How to Sue Chinese Company

How to File Civil and Commercial Litigation in China (A Guide for Foreigners and Foreign Enterprises)

To file civil and commercial litigation in China, foreigners shall take note of the following:

1. Subject of the Lawsuit

The Plaintiff shall:

Provide evidence concerning his or her identity, such as a passport, business qualification certificate (license, etc.) or other identification documents.

And provide the defendant’s identification, including proof of defendant’s residence or the photocopy of identity card, and the basic registration form of the defendant’s enterprise.  .

2, the Commission Formalities

The lawsuit can be entrusted to a natural person or a Chinese lawyer. If the foreigner (or foreign Enterprise) shall not come in person to China to participate in the proceedings, the related commission formalities should be entrusted to the foreigner’s (or foreign enterprise) local notary office for notarization and should be certified by Chinese embassies and consulates in that country, or should implement the relevant provisions of international agreements, treaties on certification procedures.

3 , The Selection of the Competent Court

The Selection of the Competent Court includes (1), to select jurisdictions. i.e. the Court of jurisdiction that includes places where 1)the defendant is located, 2)the contract is performed ,3)an infringing act is committed, or any court stipulated by the Law of Civil Proceedings (2) To select differentiated jurisdiction court. In accordance with the civil law, major foreign-related civil and commercial cases shall be governed by the Intermediate People’s Court. Besides, according to the Supreme Court’s provision on issues concerning foreign-related civil and commercial litigations, foreign-related contract and tort, letters of credit, review of commercial arbitration clause, foreign arbitration, recognition and enforcement of judgments and other five specified cases should be under the jurisdiction of designated Intermediate People’s Court or Court, therefore, Foreign-related civil and commercial cases are not always under the jurisdiction of the local court.

4, Making Prosecution Documents and Submit Preliminary Evidence to Support Prosecution

The format of the prosecution documents shall follow that of Chinese legal documents and it is encouraged to select Chinese legal professionals to participate in the whole procedure. At this stage some Basic evidence may be submitted, but it is not required to submit all the evidence. The preliminary, based on evidence, usually including contracts, invoices, proof of infringement and of loss .

5 , To File the Litigation Document and Preliminary Evidence to the Court

To file the lawsuit to the court and sign for the related litigation Documents

6. To Submit All the Evidence That Has Been Collected During the Court-Appointed Period

During the court-appointed period, all the evidence that has been collected shall be submitted to the court. For the proof that cannot be submitted within this period, the plaintiff needs to apply for an extension before the deadline.

Evidence formed in foreign countries shall be certified by embassies and consulates of the host countries

51 responses to “How to Sue Chinese Company”

  1. I purchased a printer from Egret-Hi-Tech Co. Ltd in September of 2013. Someone in their shipping department or at EMS China incorrectly labeled the shipment and it was shipped to Chicago, Illinois instead of Cleveland Ohio. In short, they failed to deliver the printer, and now they are refusing to correct the situation by either shipping another printer or refunding my money. WHAT can I do?

    • Xixi says:

      Dear Jonathan,

      Sorry for the bad experience.

      Can I ask:
      1) how much is the value of the product
      2) what is the bank account you make payment to, company account or personal account?
      3) did you sign contract with “supplier”

      Those information is very important to evaluate what to do next.

      Best regards,

  2. jason says:

    company made bottles for me 91,000 …when bottle heated to 157F…printing desitgrated…..they claim
    they tested it…but not with juice……they knew for a year i was filling with juice which needs to be heated
    to 192F to kill bacteria…..i have paid over 70,000USD…..with bottles i cant use

    • Xixi says:

      Dear Jason,

      Sorry for your bad experience.

      In your case:
      1) have you indicated the requirement of temperature in the contract? have you signed a contract?
      2) when is product delivered to you? when do you find the problem?
      3) what is the response from supplier?

      Best regards,

      • jason says:

        i do have a contract…..the company knew how i was going to use the product….juice requires
        pasturization they knew that…..never tested printing or denting of thee bottles

        i have written them about it and have requested 15% of the money back as i don’t fell they are
        primarily resposible

  3. Ben says:

    We have paid 5000$ to the lab in china to synthesis some chemical for us. We have receive the signed contract but after they received the money,they simply ignore our phone call and emails. Could you please tell us how can we get our money back.

