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How to check if a company in China is real? (Part 2: background check)

How to check if a company in China is real? (Part 2: background check)

Company search and compliance | 2023-05-22

We do company searches and background checks every day for our clients. According to our experience, at most times, a simple Google search can reveal potential abnormal risk signals in a company's operation.

Here are some examples of how background checks can help know a company.

#1 - Multiple websites used for the same company and products

We found that the target company ("Company A") has at least six domain variations, and on the respective websites, the company names are the same, and the contents are alike. Worse, we noted that the registration dates of these domain names were from late 2022 to the first quarter of 2023, which contradicts its official statements that the company has more than ten years of experience in exporting the products.

We listed the domains below:

  • XXX-steel.com, registered on 22 February 2023 for just one year
  • XXXmetal.com, registered on 27 October 2022 for just one year
  • cnXXXsteel.com, registered on 20 October 2022 for just one year
  • sdXXXmetal.com, registered on 25 August 2022 for just one year
  • XXXsteelcoil.com, registered on 2 June 2022 for just one year
  • XXXsteelgroup.com, registered on 29 June 2022 for just one year

Additionally, we reviewed the web page HTML source code and further identified that the same vendor produces these websites. According to the vendor's website, it offers the tool of managing all websites in one place.

If a company values its own brand, why does it need so many websites for the same product? This is a question worth further inquiry to the supplier.

#2 - Using deceptive images in the company's promotional materials

In our previous company background checks, we have repeatedly discovered Chinese suppliers using fake images of offices and factory buildings to enhance their promotional image. One of the primary concerns for overseas importers may be whether the supplier they are currently negotiating with is a manufacturer with its own factory or a pure trading company. The latter may pose more significant risks in terms of product quality and delivery.

Please read our previous article for a detailed example of this issue:

Caution! Companies using this image as their branding pictures might be exaggerating business capabilities

A simple reverse image search can help you determine if a picture has been repeatedly used by multiple companies. If it is the case, that picture is likely being used for deceptive advertising.

#3 - Exaggerating industry experience or the number of employees

On company introduction pages, companies typically showcase their strength through information such as years of industry experience and the number of employees. However, we have noticed that some companies may exaggerate these numbers.

One can identify inconsistencies by obtaining and comparing company search reports to address such information. 

For instance, comparing the company's establishment date with the claimed years of industry experience, and comparing the number of employees stated in the company search report with the social insurance coverage figures, as Chinese companies are required to provide the number of employees covered by social insurance in their annual business information reports submitted to the industrial and commercial registration authorities.

There are many other risk signals that we will continue to explore in future articles.

Know a company before you engage it and trade safely!


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