Tips on how to Spot and Keep away from China Enterprise Scams

As China’s economy continues to falter, my legislation agency’s China attorneys are seeing a large uptick in China scams.

This put up will spotlight some key indicators of such scams, and focus on the methods we make use of to navigate our purchasers away from potential pitfalls. It’s going to additionally present sensible, actionable recommendation for transacting enterprise with China safely.

Recognizing Pink Flags in a Journey Enterprise Rip-off

An American journey companies firm introduced a contract to our consideration, drafted by a Chinese language journey agency that claimed to be occupied with sending numerous vacationers on our shopper’s European excursions. When considered one of our China attorneys reviewed this contract, a number of inconsistencies and purple flags emerged:

  • It’s not typical for Chinese language companies to supply the primary draft of a contract. Nonetheless, on this case, the Chinese language agency did precisely that.
  • The element stage of this preliminary draft was astonishingly intricate, which isn’t frequent for preliminary drafts from Chinese language corporations.
  • The proposed contract contained an unusual provision: the CEOs of each corporations had been to fulfill in a particular and fairly small Chinese language metropolis for the contract signing. This bore the hallmarks of a basic China rip-off, the place international representatives are lured to China and pressured into funding lavish occasions. Given the present decline in foreigners touring to China, this requirement was particularly peculiar. See China’s Latest Problem: People Don’t Want to Go There.
  • It’s uncommon for an inland American SME service enterprise to obtain this type of curiosity from China.
  • Many China enterprise scams have a tendency to focus on female-led, smaller service companies — similar to our shopper right here.
  • From a logistical standpoint, it could have been extra environment friendly and made higher sense for the Chinese language agency to work straight with a European firm for European excursions, relatively than an American one.
  • Chinese language contracts almost all the time specify Chinese language legislation a China dispute decision venue. This contract was silent on this.
  • The contract was in simply English, no Chinese language. This isn’t typical.

Given these discrepancies, we requested the Chinese language identify of the corporate and the Chinese language model of the contract. Their subsequent silence strengthened our rip-off suspicions. Although my legislation agency’s China lawyer had been skeptical from the outset, the shopper sought added reassurance.

Pink Flags in a Medical Gadget Distribution Rip-off

A medical machine startup from California sought our recommendation after a Chinese language agency expressed curiosity in changing into their unique distributor in China. A number of issues arose throughout our preliminary analysis:

  • The phrases relating to cost timelines, mental property rights, and territorial protection had been each ambiguous and weird.
  • There was a mismatch between the English and Chinese language names of the corporate.

My legislation agency’s attorneys had been uncomfortable with the Chinese language counterparty and we really helpful our shopper have us conduct due diligence on the Chinese language agency. Our investigation revealed that the corporate had ceased operations about two years prior. Armed with this data (and numerous different yellow flags revealed by our due diligence), our shopper correctly determined to desert the potential settlement.

Your Information for Avoiding China Scams

  • Have interaction Specialists Early: It’s essential to collaborate with authorized specialists educated in Chinese language enterprise practices, and the earlier you contain them in your small business dealings, the higher.
  • Conduct Thorough Due Diligence: At all times scrutinize the credentials, popularity, and monitor report of any Chinese language firm with which you’re contemplating partnering. Being proactive in your due diligence from the outset can forestall potential pitfalls later.
  • Belief Your Instincts: Your dangers are larger when one thing seems too good to be true or if you really feel pressured into swift selections. Should you sense one thing amiss, bolster your due diligence efforts instantly.
  • Safeguard Your Confidential Info: Shield your delicate information. Solely share it when you’re assured of the opposite get together’s authenticity.
  • Keep away from Untimely Funds: Scammers typically depend on funds to execute their schemes. Even in case you really feel you’re deep right into a deal, resist the urge to pay when you’ve got lingering doubts. For each rip-off our worldwide attorneys forestall, we get ten companies in search of assist to recuperate misplaced funds after falling prey. Guarantee your small business isn’t among the many ten.


Doing enterprise with China can offere rewards, but it surely additionally includes inherent dangers. could be rewarding. As China scams grow to be extra refined and prevalent, it’s good to grow to be more and more vigilant and proactive. By recognizing the warning indicators, conducting due diligence, participating authorized specialists, and safeguarding confidential data, you may significantly improve your odds of avoiding a China rip-off.