    Kind regards

    • Xixi says:

      Dear Ben,

      Sorry for the bad experience.

      Please send the following information to our email address:
      1) the Chinese supplier name, contact name, telephone number
      2) their bank details
      3) contract

      If they are scammer, I think you should report them to Chinese police, instead of bring them to court.

      You need to appoint a Chinese lawyer to help you to report the case to the police.

      You need to have a translate to translate the case briefing, all documents into Chinese, for the use of reporting the case.

      Best regards,

  4. Nigel Johns says:

    I paid 10,000usd for products from China. The purchase Order was sent with manufacturing instructions. The manufacturer sent samples and photos confirming the manufacturing process. But what we received was not the same. A bait and switch essentially. The manufacturer is stating that “we always make it like that” but this is not what we specified. We have all of their emails confirming the manufacturing process. The purchase order states what materials the products should be constructed from and states that the manufacturer is responsible for 100% refund of any product that does not meet specification. They acknowledged receipt of the info and consent. We want either a full refund and to return their products or for them to manufacture the product correctly. What steps should we take to make this happen?

    • Xixi says:

      Dear Nigel,

      If you have signed a contract properly, even with a clause stating ” what materials the products should be constructed from and states that the manufacturer is responsible for 100% refund of any product that does not meet specification”.

      Then this will make the case easier.

      Please send me the following information to review:
      1) Case briefing
      2) Contract
      3) Supplier bank details
      4) Manufacturing instruction
      5) Evidence of the discrepancy of products you received and instruction/specification you gave

      At this moment, I think you need to do 2 things urgently:
      a. Appoint a lawyer in China to chase after the manufacturer, trying to solve the problem outside the court, but being ready to go to court any time, sending lawyer letter, giving them pressure, chasing after them everyday.
      b. preserve all the evidence

      Best regards,

  5. al says:

    chinese software company that sell chatting software refusing to give me my money that i sell thru my licensed software selling Chat Virtual Credits to upgrade membership for users, i collected them for 1.5 year about $1000 it goes thru their integrated shopping caret and they get 20% and now they said no they dont see the money in their paypal and its a big fat lie. how can i sue them

    • Xixi says:

      Dear Al,

      I understand your feeling.

      But honestly, it would not be economical to file a lawsuit in China trying to get 1000USD back, as you will need to pay more than 1000USD for lawyer fee and litigation fee.

      However, we should fight against spammer. If you have evidence that you are spammed by a famous chinese company, I think they will be more nervous if you:
      1) do a large scale email campaign(use a software to collect email from their potential customers, partners, investors, and tell them this story.
      2) you call them everyday, their office number, to get the money back

      Tell them you will do this, to see how they react.

      But before you doing that, make sure you are scammed by them, it is not misunderstanding, technical mistake or anything else that caused the problem. Hope you can solve the problem soon.


  6. Tom says:

    I have been taken by a Chinese manufacture in Zhu Shan, Dong Cheng,Dongguan, Guangdong, China. How do I hire a lawyer there to sue him for taking my money but not sending my products? Thanks Tom

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Tom,

      First of all, I would suggest you to read this article

      You need to tell this is a contractual dispute or a fraud.

      If it is fraud, you should report the case to police, so they can arrest the scammer and freeze the money.

      If it is a commercial dispute, then hire a lawyer, file a lawsuit.

      Best regards,

  7. stanley says:

    Be carefull if one of you would make transaction from :, because there’s many defrauders open thier store there, and the site admin never care about it!

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Stanley,

      I agree with you. The gold paid members are better than free suppliers there.
      Alibaba is doing a better job at denying the gold membership application from fake and offshore company now, compared with 2 years ago.

      Best regards,

  8. Sean says:

    Dear Steven,

    we(our company is located in New Jersey) and a chinese company developed a product based on our own idea about 3 years ago. meantime we made a contract said that they can not sell the same product to any company and any country by using our logo, our design, or package. we have promoted to sell the product and the prodcut sales is growing steadily in the u.s. and africa.

    however, I found the chinese company sold the same product we developed to our customers in African and the customer in Africa damaged our product sales in Africa (they sell the same product cheaper).

    the chinese manufacturer use our package idea, use similar design (basically the same product as ours). I asked the chinese company not to sell the product in the Africa market but they refused it. how can I do?

