Depositions in China: Are they possible? (Updated 2017)

Handling depositions in China can be a little tricky.  Even though China is member of the Hague Convention, it does not permit the taking of depositions or witness statements (even from willing witnesses) in China for use in foreign courts. Beyond being merely frowned upon, participation in unauthorized depositions can result in serious sanctions, from deportation to the arrest and detention of attorneys and other participants.  Even conducting a deposition in a hotel room with an oath by private persons could result in criminal penalties under Chinese law.

Workaround: Depose in a Neighboring Country

Here at Optima Juris, we cover depositions of Chinese witnesses all the time. The best solution is to have your witness travel from mainland China to Hong Kong (or a nearby Asian country like Singapore if more convenient), and take your deposition there. Depositions are completely legal and there are no restrictions for taking them outside of China. We have local court reporters in Hong Kong, Singapore, and throughout Asia who can help with this – feel free to contact us for rates and info.

Useful Links

HOTELS
Agoda Hong Kong hotel search
Lonely Planet Hong Kong hotel search
ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS
Voltage and plug styles in Hong Kong
TIME & DATE
Time & date in Hong Kong
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Taking Voluntary Depositions of Willing Witnesses
U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL
Hong Kong
If you have an upcoming deposition in China, we recommend that you contact us directly and we can advise you based on your particular situation. We are more than happy to find the best solution for your specific requirements!

About Optima Juris

Optima Juris has been helping law offices across the globe find the highest quality certified court reporters, legal videographers, and interpreters for over 15 years. If you should have any questions about international depositions, please do not hesitate to contact us or fill out a free quote to see how we can make your international deposition a complete success.
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By Jakub Hałun (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons