Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tips for drafting a formal contract in China

We just received a report from a potential Brazilian client this weekend, complaining that they were cheated by a Chinese company below and lost more than 150000 USD:
Inner Mongolia Topstar Chemical Co., Ltd

We found that the key business proof -- the formal purchase contract signed between the client and the Chinese supplier was a fake one. It is almost impossible for the client to take any legal action against this supplier with such a fake contract in China.

How to identify and sign a formal contract with your Chinese partners ? Here are the tips for your reference:
1. Verification of the contracting parties.
We found that the supplier address on their contract signed was NOT specific and it does not exist in China. It’s very important to verify whom you’re going to deal with in China before the signature of any formal contract. The full company name and address on the contract should be the same from their Business License in China. Here is one of the typical Business License issued by local government authorities in China:
Their registered full name, address, business scope and legal representative etc can be checked out on the Business License in China.
2. Paging seal
All the important formal contracts have paging seals to prevent the change of pages. Here is the example of paging seal:  

Paging seal (cross-page seal), also referring to the seal on the perforation, is an official seal spanning across the contract pages, the purpose of cross-page seal is to prevent the unilateral change of the contract.
3. Verification of the signatory
In China, the right signatory of any legal contract must be the legal representative of the company, if it’s not signed by the legal representative, then the authorization of the signatory must be verified first. The legal representative name can be checked out on their Business License as well.
We noted that lots of clients signed the contract with some ‘none-exist’ guys here in China as some Chinese suppliers normally use ‘fake names’ to sign the contract and then they will have trouble when come to any trade dispute later. For example, over 60% of the small exporters used the created English names to sign a contract in China when they sign a contract with their clients, say, Lucy, Simon, John, Lily, Leo etc, please note that only Chinese names can be regarded as legal in China when come to lawsuit.
4. Verification of Company Seal
In China, all the legal contract must be stamped with a formal Company Seal.
All the legal company seal is in round shape and red, here is the example:

But some professional scammers normally use a created company seal to sign the contract, say, this one:

5. Verification of contract terms
All the terms, covering payment, quality control, order details, lead time, package, shipping terms, after-sale terms etc must be well stipulated before the signature of the contract.
6. Language issue
China is NOT an English speaking country, if you are going to take any legal action against your supplier in China, you’d better consult a local consultant here in China and sign a bi-lingual contract if your order is very big.
If you have any question regarding doing safe and smooth business in China, please feel free to ask us any question related. Our mission is to save you more and reduce the risks in your business in China ! 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

4 out of 5 trust-pass members fail site inspection in China

Last week we paid several factory inspections to some China-based companies upon request of our foreign clients.

All the five companies are the so-called Gold member or Trust-pass members from a TOP B2B platform in China, all suppliers claimed that they were real manufacturers of electronics. Here are the facts after an on-site factory auditing from us in China:

Company One: 
This is a fully qualified factory and exporter, with a registered capital of more than 7,930,000.00 USD and more than 300 workers, they mainly export to European and US market.

Company Two:
Declined my visitation on the pretext of goods shortage, but they promised to receive us before our departure to Shenzhen.

Company Three: 
Received us at an office in a hotel, there are 3 salespersons working in the office. We cannot even find a logo on their company in the office and on the door. They are checked out to be a small offshore trading company in China.

Company Four: 
They are a registered small trading company in China, however, they do not have their own right to export ( I mean they do not have the Certificate of Import & Export issued by local government authorities ), they normally export their goods via freight forwarders, for which the buyer may bear some risks. They do not have any factories at all. They cannot show me any quality control measures and after sale services in written forms; they cannot even show me a formal sales contract!!

Company Five:
They 'stole' the registered information from another factory in China, that is to say,they used a factory information to register online but actually their business was operated in a totally different company in China. It's quite risky for the client to do business with such suppliers as they will disappear sometimes after they get the money from the client. One of our European clients already lost more than 20000 USD for such cases last December. The client information can be available upon request. 

