Background Checks & Investigations

The quality of the partner selection process is critical to the success or failure of your operation in Greater China, here is where background checks come in. Every business has “partners”, be they shareholders, suppliers or vendors of goods and services in the supply chain. If these partners fail to be reliable, credible, professional or financially/politically/morally capable, your business could be at risk.

No amount of good lawyering will save you from a bad partner selection decision

Identifying and selecting the right business partners is often critical to the success or failure of your operation in Greater China. Every business has key internal and external partners, be they investors, executive teams, acquisition targets, service providers, suppliers, distributors, or key technical employees. If these partners fail to be reliable, credible, professional or financially/politically/ethically capable, the viability of your entire business could be at risk.

While standard background/credit checks, public security bureau official records checks and database/machine-driven background checks are useful and sufficient in certain cases, they are no substitute for “boots on the ground” human intelligence and a systematic process to gather information on potential partners.

Going Beyond Standard Legal/Financial Due Diligence

Foreign direct investors including MNC’s, private equity funds, hedge funds and venture capitalists have often placed money, reputations and technologies at risk in China with partners who have been selected solely on due diligence mechanisms designed for developed western societies.  These investors have assumed incorrectly that western due diligence processes (which rely largely on lawyers and accountants) are somehow complete when used in the China/Taiwan market and other parts of the developing world. This culturally insensitive myopic assumption has led to some spectacularly shocking investment headlines especially in direct private equity investments and IPO transactions in China.

Culturally-blinkered due diligence processes can lead to bad decisions about a key employee or business partner. These can result in severely eroded shareholder value, head-spinning drops in market capitalizations, corporate governance scandals, director/officer mass resignations, regulatory and compliance investigations, incarcerations of senior executives and years of litigation involving accountants/company officers and directors.

We can perform the following types of background checks on individuals, individual companies and/or company groups, to help you ensure that the backgrounds of your potential partners in Greater China do not become a reputational/financial/legal liability:


We can also provide tailored investigations for situations other than partner selection, including competitor analysis, competitive bidding, consortium building and dispute resolution.