A China Briefing from the
U.S. Commercial Service,
U.S. Embassy Beijing
EXPORTERS REPORTING INCREASE IN SOLICITATIONS FROM
FRAUDULENT CHINESE ENTITIES
U.S. Commercial Service clients have reported a recent increase in the number of unsolicited buyer requests from
China. This article offers guidance to help firms avoid falling prey to these scams. Review the following checklist to
see if some of these common themes* apply to your situation.
The Chinese company contacted you, unsolicited, via the web
The Chinese company has "Import - Export" in their name
They want to purchase an unusually large volume of goods
They insist that your senior executive travel to China to sign the contract
They request money prior to signing the contract to pay for a reception or for contract administrative fees.
They have been in business for less than one year and/ or have very young ownership
They can provide no verifiable references
If one or more of these characteristics look familiar, be suspicious and conduct due diligence on the Chinese entity.
Your company should immediately be suspicious of requests by a Chinese entity to outlay any cash or payment in
advance of reaching an agreement. Requests for sharing notarization fees or other contract administration costs,
gifts, hosting of banquets are just some of the ways in which fees are solicited.
Regarding self initiated due diligence, companies are advised to ask for trade references, including the names and
contact information of American companies with which the Chinese company has successfully partnered in the
past. The U.S. company is strongly urged to follow up on those references. If the Chinese entity has never
successfully partnered with an American company, it is obviously more risky. If the Chinese company cannot
provide trade references, then it also involves more risk.
Additionally, ask for a copy of the Chinese company’s current and valid business license (issuing authority:
Administration of I