My suggestion:
You'd better deal with larger trading companies or manufacturers directly for sake of better quality control in China. Lot of trading companies disguise to be a real manufacturer online, so a factory auditing or inspection service is very necessary for any large order in China! A factory inspection service can fully disclose the truth about your supplier and it's one of the best ways to verify your Chinese supplier so far!

What can an on-site local factory visitation bring you? 

As we all know, there are many false things on the web, which perplex us often when we are going to make a decision. The case is also true with buyers who are going to buy from oversea suppliers. Here I bet a factory visitation (better by a local person) is a second-to-none solution.

1.Genuine or False?
The local person can go and check the company (the potential seller) and all its factory registration information to see if it’s a genuine and serious enterprise. This is the basic thing that any buyer has to do before any sincere cooperation!

2.Production Competence (Throughput)?
The visitor can inquire about the factory's producing ability (also known as throughput) with the director of Production Department. How much can they produce in a month or a quarter? By learning their production competence, the buyer can avoid the risk of a delayed delivery to some extent.

3.Quality Control?
The visitor can try to get to know the factory's quality control system with the help from the director of Quality Control Department. He can also get to know more by inspecting their assembly lines or work shops. Good quality is always one of the crucial things that buyers are always pursuing.

4.After-sale Service?
After-sale service is also important for buyers. Here the visitor or inspector can make sure if the factory can offer good and effective after-sale services and also confirm if they can include after-sale services as one clause in the contract? After-sale services can keep you free from some troubles.

5.Export License?
Some suppliers do not really have export license. Here the visitor can check the supplier's registration information with the local customs to see if it can really export directly to the buyer's country. This is also one of the factors that can free you from being scammed. Other qualifications of the supplier can also be checked out by a local expert in this field in China.


Monday, 5 February 2018


Recently one of our Indian clients lost more than 3000 USD by a 'fake’Chinese importer. They were offered a huge order valuing more than 500,000.00 USD and were invited to China to attend a so-called contract signing ceremony.

Features of Chinese import fraudsters:
1.Fully registered a NEW small trade company in Hongkong, with a created address and a created company name in Mainland China. Please note that they will use 'fake’identity cards to register the offshore trade company in China as well.
2.Leased a luxurious office temporarily, with at least three ‘actors’, one is to act as a‘president or CEO’,one acts as a financial director and the other acts as an‘importer manager’or assistant. 
3.The offer (contract value) is very attractive and huge, valuing more than 1 million USD at least or half a million of USD, with favourable payment terms,say, 30% in advance by T/T within 24 hours upon the signature of the contract in person. 
4.Claimed to be a big group company, with a wide range of business: trade, distribution, investment, manufacturing and so on. They claim to import all kinds of items from other countries. 
5.Constructed a website, with many items on, disguised to be a group company online. They used an official company email box as well. 
6.Used automatic Group Mailing system and they can sent tens of thousands of emails every day. If the receiver responds, then a guy will follow up by email and the trap begins. They never attend the trade fairs or shows in China. 
7.Insist on signing the contract in person in China and they will invite you to attend their so-called Contract Signing Ceremony. 
8.Insist on NOTARIZING the contract and they will appoint (designate) a local Notary Office (but normally this notary office is a NON-EXIST one in China.). 
9.Used‘fake’Chinese invoice and Chinese official licenses. 
10.Used‘fake’signature, they do not sign their names in full. 

According to the case-reports from our clients so far, 99% of above notorious scammers are from Shanxi (Xian), Henan (Zhengzhou city) and Guangxi (Guilin city) etc, China at present.

How they TRAP you STEP by STEP ? 
First: Use automatic group mailing software to send you attractive offers and inquiries, with created official websites and email boxes. Formal documents, formal address, websites and bank accounts etc, everything seems to be normal. 
Second: Invite you to sign a formal Purchase Contract in person in China.
Third: Insist on notarizing the contract and they will use a non-exist notary office to notarize the document, then all the notary fee will be in their pocket. 
Fourth: Asking you for‘kickbacks’or‘bribes’in lot of 'pretexts’in China. 
Fifth: After they get all those money, they will disappear and replica the scam again. 

