How to Self-Check your Chinese Suppliers

by Justin Yuan
(Changsha, China)

We have checked out dozens of Chinese companies for friends worldwide this year. Some of the companies, even the Gold members of Alibaba turned out to be a business scammer in China. Your business cannot legally protected by Chinese government authorities if you're dealing with illegal Chinese companies. Hence, it's very important to verify your business partner as there are more and more business frauds coming forth in China. Here are my tips for you to verify a Chinese company:


Generally speaking, there are some links online for you to check out companies in China:

www.yp.net.cn
www.chinaeall.com
www.cnaic.org.cn
www.114win.com

However, there is no English version of above services so far in China, you have to know a little Chinese to check it all by yourself. Also some of the companies did not register themselves with above yellow pages. So yellow page is not the key way to judge a business scammer in China! The best way to check out a supplier in China is to visit them in person or check them out with local government authorities in China.

If you don't know Chinese, still you can pre-verify your business partners from following aspects:

1. Contact information
Please note that whether their contact information is right or not, most of the scammers don't offer a right address, tel and fax number online. Some of the tel numbers are empty and some add and tel don't exist at all, they don't offer a company tel number, a private number or mobile phone number instead.

2. Registered corporate number
Every legal company in China has to register itself with Chinese government authortities and obtain an unique company number. If your business partner cannot offer you a unique registered corporate number, definitely he is a scammer, of course, he may submit you a fake number, so you have to check it out with local administrative government organs with the number he offered. There is a Chinese organ called Bureau of Industry & Commerce ( have branches at all levels ), which is the only government organ responsible for the registration of legitimate companies or enterprises in China. For example, for any legitimate companies from Changsha or Hunan province, you can contact the local administrative organ for confirmation: http://www.csaic.gov.cn/ Tel: 86-731-2891606 or http://www.hunancom.gov.cn/ Tel: 86-731-2287058 , the problem is you have to report your case in Chinese sometimes because most of the local officials do not know too much English in China.

3. Incredibly low prices
Most of Chinese scammers usually entice foreigners with a very low price. If the prices they offered is too low to believe, you may have a further investigatiion to your partner to know why their prices are so low. Most of the scammers in China profit a lot by selling replicas or fakes of some branded goods to the overseas market, this is very risky because the goods shall be confiscated or detained by Chinese customs house in case it considered illegal in China.

4. Payment and shipment terms
The scammers never accept L/C as their payment terms, they prefer Western Union, Paypal and T/T etc. Also they never deliver goods through formal channels in China, they prefer to deliver samples by Express like Fedex, TNT, EMS to avoid more examinations from Chinese customs house.

5. Warranty and after sale services
Scammers never take some measures to guarantee their quality and after-sale services after your payment, they may promise you a lot before payment. It's lip-services only!!!

Be careful with some of the Chinese suppliers!
By the way, I have to mention that, it does not mean the manufacturer has the right to sell or buy in case he has obtained a legitimate unique company number from local BIC in China. In China, all the enterprises with the right to import and export has to apply and obtain a certificate called Certificate of Import & Export from Ministry of Commerce of PRC and its authorized local organs in China after their registration at local BIC. Also a formal trade company has to register with Chinese Customs House and its branches before his formal business with foreign counterparts in China. Then he has to register himself with local Bureau of Inspection & Quarantine in case his products are in need of quality control. Without the registration from above local government authorities from China, no company can deal with you in formal channels in China.

Justin Yuan
Changsha, China

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