Arbitration Agreements and Laws in China


On 16 January 2024, the Supreme Folks’s Court docket of China printed ten court docket circumstances on judicial overview of arbitration. Case 3 acknowledged the validity of an arbitration settlement on arbitration in China administrated by a international arbitration establishment. Beforehand, one other court docket case printed by the SPC in 2022 had already decided that an arbitral award rendered by a international arbitration establishment in China must be considered a foreign-related arbitral award of China slightly than a international arbitral award. Lawyer Month-to-month lately met up with BAI Xianyue (Simon) from Grandall Legislation Agency, China to clarify arbitration agreements and laws in China.

What conclusions will be drawn from the current Supreme Court docket of China’s current publication relating to arbitration in China?

The ten chosen circumstances printed by the Supreme Court docket of China (the “Supreme Court docket”) present that the Supreme Court docket attaches a lot significance to the judicial overview of arbitration and commits to repeatedly enhancing the mechanism of judicial supervision of arbitration in its effort to uphold the precept of rule of legislation, keep a unified normal and promote internationalization of economic arbitration in China. The sorts of circumstances printed are slightly various, together with recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards, setting apart arbitral awards, validity of arbitration agreements, and disputes over jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court docket has maintained a comparatively constant normal in direction of arbitration administered by international arbitration establishments. As will be seen from Case 3, since Chinese language legislation doesn’t expressly prohibit choice of international arbitration establishment with place of arbitration positioned in China, supplied foreign-related components are current. The court docket, following its interpretation of provisions of Arbitration Legislation of China dominated that the arbitration settlement by which the events agreed to submit a foreign-related dispute to a international arbitration establishment with the place of arbitration in Mainland China is legitimate, reflecting the stance of the Chinese language courts in respecting the events’ autonomy. This can be a welcoming clarification on uncertainties surrounding comparable circumstances the place the events, fulfilling necessities of foreign-related components, agree on conferring jurisdiction to a international arbitration establishment whereas the place of arbitration is designated inside China. The award thus rendered shall be considered a home award by nature, a foreign-related arbitration award to be particular, for the aim of enforcement in accordance with Civil Process Legislation of China.

What, if any, are the authorized necessities of an arbitration settlement underneath the legal guidelines of your jurisdiction?

Article 16 of the Arbitration Legislation[i] was cited in Case 3, and the court docket discovered that the arbitration settlement in query expressed intention of the events to request arbitration, agreed on the issues to be arbitrated and chosen a selected arbitration establishment, and thus must be thought of legitimate.

Article 16 of the Arbitration Legislation units out the definition of an arbitration settlement and the indispensable components of an arbitration settlement which should embrace an expression of intent to request arbitration; the topic issues of arbitration; and the chosen arbitration establishment.

In the meantime, Article 17[ii] of the Arbitration Legislation specifies the circumstances underneath which an arbitration settlement is invalid, together with the truth that the issues to be arbitrated exceed the scope of arbitration supplied for by legislation, that the arbitration settlement was concluded by those that are with out authorized capability or with restricted authorized capability, or the place the conclusion of the arbitration settlement was by coercive means. 

What different components should be thought of for an arbitration settlement to confer jurisdiction to a international arbitration establishment?

If the events intend to pick a international arbitration establishment, it is very important observe that the contractual dispute ought to have a foreign-related factor.

In line with Supreme Court docket, disputes and not using a foreign-related factor are prohibited from being submitted to a international arbitration establishment. Chinese language courts have typically discovered such arbitration agreements invalid. In any other case, even when an arbitral award by a international arbitral establishment is obtained, the Chinese language courts is not going to recognise and implement the arbitral award.

Overseas-related components discuss with one of many following  elements:

(I) One of many events is a international entity; or

(II)  routine residence of one of many events is exterior China; or

(III) the subject material of the dispute is exterior China; or

(IV)  authorized information which creates modifies or terminates the civil relationship, happens exterior China. 

What laws governs the enforcement of arbitral awards in your jurisdiction?

The enforcement of arbitral awards in China is especially ruled by the Civil Process Legislation of China, judicial interpretations and circulars issued by the Supreme Court docket.

