A One Minute Guide on Litigation in China or in Your Own Country
When you decide to sue a Chinese company, where will you file the lawsuit? China or your own country, provided that both have jurisdiction over your case?
We try to compare the litigation in China with that in other countries in one minute.
If you sue in China, it will be very convenient to enforce the judgment.
If you sue in other countries, there might be some problems with the enforcement, because not all foreign judgments are enforceable in China. Although the judgments from most of China’s major trading partners are already enforceable in China.
The Chinese courts will probably apply Chinese law to your case.
If you sue in other countries, your case is likely to be governed by the law of the forum state (lex fori), for instance, the law being that of your country. This will put the odds in your favor.
Chinese courts only allow the Chinese language for litigation.
I believe that most courts in other countries use their official languages for litigation. For example, your native language.
In China, you bear the duty to provide evidence in support of your allegations. In other words, the other party generally doesn’t have to comply with your request and submit evidence against them.
The civil proceeding in other countries, at least in common law countries like the United States, follows the evidence discovery rule. On its website, Cornell Law School describes this rule as follows: During discovery, the plaintiffs can force the defendant to give them evidence that they can use to build their case.
5. Service of Process
If you and the defendant are both in China, litigation in China will be convenient, as the court can serve the defendant directly.
If you and the defendant are in China, and you choose to sue in other countries, the foreign court will need to serve the defendant in China according to the Hague Service Convention. Each service may take more than a year and may even fail from time to time.
6. Interim Measures
In China, “interim measures” is known as “property preservation” (诉讼保全). You can apply to the court for property preservation once you file a lawsuit, so that the other party’s property is preserved in time.
If you sue in other counties, you can no longer apply to a Chinese court for interim measures. Meanwhile, Chinese courts rarely enforce interim orders from foreign courts.
7. Time and Cost
Chinese courts do not charge too much. And Chinese attorneys rarely charge by the hour, but by a percentage of the claimed property’s value, say 8-15%. So, you can predict that cost before initiating legal proceedings.
Court fees vary from country to country. Since lawyers in many countries charge by hours, it is difficult to compare the attorney’s fees in China with those in other countries.
For more information, please read the full texts of our earlier post ‘Suing in China vs Suing in Other Countries: Pros and Cons’.
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