    Thank you,

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Sean,

      Have you signed a contract with them, with the NDA clause?

      If yes, you can do whatever the contract empower you to do.


  9. GES says:

    Please stay away from they agreed to make a product, it was 2 months late, they sent the PCB’s incomplete, and with incorrect parts, they will not refund but they did offer to try and fix, but they said it would be another month. The original contract said product would be complete in 14 days. Beware

  10. Steve says:

    Hi Steven,

    Thank you for providing a service to vent.

    My story

    I purchase machine from china supplier, they ship me different machine to what I ordered, they send me photos, I inform them machine is not as per contract, they tell me machine already shipped.

    Many heated emails, I accept machine as it will still do the job and make final payment to company, they promise to send bill of lading, I receive via email copy of bill of lading but they now not send original bill of lading, so now I cannot pick up machine when it arrives in Australia, would this be scam or dispute



    • Xixi says:

      Hi Steve,

      This supplier’s behavior is really bad.
      But I think it is more of a dispute, for this case, if you bring the court, you should win, as evidence is crystal clear, they should send the B/L and pay your loss.

      Best regards,

  11. Crystal says:

    I be received damaged clothing from this company and have been trying for over a month to be refunded for it. Several other issues as well as far as waiting 3 plus months to receive it and paying 3hundred plus to have it shipped in 3-5 business days. Still waiting for over 28 items to still ship and they are now telling me they can only refund me for 3 of the damaged items at 50% of what I paid!!! I just find this insane and was hoping I could be advised on pursuing a small claims case commercial something. I need help this is so no cool to me.

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Crystal,

      What is the value of the disputed amount? When talking of international litigation, it takes years and at least thousands of USD to bring the case to court.
      I think, however, you can see if you can use the service of lawyer to send a lawyer letter to threat them, without actually going to the court. In some cases, this works.

      Best regards,

  12. Mike says:

    I’ve been working with a factory in China for the past 3 years. Up until recently, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them. Upon placing my most recent order, I was informed that the design of the product I purchase from them was changing. I was assured that the changes would be improvements to the quality of the product. These design changes forced me to redo my retail packaging, to the tune of an extra $3,000 or so, as the product no longer looks like it does on the box. I received a partial shipment via EMS (the rest were going to be put on a boat), only to find that none of the products worked. I immediately notified the factory, and upon inspection, yes, they admitted that the products did not work as specified, that they were going to try to fix the issue, and I need to speak to another rep from the company because my sales rep is magically on maternity leave. Now, I’m close with my sales rep. We would speak a few times per week and talked about our home lives regularly. I think I would have known if she was pregnant. That was two months ago. I constantly email them looking for status updates, as it only took one month to build the products from scratch, and it’s now been two. I’ll get emails roughly once per week to once every other week with veiled “so sorry” and “soon” responses with no definitive estimates for the product to be fixed, despite me asking multiple times.

    I have wholesale orders backing up, am about to go into my busy season and I have no products to sell, as 90% of my business is built around this one product. I’m in to the factory for about $10,000 for the products, and already have about $22,000 in back orders, $16,000 of which is from one client alone- a brand new distributor I just picked up and may lose after this debacle. My biggest convention of the year is a week and a half away, where I would expect about $17,000 in revenue from that show alone, and I have conventions almost every week for the next 6 months, again, with nothing to sell. What recourse do I have for damages and loss of revenue done to my company?

    • Xixi says:

      Dear Mike,

      I am sorry for the bad experience you are going through.

      Have you signed contract with supplier? If yes, what is the term of dispute settlement on the contract? To solve the problem, I think you might end up with lawsuit and arbitration(if you have that clause in contract).

      To be honest with you, in your case, if you go to court, you have good chance to get the compensation for dysfunctioned products, but you can’t get compensation for your loss in business, China court don’t support that. The money and time spent on the lawsuit will wear you out.