What are the Countermeasures against these Professional Business Fraudsters?
First: Ask the importer for their Business License and Import License before your departure to China, then checking out their registered information with local officials first. 
Second: Book a professional Company Verification or Investigation service from a third-party service company, checking them out before further discussion.
Third: Appoint a local representative and visit them first before your departure to China, they are NOT able to cheat local experts. . 
Fourth: Never pay anything before receiving the deposit from the importer. 

No matter you're buying or selling, Due Diligence work is always important in China. Think it over before you pay out even one penny !

Monday, 29 January 2018

Use the top 50 professional markets to facilitate your sourcing in China

      Sourcing at professional markets is one of the best ways to source qualified factories here in China. In China, almost each industry has her own Professional Market, where buyers, sellers, factories and distributors can meet each other. Professional Market is the best place for businessmen to do market survey, source factories and look for qualified distributors etc in China. The Professional Market is normally located at the real manufaturing bases, for instance, if you're buying 'fireworks',you can go and source some qualified suppliers at Liuyang International Fireworks Market in Liuyang city,where you can find hundreds of fireworks factory information. Here is a list of the top 50 Professional Markets in China:

Button and Zipper Industry -- Zhejiang Qiaotou Button and Zipper Market

Sweater Industry - Jiaxing International Sweater Market

Clothing Industry -- Guangzhou Baima Clothing Market
Children Clothing Industry -- Zhili Children Clothing Market)
Clothing Industry -- Hangzhou Sijiqing Clothing Market

Food Industry -- Jiangsu Jiangyin Food Market
Food Industry -- Cixi Zhouxiang Food and Groceries Wholesale Market
Food Industry -- Zhejiang Jiashan Business Centre

Silk Industry -- China Wujiang Shengze Eastern Silk Market
Silk Industry -- Hangzhou Silk Market
Silk Industry -- Cocoon and Silk Market

Furniture Industry -- Shenyang China Furniture City

Wool and Sweater Industry -- Zhejiang Jiaxing Tongxiang Wool and Sweater Market
Tel: 0573-8818300 or 8817336

Textile Industry --- Shaoxing China Light & Textile Industrial City

Miscellaneous --- Yiwu China Commodities City

Leather and Fur Industry -- Haining China Leather City

Auto Parts Industry --- Zhejiang Auto Part City
Others: or
Auto Parts Industry --- Shanghai East Auto Part City
Auto Industry --- South China Auto Market

Flooring Industry --- Changzhou International Flooring City
Ceramics Product Industry -- Foshan Ceramics City
Website: or

Plastics Raw Material Industry -- Yuyao China Plastics City
Website: or

Textile Industry -- Shaoxing China Textile City
Website: or or
Textile Industry -- Guangdong Xijiao Textile City

Seafood Industry -- Zhoushan International Aquatic Products City

Tie Industry -- Shengzhou China Tie City
Website: or

Hardware Industry -- Yongkang China Hardware City

Liquid Chemicals -- Ningbo Zhenhai Liquid Chemicals Trade Market
Chemicals Industry -- China Chemicals
Website: and
Chemical Industry -- Jiangsu Chemicals Exchange (/Zhangjiagang)
Dangerous Chemicals Industry -- Tianjin and Shanghai
Website: and

Electronics, Phone and Digital Industry -- Shenzhen Huaqiangbei
Electric Element Industry -- Shenzhen Huaqiangbei

Watch Industry -- Shenzhen and Guangzhou Watch Centre
Website: or

Stone Product Industry --- Shuitou Stone Market
Website: or

Mold Industry -- Ningbo China Mold City Dongguan 横沥
Website: or

Steel Industry -- Foshan Lecong Steel Market
Website: or
Steel Industry -- Shanghai Baoshan Steel Market

