The significant increase in the number of international companies trading with China has simultaneously led to an increase in the number of commercial or business disputes between Chinese and international companies. This is no surprise, but the fact that China and many Western countries are often worlds apart in terms language, culture and accepted ways of doing business further increases the likelihood that disagreements and misunderstandings may occur.
Disputes may happen between companies both large and small, or even between a company and the government authorities. Smaller foreign companies, however, tend to get themselves into trouble on a more regular basis, possibly because they have limited resources to invest into prevention and risk control measures (e.g., having contracts properly drafted, reviewed and/or negotiated by a qualified lawyer), or into attempting to settle disputes through informal or formal dispute resolution mechanisms, or simply because of a perception amongst the Chinese that they are vulnerable to pressure.
Resolving commercial disputes in China can be challenging, time-consuming and costly. Nevertheless, China has made great improvements in recent years to its dispute resolution system, including arbitration commissions and courts, such that an increasing number of international companies are using it to successfully resolve disputes in their favor. However, in order to take full advantage of the system so that the likelihood of a favorable outcome is high, it is critically important to adopt prevention and risk control measures at the outset. This is something we can assist with.
We also often represent international companies in settlement negotiation, mediation, arbitration (including the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission or “CIETAC”, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center or “HKIAC”, and the Singapore International Arbitration Center or “SIAC”), and at various levels of the Chinese court system.
Disputes that foreign companies trading with China commonly encounter, and which we have experience in advising on and/or handling, include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Non-performance and breach of contracts;
- Contract fraud;
- Customs investigations;
- Intellectual property infringement;
- Trade secret theft;
- Unfair competition;
- Product quality liability; and
- E-commerce transactions.
Click here to read more information about our dispute resolution services.