Due to linguistic specificities of the Chinese language, different companies’ names in Chinese, according to their pronunciation, may be spelled exactly the same in English. It will be difficult for you to make a claim or collect a 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.
Recently, a client told us that his Chinese supplier received payment for goods and could no longer be reached.
The client provided us with a pro forma invoice from the Chinese supplier, which shows the supplier’s name spelled in English.
We tried to locate the Chinese company’s legal name based on the pronunciation of this English name. Guess how many Chinese companies we found whose names share the exact same pronunciation?
Yes, the Chinese names of 16 Chinese companies are all pronounced exactly the same.
As a result, if they spell their English name according to the Chinese pronunciation, their English name will be exactly the same, although their legal names written in Chinese may be different.
This is because Chinese characters are logograms while English letters are phonograms.
In Chinese, usually, a dozen or even dozens of different Chinese characters are pronounced the same, which means they will be spelled the same in English.
If you only know the English name of a Chinese company, it is difficult to find its corresponding Chinese name, and therefore you can’t find which subject to claim against, collect debts from and sue against.
For more information on why you need to find the Chinese name of a Chinese company, you can read the post “Find China Supplier’s Legal Name in Chinese to Avoid Scams.”
For more information on how to find the Chinese name of a Chinese company, you can read the post “How to Verify the English Names of Chinese Companies”.
It should be noted that if you have paid a Chinese supplier to its account opened with a Chinese bank, or if a Chinese supplier has exported goods to you under its own name (rather than as a trader) and provided documents for customs declaration in China, you may have known its English name filed with the Chinese government.
The name on the bank account, or on the documents for customs declaration in China, is the English name it has filed.
We can find its legal Chinese name from this English name. Next, we can take any feasible means for you.
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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
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Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