Know the Right Process of Suing a Chinese Company

If you have done everything you can to avoid a lawsuit, then your last step is to sue the Chinese company. If you are asking for a small amount of money in small claims court, you may be able to bring the lawsuit yourself. Gather the evidence (emails, texts, dates of calls, contracts, etc.) and think about what you would tell the court.

However, when suing a Chinese company, it is good to have advice from the expert China lawyers. There is a lot to think about before you sue, not least of which is whether you actually have a winnable case. Many China attorneys provide a free initial consultation and won’t collect unless they win your case. Determine what claims you have and what type of damages you are interested in. Damages can take many forms, such as monetary compensation or a replacement product. A claim can be under state or federal law, depending on the subject matter of the case and the amount of monetary damages sought.


Who Is It You Want to Sue?

Is it a person, a business, or more than one? Knowing who you want to go after is important because it can determine the amount you may get from the lawsuit. It will also help you decide if the difficulty of suing that person or company is worth the time, effort, and cost. You need to know where the person or business lives or does business. If you can’t find someone, it’s difficult––and more costly––to start a lawsuit.


Suing a China Company

If you are suing a company in China, you need to figure out what kind of business it is. There are 3 main types of businesses:

-> A sole proprietorship or partnership

-> A corporation

-> A limited partnership

You must show that the party you plan to sue failed to meet his or her contractual obligations (“breach of contract” in legalese). This is usually the heart of the case — you’ll need to prove that the contractor failed to do agreed-on work or did work of unacceptably poor quality. You must show that you suffered an economic loss as a result of the other party’s breach of contract. Assuming the work must be redone or finished, this element should also be relatively straightforward to prove.

Know the Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction will usually be the first issue you will need to resolve in formulating your litigation strategy against a Chinese company. Articles 3 and 237 of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China grant Chinese courts jurisdiction over international cases involving a foreign plaintiff against a Chinese company.

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. An expert China lawyer can help you sort through your claim and determine where it should be filed. Be aware that there are statutes of limitations, or time limits, on how long you have to file a case, depending on the type of case it is, so you should pursue the matter without delay.

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