Was cc’ed on an email between one of our China lawyers and a client that sets out what our client can do to help ensure that the company chop on its China contract corresponds with the actual company chop (a/k/a company stamp or company seal) held by the Chinese company with whom our client is conducting its China business.
Thinking the email might be helpful to our readers, I have reproduced a sanitized version of it below.
I start by noting that because we have already conducted due diligence on this company, your odds of having a future problem with its company chop have gone down. The fact that it is in the medical device business (and is not a rubber ducky manufacturer) also reduces the odds of you having a company stamp problem.
But, the truth is that the only way to be virtually certain about a Chinese company chop is to do a great deal of in-person due diligence. For example, you could visit the factory in person, inspect the company chop there and then compare it to previous contracts executed by the company and provided to you. Or, better yet, you can send a Chinese attorney to confirm with the government that the company chop that will be used on your contract is actually the company’s real company chop. But since the dollar value of this particular transaction probably does not warrant your doing these things, we suggest you ask the Chinese party to provide you with the following:
1. Mr. Zhou’s title, in Chinese and English;
2. Mr. Zhou’s name in Chinese characters;
3. A scanned copy of Mr. Zhou’s business card, in Chinese and English;
4. A copy of the company’s business license.
5. An explanation as to why the company seal/company chop/company stamp on this document appears nonstandard (i.e., oval instead of circular) and does not have the company’s registration number.