail commuter and freight transport services operating under several smaller companies|
|CRE||China Railway Express Co.,Ltd.||Leading company in China's domestic logistics industry with rail, air and road freight services|
|CRH||China Railway High-Speed||The high-speed rail service operated by China Railway, the equivalent of Japan's Shinkansen|
|CSCL||China Shipping Container Lines Co., Ltd.||One of China's largest global container liner services|
|CT||China Telecom||A Chinese state-owned telecommunication company, the largest fixed-line service and the third largest mobile telecommunication provider in China|
|CTMO||China Trademark Office||A government agency responsible for trademark registration and administration throughout the country|
|CUCC||China Unicom Communications Corporation||A Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator, the world's fourth largest mobile service provider by subscriber base|
|CUP||China UnionPay||The only domestic bank card organization and the only interbank network in China excluding Hong Kong and Macau, linking the ATMs of all banks throughout mainland China and widely accepted by the ATMs in Hong Kong and Macau|
|ETDZ||Economic & Technological Development Zone||A special economic development zone where foreign direct investment is encouraged - also know as China Economic Development Zones (CEDZ)|
|FIPE||Foreign Invested Partnership Enterprises||A special form of company incorporation which allows foreign investors to establish an entity in Mainland China in partnership with other foreign or domestic investors - similar to a JV|
|FTZ||Free Trade Zone||Currently operating in Shanghai, Fujian, Tianjin, Guangdong & more - see China Free Trade Zones - Where Are They?|
|GAC||General Administration of Customs||Government agency that supervises and manages all arrivals in and departures from mainland China with essential tasks such as customs control, revenue collection, fighting smuggling and foreign trade statistics compilation|
|GB||Guóbiāo (lit. National Standard)||GB standards are the Chinese national standards issued by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC)|
|GFW||Great Firewall||China's infamous internet network censoring system|
|HW||Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.||A Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world|
|ICBC||Industrial and Commercial Bank of China||China's largest commercial bank|
|JD||Jingdong Mall||A Chinese electronic commerce company, one of the largest B2C online retailers in China by transaction volume, and a major competitor to Alibaba-run Tmall|
|JV||Joint Venture||A business in which a Chinese company and a foreign company have jointly invested|
|MI||Xiaomi (Namely, Mobile Internet)||A privately owned Chinese electronics company designs, develops and sells smartphones, mobile apps and related consumer electronics, the world's 5th largest smartphone maker|
|MIIT||Ministry of Industry and Information Technology||A state agency responsible for regulation and development of the postal service, Internet, wireless, broadcasting, communications, production of electronic and information goods, software industry and the promotion of the national knowledge economy|
|MOFCOM||The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China||Responsible for formulating policy on foreign trade, export and import regulations, foreign direct investments, consumer protection, market competition and negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade agreements|
|MOQ||Minimum Order Quantity||This is the minimum quantity for one order required by the supplier|
|MSA||Market Supervision Administration||This is a pilot administration scheme which combines the operations of the AIC, QTSB, CFDA, SIPO to monitor market practices in specific areas of China - currently operational in Shenzhen and the Shanghai Free Trade Zones|
|MSA||Maritime Safety Administration||A government agency which administers all matters related to maritime and shipping safety, including the supervision of maritime traffic safety and security, prevention of pollution from ships, inspection of ships and offshore facilities, etc.|
|NACAO||National Administration for Code Allocation to Organizations||A government institution administering the work related to the National Organization Code - see China Organization Code – An Introduction|
|OC||Organization Code||The unique code issued to organizations in China by NACAO|
|PBOC||People's Bank of China||China's central bank - plays a critical role in the country's macroeconomic management|
|PICC||People's Insurance Company of China||State-owned, the largest insurer of casualty insurance in China|
|QTSB||Quality and Technology Supervision Bureau||This government agency supervises product quality standards, metrological law and standardization law|
Renminbi (人民币) is the official name of China's currency and literally means "People's currency". See Which Chinese Currency are in Circulation?
|SAC||Standardization Administration of China||The agency responsible for work related to national standards and standardization. Represents China within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)|
|SAFE||State Administration of Foreign Exchange||This administrative agency is tasked with drafting rules and regulations governing foreign exchange market activities, and managing the state foreign exchange reserves|
|SAIC||State Administration for Industry and Commerce||Responsible for overseeing each of the regional AICs and in charge of market supervision/regulation and related law enforcement through administrative means|
|SASAC||State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission||Responsible for managing the remaining SOEs, including appointing top executives and approving any mergers or sales of stock or assets, as well as drafting laws related to state-owned enterprises|
|SAT||State Administration of Taxation||A ministerial-level department within the government of China responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcing state revenue laws|
|SEZ||Special Economic Zone||Economic zones in China with special economic policies and flexible governmental measures|
|SIPO||State Intellectual Property Office||China's patent office, responsible for patent work and coordination of foreign related affairs in the field of intellectual property|
|SOE||State-Owned Enterprise||a legal entity that undertakes commercial activities on behalf of an owner, the government|
|TB||Taobao||A Chinese website for online shopping similar to eBay & Amazon that is operated in China by Alibaba Group|
|TRAB||Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce||The commission responsible for adjudicating on trademark disputes in China|
|USCC||Unified Social Credit Code||Another name for the 18-digit Chinese business registration number as found on the China Business License|
|USCI||Unified Social Credit Identifier||Another name for the Unified Social Credit Code (USCC)|
|WB||Sina Weibo||A China-based microblogging service, including social chat sites and platform sharing|
|WFOE||Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise||A limited liability company in Mainland China wholly owned by foreign investor(s)|
|YHD||Yihaodian||A Chinese B2C e-commerce website that provides people with a platform to buy groceries online, 100% owned by Walmart|
Do you have a China business acronym which is missing from our glossary? Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to add it.
We often come across China company English names which we feel are misleading.
They are misleading for a number of reasons - some accidental, some deliberate, some cynical - but the root cause is that companies from Mainland China are registered in the Chinese language, not in English.
Here we give some background on China company English names and introduce the 5 ways in which we find they can be misleading.
China Customs Enterprise Classification is a system used by China Customs to grade companies which engage in foreign trade.
Following a long implementation phase, a new classification system was confirmed in May 2018. It had been updated primarily to reflect China's broader implementation of a nationwide social credit system in recent years..
Under the new China Customs Enterprise Classification system, companies are no longer ranked AA, A, B, C or D - there are now 4 different categories which are introduced in this article.
If you're travelling to meet or dealing with a Chinese company it is worth bearing in mind that there are several different types of Chinese currency.
Depending on whether your business is in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan you could well need to be looking at 4 different exchange rates.
Here we introduce each of the 4 Chinese currency currently in use in "Greater China" - the Renminbi, Hong Kong Dollar, Macau Pataca & New Taiwan Dollar.