China Justice Observer


EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchFrenchGermanHindiItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussianSpanishSwedishHebrewIndonesianVietnameseThaiTurkishMalay

What Is the Punishment for Stealing in China? - China Law in One Minute



If someone steals in China, he/she may be sentenced to public surveillance as the least serious penalty or life imprisonment as the most serious penalty, depending on the seriousness of the crime he/she commits.

In accordance with the Criminal Law of China, punishment for theft varies from different circumstances as follows:

1. Whoever steals a relatively large amount of property, commits theft repeatedly, commits burglaries, carries a weapon to steal or pickpockets shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance; 

2. if the amount involved is huge, or if there are other serious circumstances, he/she shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than ten years;

3. If the amount involved is especially huge, or if there are other especially serious
circumstances, he/she shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years or life imprisonment. 

In addition, he/she may also be imposed a fine.


Article 264 of Criminal Law of China (2017)


Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

Save as PDF

Related laws on China Laws Portal

You might also like

China Revises State Secrets Protection Law

China’s national legislature, the National People’s Congress, revised the State Secrets Protection Law to enhance information classification, secrecy in technological innovation, and precise protection of state secrets, effective May 1, 2024.

China Enhances Legal Aid Law Implementation

In November 2023, China’s Supreme People’s Court and other top judicial bodies jointly issued measures to implement the Legal Aid Law, clarifying responsibilities and ensuring parties' rights to legal aid.

China Enacts Criminal Law Amendment (XII)

In December 2023, China’s legislature, the National People's Congress, passed the Criminal Law Amendment (XII), which aims to increase the punishment for bribery.

China Releases Typical Cases of Illegal Forex Activities

In December 2023, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) jointly released eight typical cases of cracking down on illegal foreign exchange crimes, highlighting concealment methods, complex transactions, and dissemination of illicit information through social media.