      Realistically, try to solve the problem with current supplier, then try to find a backup supplier.

      If the negotition doesn’t go well, you can threat by sending lawyer letter(that helps in many case), but don’t actually go to court.

      Best regards,
      Steven Chow

      • Mike says:

        Update on the situation:

        The factory is at least starting to email me slightly more often now, but they still have given me no date on when my products will be completed. They’re at least asking me specific questions about the problems at this point, which I see as a step in the right direction.

        Unfortunately, I don’t have a contract with them. I place an order, they send me a PI, I pay it in full, and then they start production. In my research, I’ve found that this is not the ideal situation, and that a deposit of roughly 30% should be made up front and payment in full shouldn’t be made until I have the products in hand and they are found to be acceptable. Perhaps next time I should put the money in escrow. I also intend to demand a contract for my next production run, assuming that I still want to do business with this company.

        I don’t understand how Chinese court doesn’t support liability for loss of revenue. I would assume that factories have had problems with material suppliers that have cost business at one point or another, and someone must have gotten mad enough to sue over it. How is this not legally viable in China?

        I’ve already threatened to take them to court, and have asked for what I thought was an aggressive, but not unreasonable settlement. They categorically denied the request, and made the comment that they won’t go to court because a PI is not a contract. I’m not sure if that’s a translation issue, or if their statement was meant to sound as arrogant as it does in English.

        All in all, I’d like to explore at least having a Chinese lawyer send a strongly worded mail to them. How do I go about finding a Chinese lawyer who specializes in this type of legal action? Do you have any suggestions?

        • Xixi says:

          Dear Mike,

          In practise, if there is no contract, the PI can be seen as the contract, but the problem with PI, is that you don’t have much clauses on it, unless the basic information about price, specification, delivery time.

          Next time when you place order, do sign a contract, that will make things much easier if you have a dispute.

          In your case, sending a lawyer’s letter could be an option. If the supplier is still operating, they should take the lawyer’s letter seriously, if they are on the verge of bankrupting, then lawyer’s letter doesn’t help.

          If you need help to send lawyer’s letter, please send email to with information of your company information, supplier information and case breifing.

          How long the supplier has delayed the shipment? What is your claim now? Do you need fast delivery or refund of payment?

          Best regards,

  13. parvin anand says:

    I paid a China supplier 1000 depoist by western union ( 50percent) for some outdoor furniture, now they are refusing to send my merchandise and say that they had some “hacking” of there system and someone else got the money.

    I have a signed contract and clear instruction how the money was to be sent to them once with western union information.

    Please help in solving this mess.

  14. Rasha says:

    Dear I was in China few months ago and I shipped a container, the container arrived to my country and I still didn’t get the paper to release my goods, when I went to the shipment company in China they told me I have to do it through agent so I did it without any contract and this guy from syria and has my paper and he told me if you want your paper you have to pay me, I sent him money but he didn’t send the papers and he is saying that he will take back the container, please help me getting my papers, I have all the documents of sending him the money, and all recipes of the stuff inside the container and the pictures of the container

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Rasha,

      A few facts to look at:
      1) do you buy from the chinese supplier? Do you sign contract with them, and send payment to them directly? If yes, they should take responsibility, as they should send documents directly to you, not to other parties.
      2) if the Syrian blackmailed you, you have to resort to legal assistance in Syria.

      Best regards,

  15. Sam says:

    My brother went to china to buy auto parts and agreed with a freight forwarder to handle his shipment for 5% of the value, orders needed 30% deposit and rest when ready to ship to that forwarder, so my brother asked me to send to the forwarder’s business account in China $27000.00, now for over 4 months he did not ship, and knew from the factories that has the goods long time ago, recently the forwarder does not answer our phone calls and e-amils, all I have with his business name is a copy of the wire transfer for the 27000.00 from my bank.
    Please advice, what to do?

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Sam,

      Firstly, you can use the service of lawyer to see if they can help you get back the money at the cost of 15% to 20% commission.
      If that doesn’t work, sue them, but make sure they are still in business.

      Before you doing all that, send a lawyer’s letter, some lawyers can do it at something 300 to 500USD. Maybe a lawyer’s letter can help.

