If I Am Not in China, Can the Chinese Court Serve Court Papers to Me Electronically?
Chinese courts can serve you with the court papers by electronic means, such as e-mail, as long as you have so agreed and it is not prohibited by your country.
If you are a party to a lawsuit in China, the Chinese court will need to serve you with the summons before the court hearing and with the judgment when the judgment is rendered.
Then how do they serve you with such documents if you are outside of China?
Traditionally, Chinese courts will serve these documents to foreign parties via diplomatic channels or channels provided by relevant treaties (e.g., the Hague Service Convention and Sino-foreign bilateral judicial assistance treaties), which means that it may take months or even a year for a single service process.
That being said, however, if the laws of your country permit service of process by mail, Chinese courts may serve the court papers to you by mail.
If the court papers are not returned after the expiration of a period of three months following the date on which the court papers were posted by the Chinese court, or it is sufficient to consider that the court papers have been served in accordance with all relevant circumstances, the Chinese court shall be deemed to have served such process on you as of the expiry date of the said period.
In addition, if you confirm with the Chinese court an email address where you can receive the legal documents, the Chinese court may also send legal documents to your email address.
Please also note that if your country is a contracting party to the Hague Service Convention and objects to service by post under the Hague Service Convention, the Chinese court will assume that your country does not allow electronic service. If this is the case, the Chinese court shall not serve by electronic means (e.g. email).