How to Verify Suppliers in China?

Verifying Chinese companies and suppliers can be a long and daunting process if this is your first time dealing with this issue. The recommended strategy to take is to hire the services of a professional Chinese company verification firm that knows the lay of the land and whereabouts of all the major points of contention.

Confirming the background details of potential suppliers, trading companies, manufacturers, and vendors in China to test their reliability before hiring their services is essential. Performing background checks on potential business contacts to verify their identities and company information before you sign any contracts or make any payments might be the most important thing you need to do to check if they are genuine or not.

Increasing numbers of foreign companies and enterprises are looking to outsource from Chinese companies so the issue of verifying these companies is now more important than ever. If these things concern you greatly, we can help by providing a verification service in China that will give you that peace of mind. We can check any company in China with our verification process to see if these suppliers are officially registered businesses. Doing your due diligence is much easier when you have reliable advisors fighting your corner.

The details we collate about these Chinese companies and suppliers and their registration are then used to gauge the authenticity of said companies. There are three key steps we follow to get these registration details that we will cover in a second. But before that, you should always beware of any potential scammers that try to fake being a real company to fool uneducated buyers. Corroborating these business license details and their official registrations can easily clear out the fraudsters.

Here are the three steps we follow:

Identifying the Chinese Business License and Name of Suppliers

As people in China speak Chinese, this is the official language used for business license registration. If you see an English name used for a Chinese company, in 99% of cases it won’t be the official name you see in the registration. In this instance, these companies have simply chosen that name for themselves and you must be wary. By using the Chinese name in Chinese characters, essentially you are carrying out this right type of Chinese supplier verification.

Obtaining the supplier’s Chinese name shouldn’t be that difficult. A copy of their business license is the avenue to take as you will find their Chinese name much easier. If you have no current relationship with the supplier in question, their official name in Chinese should be on their website.

By reading the business license, you can find out if you are dealing with a trading company that imports certain products or goods from China or if they are simply a factory. Some companies pretend to be factories when in effect they are more akin to third-party trading companies and vice versa.

Always check the ‘Business Scope’ part of the license when you are trying to verify the business of a supplier. It’s the easiest way to get the job done because suppliers cannot counterfeit this part. Words such as ‘manufacture’ or ‘produce’ should be the scope of a factory that you won’t find on the business license of a trading company.

Locating Relevant AIC on the Registration of the Supplier

Now you have the official Chinese name of the supplier, you can use that info to find the local government administration office that holds the records and files of the supplier. The officially registered location should always be included in the Chinese company name in regards to domestic, provincial, or even the city or a township. AIC stands for the Administration for Industry and Commerce and it’s this bureau in each area that handles registrations. You can find the relevant AIC and its website by searching online by using the official name of the supplier.

The supplier will only be registered at the correct AIC in the said location, so it’s very important to find the correct website to source the registration details. Registration records of companies outside of the area and location scope of the said local AIC are not held, so make sure you don’t waste so much time by following this piece of advice.

Obtaining Registration Records of the Supplier

Now you’ve located the relevant AIC by using the official Chinese name of your supplier, you now need to search to find the official registration records of the company. Those who have a great command of the Chinese language can even get some problems with this step. It can be very tricky to obtain the details and even to find the search function on the AIC website. Usability was last on the list during the AIC website design phase. If you see the term ‘企业信息’ you might be able to find the company details using the search on the AIC website.

Because of the poorly designed nature of these websites, even when you search with the supplier’s official Chinese company name, you might still strike out. And if you use any other browser apart from Internet Explorer, it might not work correctly. As you can see, there are so many issues with the AIC website, so please beware of this.

If you do manage to perform a successful search using the Chinese company name, you will be given the official registration records you’ve been looking for. You can then use those registration details to confirm the info they gave you was correct and corroborate the business license. Now you can use those details to establish a connection with the supplier or company you’ve been verifying.