5 Steps to Take When Discovering Fraud or Breach of Contract by a Chinese Supplier

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Doing business with Chinese suppliers can be incredibly rewarding, providing access to cost-effective goods and a potentially vast market. However, it’s not without its challenges, including the possibility of encountering fraud or a breach of contract. In this article, we’ll discuss how to identify fraud or breach of contract, steps to take upon discovering such issues, and measures to prevent future occurrences.


Identifying Fraud or Breach of Contract

Common Types of Fraud and Breaches

Fraud and breach of contract by a Chinese supplier can manifest in various forms, such as:

  1. Product quality issues
  2. Intellectual property theft
  3. Delays in delivery
  4. Misrepresentation of capabilities
  5. Non-payment of refunds

Red Flags to Watch Out For

Some warning signs that may indicate potential fraud or breach of contract by the Chinese supplier include:

  1. Inconsistencies in communication
  2. Unusual payment terms
  3. Changes in personnel without explanation
  4. Missing or incomplete documentation
  5. Complaints from other customers


Steps to Take Upon Discovering Fraud or Breach

Step 1: Gather Evidence

Before taking any action, compile all relevant documents, communications, and evidence of the fraud or breach. This may include contracts, invoices, photos, emails, and other materials supporting your claims.

Step 2: Notify the Supplier

Once you have gathered sufficient evidence, contact the supplier and explain the situation. Provide them with the evidence and request an explanation. This may lead to a resolution or at least help you better understand the situation.

Step 3: Consult a Legal Expert on Chinese Law

Seek the advice of a legal expert familiar with Chinese law. They can help you understand your options and recommend the best course of action for what you should do in China.

Step 4: Mediation and Negotiation

If possible, attempt to resolve the issue through mediation and negotiation. This can save time and money and lead to a more amicable outcome. Consider hiring a mediator specialized in China with experience in business disputes and communication in China.

Step 5: Legal Action

If all else fails, consider pursuing legal action against the supplier. Keep in mind that this can be a lengthy and expensive process, so weigh the potential benefits against the costs.


Preventing Future Frauds and Breaches

Due Diligence

Conduct thorough due diligence before entering into any business relationship with a Chinese supplier. Verify their credentials, references, and business history, and visit their facilities if possible. This will help ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company.

Strong Contracts

Establish clear, well-drafted contracts adapted to Chinese that outline each party’s responsibilities, payment terms, and dispute resolution procedures. Engage a lawyer with experience in Chinese law to help draft and review your contracts.

Regular Monitoring and Auditing

Conduct regular monitoring and auditing of yourChinese supplier’s performance. Keep track of delivery times, product quality, and communication. This will help you identify any potential issues early on and address them before they escalate.



Discovering fraud or a breach of contract by a Chinese supplier can be a challenging experience. However, following the steps outlined in this article, you can navigate the situation more effectively and protect your interests. Furthermore, you can minimize the risk of encountering similar issues in the future by implementing preventative measures, such as due diligence, strong contracts adapted to Chinese law, and regular monitoring.



1. What should I do if I suspect my Chinese supplier of fraud or breach of contract?

Gather evidence, notify the supplier, consult a legal expert, and consider mediation, negotiation, or legal action, depending on the severity of the issue and the advice of your legal expert.

2. How can I verify the credentials of a Chinese supplier?

Perform due diligence by checking their references, business history, litigation record, and visiting their facilities if possible. You can also enlist the help of a third-party verification service.

3. What is the role of a mediator in resolving disputes with Chinese suppliers?

A mediator facilitates communication between the parties, helping them reach a mutually satisfactory resolution without resorting to legal action.

4. How can I ensure the contract with my Chinese supplier is legally enforceable?

Engage a legal expert specializing in Chinese law to help draft and review your contracts, ensuring they comply with Chinese laws.

5. How can I minimize the risk of fraud or breach of contract with Chinese suppliers in the future?

Conduct thorough due diligence on the Chinese company, establish strong contracts, and regularly monitor and audit your supplier’s performance.



Contact us if you need help with background investigation of Chinese companies, protecting patents, trademarks, adaptation and verification of contracts to the law in China, or help with other legal challenges that you have in China.

If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Manager, Jan Erik Christensen, at janerik@ncbhub.com. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.