Opinions, knowledge and resources from China Checkup's expert contributors
by Matt Slater
08 October 2013
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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
11 December 2020
View this comprehensive list of cities in China from Ankang to Zunyi!
We have included all cities in China that are either at, or above, prefecture-level and they are listed both alphabetically and grouped by province.
by Matt Slater
16 November 2020
This list of Chinese AMR websites includes links to the AMR branch website for each province/administrative region in China.
In case you're wondering, the acronym "AMR" stands for "Administration for Market Regulation", which is a newly-launched Chinese government agency created by the merger of many previous agencies, including the AIC and AQSIQ.
This super regulator is now responsible for a wide range of regulatory matters in Mainland China, so if you need to get in touch with them you should find this list of Chinese AMR websites useful.
by Matt Slater
10 November 2020
The China AEO Certificate is a document held by companies in China engaged in import and export activities.
Issued by China Customs, the certificate specifies the company's enterprise classification, which determines their level of inspections and more.
Requesting and verifying a supplier's China AEO certificate can be a sensible measure to understand if they are registered with China Customs as an "Authorized Economic Operator" and to check their AEO type.
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