4.2 Cross Referencing Findings With Other Sources Copy

Page Completion Estimate = 30 Minutes

Other sources of information that might be valuable to the process of verification of companies include but are not limited to business cards, brochures, email signatures, company website, trade platforms  that are used by the potential cooperation partner, quotations, invoices, social media and so on. This chapter provides an overview of the main items to be considered in the reviewing process in combination with the company materials discussed in previous chapters.

1     Chinese name of the company representative

If the company representative holds a high-level position and belongs to so called key personnel of the company discussed in chapter 1, this function is to be registered at the Administration of Market Regulation. This registration can be verified online via the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System and provides certainly that the person holds the position (s)he claims.

2     Chinese name of the company

The Chinese name of the company must meet the requirements discussed in week 1. Further review must confirm that the Chinese name of the company corresponds – an exact match of characters without a single different character – with the name registered on the business license that has been provided or with the name registered in the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.

3     English name of the company

English names of companies incorporated within the territory of mainland China are not registered at the Administration of Market Regulation, hence do not provide reference for further verification. If the company name is provided in English language only and not in Chinese characters, it should be treated with caution as the company might not be registered in mainland China.

Per example, companies which are incorporated within the territory of Hong Kong S.A.R. can have their names registered in both English and Chinese languages. As such, the company is a Hong Kong S.A.R. registered company and not a company incorporated in mainland China.  

4     Address of the company

It is important to verify whether the address provided on the business card is the same address as the registered address at the Administration of Market Regulations. If the address differs from the registered address, it should be treated with caution and the difference should be clarified. As such, it might be possible that the company has multiple offices which explains for the different address. Besides asking the company representative for an explanation, indirect verification might be possible reviewing address details included on the company website, company or product brochures or other company materials. Enclosure I provides an overview of the postal codes per major city per province in China.

5     Landline number

An important source for verifying the validity of a company is the presence of a landline phone number on the company materials, as the area code can be cross referenced against the area code of the location where the company is registered.

If the landline number is not included in the company materials, the company should be treated with caution as it might be possible that the company is not incorporated within the territory of mainland China. The absence of a landline number should be considered in combination with the company name. The absence of the landline number in combination with the presence of a company name in English language, and not Chinese language is a strong red flag.

The country code for Mainland China is +86. The country code for Hong Kong S.A.R. is +85. Enclosure I provides an overview of the area numbers per major city per province in China.

6     Mobile phone number

Similar to the landline number, mobile phone numbers provide a valuable source for cross referencing. First it should be confirmed whether the mobile phone number is a number from mainland China, and secondly whether it has been registered in the city where the company is registered.

7     Email address

While often companies use their corporate email addresses, in China it is still to a certain extent still common practice for companies to use public email accounts including but not limited to @qq.com, @126.com and sina.com for professional purposes. The use of such public email addresses imposes risks as described in chapter 10.

It is a commercial decision whether or not to accept communication with a third-party company for corporate purposes via a public account. A practical work around limiting risk is that corporates provide Chinese third-party companies with an email address and login credentials via which business communication takes place. To ensure that emails are read timely, short messages are sent to the third-party company representative via social media chat platforms like WeChat that an email has been sent, not disclosing the content of the email.

8     Company website

The Chinese authorities require all the website hosted in China to be filed with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). After obtaining approval, a unique Internet Content Provider (ICP) recording code will be assigned to the website, indicating that the website has been approved. This code is usually listed in the footer of the webpages. If the ICP code is missing from the website it should be considered a red flag as the website is not hosted in mainland China.

Verification Internet Content Provider
www.miit.gov.cn (Mandarin Chinese language)

When evaluating a website, a personal assessment is made of the layout and content provided. Main questions to be asked include whether the website is a professional looking website you would expect from the type and level of organization you look for as a potential cooperation partner?

In terms of expected language, is the website created in Chinese language, is it multilingual or does it only have a few pages in English language? If the website only has a limited number of English language pages, the website should be treated with caution.

In terms of contact options,  has the company information properly been displayed on the website, including Chinese and English names of the company, address details, contact information and so on, and does the provided company information meet the requirements discussed in this publication? Regarding the contact person, has general contact information been provided encompassing the whole company or is contact personalized, whereas different department and persons can be contacted?

9     Industry Accreditation

If the company is claiming  to have obtained industry accreditation, does it provide documented proof to substantiate this claim in the form of scanned copies of obtained certifications? Below you will find the link to National Certification And Accreditation Information Public Service System of the Information Center of the State Administration for Market Regulation where information about official recognized service providers for certification and accreditation are listed.

Verification Industry Accreditation
http://cx.cnca.cn/CertECloud/result/skipResultList (Mandarin Chinese Language)
https://ww w.cnas.org.cn/english/findanaccreditedbody/index.shtml (English Language)

10     Intellectual Property

If the company is claiming  to hold intellectual property rights for the products it is offering, does it provide documented proof to substantiate this claim in the form of scanned copies of obtained certifications? The link below redirects to the Trademark Office of China National Intellectual Property Administration where information about Trademarks registered by China-based enterprises can be verified online.

Verification Intellectual Property Registration
http://wcjs.sbj.cnipa.gov.cn/  (Mandarin Chinese Language)