      Best regards,

  16. Archy says:

    Hi ,
    I had purchased 8000pcs of hammock product from a supplier. The due date was strictly 7th July and 3000pcs had been agreed to be shipped this day and 5000pcs on 12th July were to be shipped. For our business time is really important as we have signed contracts in our country (America) to offer another company these products .
    The chinese supplier as they got closer to the date of delivery have been constantly harrasing us by not offering the qty agreed to . First they said they will offer us 700pcs ,then after we requested them not to do so they offered us 1300pcs .
    Took more money from us on the day of loading goods as money for the 13000pcs and this morning i was informed that they only dispatched 800 units. Now this is extremely unethical and cheating because we have paid for a 40 GP container based on the qty he offered us and untill 6pm on the day of loading he did not mention about sending lesser qty than promised! Now he has sent just 800 units to the port (he was supposed to send it on 8th morning but he sent them on 9th (today) morning) .
    We are unable to do anything about this as if we were to ship these items and if the custom ppl checked it ,it will be certainly diff to the qty we mentioned to them initially which was (1300 units) so this may not leave on the ship that has to take our goods and leave tmrw .
    Moreover, this supplier has not told us ANYHTING about our remaining goods and when he will send it to us. he has to still offer us 7200 units worth of $1,37,000 USD AND HAS been constantly changing his words on the delivery even after agreeing to everything initally while booking the order and also signing the Invoice !
    Please suggest us what can we do ,and how can we sue this fraud company .
    Urgent help needed !

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Archy,

      I think you can get a lawyer’s help to collect the debt.
      Normally they charge something like 15 to 25% commission for successfully collected debt.
      A lot of money, but still better than litigation.

      Best regards,

    • Peter says:

      P.s I also paid with paypal. Thanks

  17. Peter says:

    I recently bought 300 units of polarised sunglasses from a manufacturer in China. The glasses were listed as polarised and I stated the whole way through that polarised was what I needed. I have now found out they are not polarised. I have spoken to the manufacturers And they are now saying that the glasses were given a ” common polarised function” which as far as I’m concerned just means they’re not polarised. I have also had them double checked from an experienced optician. Not only this but I have also sold 30 units and now need to withdraw these. I have also now wasted a large amount of time as well as money,(spent about a 100 usd) on something that didn’t match it’s description. It would be great if you had some advice. Thanks so much.

    • Xixi says:

      Hi Peter,

      If you pay by paypal, you can file a complaint on paypal to freeze the payment, paypal will investigate.

      Best regards,

  18. shireen D says:

    Dear sir

    I want to sue Chinese company who produced defected products for me after I paid here the full payment with total $10’450.00 , how can you help me in this ? and is there any hope to win this case?

    What you want from me ? I can provide you with any proof you want with emails and pictures, the goods are backpacks and the client rejected them all , and the supplier do not want to pay me the money and take the defected good

    Is there any hope to win this case? And what is the charges you might ask? And what is the time you need to solve such cases??

    Appreciate your full reply

    Shireen Darouqa

  19. David G says:

    We contracted with a Chinese company to make our product. We specified certain materials, reeceived prototypes with that type of material, and then authorized production. The manufacturer ran into some difficulties so at the last minute, and without our knowledge or approval, manufactured 5000 units with different, and what appears to be substandard materials causing breakage of the product. This is potential for big replaceement of the product including shipping and handling costs which are significant. Manufacturer has said they will replace defective product but not any other costs. And we don’t have much confidence they will replace the defective products with quality ones. Can we sue them and have any possibility of collection?

  20. Rebecca says:


    we recently purchased 27 tonne of welding wire (on pallets) for a china bas manufacture, approx US $ 32000 worth.
    when we open the container , we have 16 tonne of a sand product. We have contacted the company and tell us this is not possiable we have provided proof , with photos etc but they are saying they did not send this product, We now have no welding welding and a product that we dont know what it is. The factory refuses to assist , we need advice on what we need to do to get our product or our money back. Thank you

  21. Kinsei says:

    I have recently been scammed from a company I have 5 yrs of cooperation with… We have never had a problem with the company not delivering goods in the past even though some disputes over quality control have happened…. They have received full payment $19K USD and now will not return emails or phone calls and the shipment is about 3 weeks overdue with no arrival notice or Bill of Lading received. Should We bring Criminal charges against the exporter at this time?

