Dual Language China Contracts: Don’t Get Fooled!

China attorneys lawyers
Really do not believe in the translation

Cannot consider this nevertheless takes place, but it is, and in figures that would probable surprise a lot of individuals. The “this” to which I am referring is overseas businesses signing twin language contracts with out knowing just what the Chinese language portion of their agreement states. This is definitely risky perilous and under I demonstrate why.

Many twin language Chinese-English contracts are silent on which language controls. For some unknown motive, overseas businesses much much too usually just presume that the English language portion controls or they just presume that it does not subject for the reason that the which means of each the English and the Chinese portions is just the identical. Erroneous, improper, improper.

What language controls when you have a twin-language agreement?  If each languages say the identical a single language controls, that a single language will management. If each the English language and the Chinese language portions say the Chinese language portion controls, the Chinese language portion will management. Likewise, if each the Chinese language and the English language portions say the English language portion controls, the English language portion will management. These are the easy and protected examples.

It is anything else that so usually trigger complications for American and European and Australian businesses in  difficulties.

If each your English language and your Chinese language portions are silent as to which portion controls, the Chinese language portion will management in Chinese courts and in China arbitrations. In actual everyday living this indicates that if the English language portion of your joint enterprise agreement states that you get 10 p.c of the joint venture’s revenue  but the Chinese portion states you get 10 p.c of the gains (which will of training course be way fewer than revenues) you will have no authorized foundation for saying everything extra than 10 p.c of the gains. Not remarkably it is joint enterprise contracts and licensing agreements exactly where our China legal professionals most usually see this type of significant dichotomy concerning the English and the Chinese portions of the agreement.

Of the hundreds of twin language contracts proposed by Chinese businesses and reviewed by a single of my firm’s China attorneys, we’ve in no way viewed a one a single exactly where the Chinese portion was fewer favorable to the Chinese firm than the English portion. But we’ve viewed plenty exactly where the Chinese portion is better or much better for the Chinese firm than the English portion. Chinese businesses really like using a agreement with an English portion that is extra favorable to the overseas firm than the Chinese portion and then relying on the English talking firm to presume that the English language portion will management.

But what if the English language portion explicitly states that it will management? This performs suitable? Not always. If the Chinese language portion also explicitly states that it will management, the Chinese language portion will management underneath Chinese law. If the Chinese language portion is silent or states that the English language portion controls, the English language portion will management.

As we famous in China Contracts: Make Them Enforceable Or Really do not Hassle, it normally can make perception to draft contracts with Chinese businesses in Chinese with an English language translation. But this also calls for that if that agreement is likely to be enforced in China (as should normally be the situation), you absolutely positively need to have to be sure that you know just what the Chinese language portion of that agreement actually states. No subject what the English language portion of your agreement states, it behooves you to know just what the Chinese language portion states as perfectly.

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