Wig and Hair Product Industry -- Xuchang Hair Product Market
Website: or

Furniture Industry -- Shenyang China Furniture City
Furniture Industry --- Foshan Lecong Furniture City
Website: or

Vegetable Industry -- Shandong Shouguang Vegetable Market
Website: or
Agricultural Product Industry -- Changzhou Lingjiatang Market
Fruit Industry -- China Fruit Wholesale Market
Website: or
Agricultural Product Industry -- Zhangjiagang Qingcaoxiang Market

Foodstuff Industry -- Jiangxi Jiujiang South China Cereal Trade Market
Website: or
Foodstuff Industry -- Zhengzhou Grain Wholesale Market

Hotel Supplies Industry -- Guangzhou Nantian Hotel Supplies Wholesale Market

Chinese Medicine Industry --- Hebei Anguo East Medicine City
Chinese Medicine Industry --- Haozhou Chinese Medicine Trade Centre
Website: and

Pearl Industry -- Zhuji Pearl Market

Audiovisual Product Industry -- Guangdong Audiovisual Product City
Website: N/A Guangzhou

Package and Print Industry -- Guangdong International Package Market


Monday, 8 January 2018

Purchased SBS LCY3501 but received sand: How we deal with such cases in China

One of our Mexican clients Mr. AZ is in trouble these days: He is losing his reputation and credit among his clients and he may face a lawsuit soon. Here is the story: He placed an order of chemical agents -- SBS LCY3501 from a Chinese supplier called Rizhao Laika Trade Co.,Ltd in Oct, 2017. In Dec,2017 he received a full container of sand, totally different from the items purchased in the contract. 
We studied this case and found following facts:
1.The supplier is a fully registered small trade company and they might be a professional scammer as their quotation is far below the market price in China.
2.The supplier did not use a right company chop to sign the contract,indicating that the PI signed is invalid in China. 
3.This supplier was registered only several months ago but they claim to be a well experienced factory and exporter online. 
How to cope with the current situations here in China?
1.Collect enough business proof, submit a report to local officials or local police station in Chinese, the relevant government organs can be: Market Supervision Administration (Administration for Industry and Commerce); Public Security Bureau (local police station)

The supplier may force to refund you if are able to get assistance from local officials in China. 
2.Investigate their registered information,then employ a local lawyer and take a legal action against them in China but please note that any legal action is time-consuming and costly. 
Here is the lesson for other clients in the future:
1.Check out the suppliers and audit the factory first before placing any large orders in China.

2.Book a third-party Loading Process Supervision service to stop such cases. 
Please keep it in mind that safety, quality, price and after-sale service play nearly the same role in doing smooth business in China. The first important thing is safety instead of the quality or price. 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Professional Supplier Sourcing: The First Step to your Successful Business in China

I received two inquiries today from our old clients, demanding for another professional supplier sourcing service, which is playing more and more important role in their import business these days.
Professional Supplier Sourcing refers to the sourcing service carried out in a very professional way. Some importers only source suppliers by searching online or simply attending a general commodity trade fair, which is regarded NOT professional enough sometimes in China.
How to conduct a Professional Sourcing service?
First of all, Professional Sourcing means product proficiency; you have to be very proficient with the product itself, covering the product name, specifications, descriptions, application and market price etc. You have to try to be an expert in this field.
Second, Professional Sourcing indicates the proficiency of related manufacturing bases. In China, almost every city or province has their own pillar industries, especially for some special items, say, ceramics, chemicals,furniture,fireworks etc.So before sourcing in China,you have to study the right industry cluster first. Most of the foreign importers try to source the suppliers by attending trade fairs, say, Canton Fair.With the information and internet development,more and more customers quit trade fairs now in China.The best place for you to meet and find out some qualified suppliers is the right manufacturing bases. For example, if you're looking for 'fireworks', you have to go to Liuyang city, which is called 'Home of Fireworks', where there are more than 400000 people directly or indirectly engaging in this business in China. 'Liuyang -- made' fireworks account for more than 60% global market at present. This is the same to other products; almost every product has their unique manufacturing bases in China.Say,Qingdao for tyres, Lecong for furniture, Zhuji for socks, Yiwu for general commodities, Xintang for jeans, Wenzhou for ties and shoes, Anji for bamboo products, Liling for ceramics, Yongkang for hardwares, Shenzhen for electronics, Guangzhou for clothes, Xuchang for hair products, Changzhou for floorings etc. Of course some products may have more than two or three manufacturing bases as China is too big. For example, in North China people to go to Tianjin to buy steel banquet chairs while in South China, Shunde is the largest manufacturing base for those items.Click here to find out more Professional Markets in China. 
Third, Professional Sourcing means that you have to attend professional trade fair instead of the general trade fairs. Say, if you're buying furniture you can have a try on Furniture China (, and this is the same for other product sourcing, Door industry --, Lock industry -- and Tube industry -- etc. More professional fair information, please have a look at:
Lastly, Professional Sourcing needs professional verification skills, you have to be able to check out their export or import qualifications and obtain their full registered information in order to avoid future business scams in China. Some professional sourcing service company like STIN offers FREE Basic Verification Service on their suppliers after the client books their sourcing service in China.
Welcome to do business in China !