  22. Ashish says:


    This is not about a business transaction going bad. I was unable to find anything else on the issue pertaining to my problem, hence am writing over here.

    I started to play an online game about a year ago developed by a chinese company. Spent about USD 30,000 in the first 6 months and then stopped spending due to their bad service and translation errors for in-game sales of virtual items which ended up in spending money on unwanted and undesired items.

    With the amount of money spent on the game i had a very powerful character. Using the in-game features which were available for money i ended up encountering the wrath (abusive, racist etc) of many players. After a few months of going through this I wrote to the company and they issued CHAT bans for the players. Some of these players made new accounts and kept up with their antics through the new accounts. On complaining about them again and asking for these players to be banned permanently…..i was told that these players would not be banned permanently as they were also spending on the game. I was shocked with the reply and then wrote to the CEO/Fouder/President etc about the situation. Received a reply from one of the founder that it will be looked into and nobody else replied.

    Partial action was taken by issuing temporary bans on some of the accounts and not all the accounts but no permanent ban has been issued and some of the players got away scot free with any ban at all. I asked that i’ve had enough and that this has gone on for long…..which has left a bitter taste in my mouth and that i do not wish to be around the same players, hence asking to delete my account and let me start afresh. To this also they said that they cannot proceed with my request.

    What are my options !? Should i forget it or does this issue have merit based on poor service, or discrimination based on influx of money, or any such similar thing involving civil right and human rights.

    thks – Ashish

  23. ankit says:

    I have purchased a machine from china and paid the supplier ( apparently a gold one ) via western union , the machine arrived with wrong voltage settings and does not work in UK. The supplier initially agreed to send a correct one but is now making excuses.I have everything in record . I want to know how can i bring this supplier to court and make him pay for damages . Alibaba’s dispute resolution team has not been very helpful and are sending rote responses without understanding the whole situation.

    Is there a option to speed up things without leaving a hole in my pocket.

    Best Regards

  24. Corey Fransishyn says:

    I need a Chinese, Lawyer to chase after a company in China.

    Can you recommend one?

  25. ADEBAYO says:


    We contracted a company in China to be our agent for wood products TO BE WAREHOUSED in China, we signed contract with them on how the transaction should flow, they were supposed to be our import and finance agent and states clearly not to sell our goods without our instruction. But when they received the goods in Shanghai China, they sold without our agreement and claim they sold below cost , they defrauded us a lot of money and say there is nothing we can do because we are in Africa. How can you help?

  26. hI,I purchased a smart cell phone on 25/09/015 by GREATBEST.COM.I waited long time to receive my parcel and finally told by the website that the parcel shipped by mistake to another country.The website is refusing to either send another phone set or refund me what i paid.advice me what to do i this case.

    ISA alkhudran

  27. Martin Dansey says:

    I purchased 2 x 2012 Komatsu PC55 excavators with ancillaries for $21,000 plus $10,000 transport and UK tax. The goods that were delivered had been falsified to appear like a 2012 PC55 (painted, serial plates amended and new stickers put on) as they were a different model and at least 16 years old (verified by Komatsu). Upon contacting the company they have apologized and informed me they are taking it up with their supplier. Unfortunately they have not come back to me with a solution and time is now dragging on. What do you recommend?

  28. Emily says:

    Hi I ordered a custom made 10seater sofa leather aftet a chinese supplier sent me leather samples and I selected the material and colours.I had also ordered a tv which she promised she is getting it from samsung factory we ordered am 8series 75inch.i also ordered 10sets of towels(33towels).the shipment arrived 2weeks ago now the Tv was the wrong one Old version and not even the right size it was also a used tv.the sofa was made out of synthetic not the leather we chose plus i did not get all towels.Top it up we have paid crazzy taxes including shipment cost and port chargeswhich we had already paid.On complaining to her she has blocked us on communication and wount listen to me.Instead calling me a lier.Please advice on the way forward.

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