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What's a "chop" and why is it important for contracts in China when sourcing?

by Mike Bellamy

Cindy in Australia writes:

I have seen some of your seminars which mention I should get the “Chop” on my POs (Purchase Orders). Now that I have my bilingual PO in place (thanks to your advice). How do I get the “Chop” on my PO? How does this work? At what stage do I get the “Chop”?

For your reference, the chop is an ink stamp that is applied to the document when the Chinese side adds signature.  So the chop is added when the document is ready to be signed by the seller.  As the buyer is a non-Chinese entity, and as your signature is legally binding, no need for the buyer to add a chop under their name.


                          corporate seal 

         Image compliments of the Business Formation experts at

Every company in China has a company chop. It’s a physical ink stamp that is used on a frequent basis to authorize documents. When applying to a contract, it’s not something that they need a 3rd party to help, like having a document notarized.

On your contract simply put “signature/chop/date” at the bottom and the supplier will know what to do.  If they don’t chop it, just email them and remind them to chop it.

If they don’t want to chop it, it means there may be a big red flag, like they don’t have a company so they don’t have a chop!

Hope the information above helps. Let me know how things work out for you.

Glad to help.

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center. Mike is also the author of "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.


0#accessories2015-08-10 11:34
Good article. I will be experiencing a few of these issues as well..
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