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The features of latest aluminum ingot business scam and the countermeasures

       We received a report from one of our Poland clients in early November, 2017, complaining that they were cheated by a Chinese supplier below, they placed an order of a full 20 ft aluminum ingot on June 22, 2017 and paid them the deposit (around 15000 USD) on July 04 but in late September, 2017 they received only three stacks of aluminum ingots from the supplier while the original contract quantity was 25 tons. This case has been formally reported to local officials and police station in China via STIN Case-Report Service, hoping local officials could help them out soon. Here are the scammer details: 

Handan Fubon Metal Technology Co., Ltd 
Attn: Mr. Li-Min Zhang - President   
        Mrs. Jennifer Chan (Sales)
Add: No. 1, Youyi Rode, Development Zone, Handan City, Hebei Province, China
Tel: 0086-310-5308662  Fax:0086-310-8051706

Let's tell you why this supplier might be a professional scammer without inspecting them in person. 

1.Fake contact names
The scammers normally hire an English translator to reply your email every day, using a fake name. You have no chance to know their real names in China, say, Jennifer Chan, this name is just created in English you cannot trace them in China at all. 

Also 99% of these business cheaters are from North China, covering Hebei, Tianjin, Liaoning and Shandong etc. 

Counter-measures: The client can ask them for their ID copy to know their real name in China before placing any large orders. 

2.Attractive payment terms
The scammer normally offers very attractive payment terms like: 30% deposit and 70% paid after checking the quality at the destination port. Please keep it in mind that the scammer only care your deposit, they do not care your rest balance at all. They will start to escape as soon as they receive your deposit in China. 

Counter-measures: If the order is large enough, the client is suggested to book an On-site Supplier Inspection or Investigation Service from STIN before placing any orders. 

3.Business address and business scope 
We note that this scammer did not use their full company address to sign the contract with the client. They used a fake address, which is also located in a rented residential area in China. In China, every company or exporter has their own limited business scope and lot of the businesses have to be licensed. We also noted that the items they sold online were far beyond their business scope in China. 

Countermeasures: STIN professional Company Verification Service can stop you from such cases in China. 

4.Fake company chop
We also noted that this scammer used a fake company chop to sign the contract in China. If they used a fake company chop, indicating that the client cannot take any legal actions against them as the contract is invalid in China. Please note that the official shape of any legal Company Chop is in a round instead of rectangular form. 

Countermeasures: We can help you check it for FREE in China. 

5.Full set of original documents with NO sufficient goods delivered
The scammer delivered a full set of original documents to the client but only shipped 1/50 of contract value. 

Countermeasures: The client is suggested to book an On-site Loading Process Supervision Service from STIN when the order is big enough to avoid such cases. 
Sources: STIN SERVICE TEAM ( - Your Eyes, Assistants and Office in China !