Arbitral awards rendered by international arbitration establishments with Mainland China because the place of arbitration, are deemed to be foreign-related arbitral awards (i.e. a Chinese language home award) and shall be enforced in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter IV “Particular Provisions on Overseas-Associated Civil Process”of the Civil Process Legislation with out first having to be acknowledged by a court docket in China, whereas international arbitral awards could also be enforced in accordance with the 1958 New York Conference, or on the idea of the precept of reciprocity.

For the enforcement of each foreign-related arbitral awards and international arbitral awards, the events might apply to the intermediate individuals’s court docket on the place of residence or property of the particular person in opposition to which the enforcement is sought. However the requirements for judicial overview are usually not the identical. Basically, international arbitral award underneath New York Conference, are topic to a extra stringent overview course of the place native courts intend to refuse to acknowledge or put aside such award. Particularly, the place an area court docket inclines to reject the popularity or enforcement of a international award, it has to report the contemplated choice to the Supreme Court docket for remaining overview and approval, which, consequently, considerably reduces the success price of such try over time in response to official statistics launched.  Due to such steady efforts by Supreme Court docket, China has loved popularity of constantly fulfilling its obligations underneath New York Conference. 

Does the identical arbitration legislation govern each home and worldwide arbitration proceedings?  If not, how do they differ?

Sure. China’s present Arbitration Legislation comprises provisions on each home arbitration and foreign-related arbitration, with Chapter VII (9 articles in complete) containing particular provisions on “foreign-related arbitration”, focusing primarily on the scope of foreign-related arbitration, the choice of arbitrators, foreign-related arbitration commissions and particular provisions on the setting apart and enforcement of foreign-related arbitral awards. In the meantime, Chapter VII additionally gives that “the place there are not any provisions on this Chapter, different related provisions of this Legislation shall apply”.

China’s present Arbitration Legislation was promulgated in 1994, which has been in drive for 30 years almost unchanged besides small amendments made in 2009 and 2017. Sure provisions of China’s present Arbitration Legislation are alleged to be not in step with worldwide requirements.

On 30 July 2021, the Ministry of Justice of China issued the Draft Amendments to Arbitration Legislation which makes vital modifications to the present Arbitration Legislation and is open for public remark. The Draft nonetheless distinguishes between international and home arbitration and attracts closely on the United Nations Mannequin Legislation on Worldwide Business Arbitration. These amendments supposed to resolve present issues within the present Arbitration Legislation and enhancing the worldwide competitiveness of China’s arbitration by introducing worldwide finest practices. Nevertheless, the amendments to the Arbitration Legislation stay to be formally adopted.


Grandall, based in 1998, at present boasts over 680 companions and over 5,000 attorneys, paralegals and supporting personnel, with 36 places of work in main cities worldwide.

BAI Xianyue has been training as a Chinese language lawyer for 25 years, advising numerous home firms, foreign-invested joint-ventures, in addition to multinationals. He has been concerned in varied litigation and arbitration circumstances as counsel and within the capability of arbitrator.

He was panel member of each the Advert hoc Division of Court docket of Arbitration for Sports activities (CAS AHD), for the 18th Asian Video games in 2018 and CAS AHD throughout Beijing Winter Olympic Video games in 2022. He has acted as sole, presiding arbitrator and counsel underneath the principles of the BAC, CIETAC, SHIAC, CAS, SCIA, HKIAC, SCC and so on. 

Contact Bai Xianyue
28/F, China Life Monetary Middle,No.38 Qufu Street, Heping District, Tianjin 300042, China
Tel: +86 22 85586588
E mail:


[i] Article 16 of the Arbitration Legislation of the Folks’s Republic of China:

An arbitration settlement shall embrace arbitral clauses stipulated within the contract and different written agreements which request arbitration to be made previous to or following the incidence of a dispute.

An arbitration settlement shall embrace the next:

(1) the expression of an software for arbitration;

(2) topic issues for arbitration;

(3) the chosen arbitration fee.

[ii] Article 17 of the Arbitration Legislation of the Folks’s Republic of China:

An arbitration settlement shall be deemed invalid in any of the next circumstances:

(1) the issues to be arbitrated exceed the scope of arbitration supplied for by legislation;

(2) the arbitration settlement was concluded by individuals with out authorized capability or with restricted authorized capability;

(3) one occasion has compelled conclusion of the arbitration settlement by means of coercive means.”


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