International Service of Process In China

International service of process in China can be completed through both formal method of the Hague Service Convention as well as the informal method of service via agent. 


International service of process in China can be completed through the Hague Convention, which China acceded to on May 6, 1991 and entered its provisions into force on January 1, 1992.

China has officially objected to Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention, so service through postal channels is not allowed. China has also objected to other methods of service provided for in Article 10 which involve requesting local judicial authorities effect service.  Service via any alternate channels is not permitted.

The specific articles opposed to by China includes:

  • Article 8(2)
  • Article 10(a)
  • Article 10(b)
  • Article 10(c)

China has also indicated that taking depositions and obtaining other evidence in China for use in foreign courts may only be completed through requests to China’s Central Authority under the Convention.  China does not allow American attorneys in China to take depositions for use in foreign courts.

If you are looking to serve a subpoena, that cannot be served under the Hague Service Convention and would instead need to be served through the Hague Evidence Convention. See Serving a Subpoena Under the Hague Convention for more information. 

Translation of Documents 

Under Article 5(3), China requires translation of documents in simplified Chinese. If the documents are not properly translated, the Central Authority will reject the request. 


Once the documents for service are properly translated, the proper forms and payment are sent to the Central Authority in China. Once the documents are sent to the Central Authority, you will not receive any updates until the proof of service or non-service is sent back to your office. 

For more information on what to expect during service under the Hague Convention, take a look at International Service of Process Under the Hague Convention


An important part of international service of process in China is ensuring the address is correct. They are unlikely to do any research on the address or contact you for instructions should the address be incorrect and will simply return the documents, requiring you to start over from the beginning and resubmit the documents through Letters Rogatory. You should make sure the defendant can be found at the address you give and that the address is formatted correctly


China does not allow for an informal method of service and will not uphold any ruling or judgment where service has not been completed through the formal method.


Whether you are serving an individual or entity, it is extremely important to have the documents for submission completely accurately. China is known for sending back any documents that are missing items, filled in improperly or lacking the proper address for service. Every single required space must be filled out and all documentation provided in order for the Chinese Central Authority to move forward with getting your documents served. 

The staff of DGR Legal are not lawyers, nor is our organization a law firm. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Rather, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  

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