China Justice Observer


EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchFrenchGermanHindiItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussianSpanishSwedishHebrewIndonesianVietnameseThaiTurkishMalay

Is Amicable Debt Collection Legal in China?-CTD 101 Series

Fri, 09 Dec 2022
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌
Editor: C. J. Observer

In China, any institution can engage in debt collection activities without a license from the government. However, collecting financial debt (mainly consumer debt) shall observe certain rules. There are no special restrictions for collecting commercial debt, i.e., non-financial debt.

This post was first published in CJO GLOBAL, which is committed to providing consulting services in China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection. We will explain how debt collection works in China below.

I. General rules

Collection institutions shall obtain authorization from creditors and collect debts within the scope of authorization.

Collection institutions can only collect legal debts. If a collection institution collects illegitimate debts in illegal ways, it will constitute the crime of collecting illegitimate debts. These illegal ways include violence, coercion, restriction of others’ personal freedom, home invasion, intimidation, stalking, and harassment.

II. Special restrictions on the collection of financial debts

Collection institutions shall not use the personal information of debtors illegally during the collection of financial debts.

Financial institutions shall not provide or disclose information on customers’ arrears in violation of laws and regulations when collecting debts, nor collect from unrelated third parties (such as relatives or friends of debtors).

Financial institutions shall at least uniformly publish the name, contact information and other relevant information of commissioned debt collection institutions on their official channels.

III. Self-discipline rules of industry associations

Some industry associations in the field of financial debt collection have formulated self-discipline rules so as to promote collection institutions to adopt proper means for debt collection.

Such as:

  • Collectors shall behave politely and dress appropriately, and shall not use rude language and behaviors;
  • Collectors shall conduct debt collection at the right time and shall not frequently harass debtors and other persons;
  • Collectors shall not threaten debtors and other persons in an unlawful manner;
  • Collectors shall not harm debtors and other persons, nor damage or plunder their property; and
  • Collectors shall not disclose the debt information of debtors to persons other than the debtors.



* * *

Do you need support in cross-border trade and debt collection?

CJO Global's team can provide you with China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection services, including: 
(1) Trade Dispute Resolution
(2) Debt Collection
(3) Judgments and Awards Collection
(4) Anti-Counterfeiting & IP Protection
(5) Company Verification and Due Diligence
(6) Trade Contract Drafting and Review

If you need our services, or if you wish to share your story, you can contact our Client Manager Susan Li (

If you want to know more about CJO Global, please click here.

If you want to know more about CJO Global services, please click here.

If you wish to read more CJO Global posts, please click here.



Photo by Max Zhang on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

Save as PDF

You might also like

China’s Wenzhou Court Recognizes a Singapore Monetary Judgment

In 2022, a local Chinese court in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, ruled to recognize and enforce a monetary judgment made by the Singapore State Courts, as highlighted in one of the typical cases related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) recently released by China’s Supreme People’s Court (Shuang Lin Construction Pte. Ltd. v. Pan (2022) Zhe 03 Xie Wai Ren No.4).

SPC Issues Judicial Interpretation on Ascertainment of Foreign Law

In December 2023, China’s Supreme People’s Court issued a judicial interpretation on the ascertainment of foreign law, providing comprehensive rules and procedures for Chinese courts, aiming to address difficulties faced in foreign-related trials and improve efficiency.