China: New Choice for Mainland-Related International Arbitration—Establishment of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Hong Kong Arbitration Center

Last Updated: 24 November 2012
Article by Ariel Ye and Liu Yuwu


On September 24, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission ("CIETAC") launched its Hong Kong Arbitration Center ("the Center") as its first branch outside mainland China. This is a significant step taken by CIETAC in its plan to expand globally.

CIETAC, established in 1956, is the dominant arbitration institution in mainland China and one of the main arbitration institutions in the Asian-Pacific region. For Chinese enterprises, CIETAC is their first choice for an international arbitral institution due to historical and practical reasons.

From a historical perspective, when it was established in 1956, CIETAC was the sole arbitral institution with jurisdiction over international arbitration. Since then CIETAC has dealt with many international arbitrations and accumulated rich experience in this area. CIETAC has thereby developed a reputation amongst Chinese enterprises as one of the most competent international arbitral institutions in mainland China.

From a practical perspective, Chinese enterprises tend to choose CIETAC because of its working language and culture. The majorities of CIETAC panel arbitrators are Chinese or have a Chinese background. Therefore, Chinese enterprises are more comfortable communicating with CIETAC arbitrators.

In addition, the CIETAC arbitration rules are similar to mainland civil procedure rules, which are based on the civil law system. Chinese enterprises are more confident with the inquisitorial system compared with the adversarial system which has a much greater focus on witness cross examination. Thus Chinese enterprises are more likely to choose CIETAC and avoid other international arbitral institutions.

New Era of International Arbitration of CIETAC

Now, more Chinese enterprises are doing business abroad, including by establishing joint ventures. In this scenario, CIETAC is not the first choice for foreign parties for dispute resolution and foreign companies will seek familiar arbitral institutions such as ICC, LCIA, SCC, etc. This is to avoid the unfamiliar laws and rules associated with mainland arbitration, and the possibility that the arbitration will be conducted in Chinese. Some foreign companies are also concerned about local protectionism and local government intervention and will try to avoid mainland arbitral institutions for this reason. Finding a reasonable balance between the concerns of Chinese parties and those of foreign parties is critical for CIETAC's success in 'going global'.

Hong Kong, with a long history as a regional center for international arbitration, has been widely acknowledged internationally because of its independent and impartial legal system and the non-interventionist approach by the government. CIETAC has opened a branch at the Hong Kong Arbitration Center for these advantages.

As a branch of CIETAC, the Center will be well acknowledged by Chinese enterprises. As the Center is located in Hong Kong and is subject to the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance which came into effect in June 2011, the Center will also be well acknowledged by foreign companies. As such, it is likely that the Center will be a convenient choice when parties have to compromise on the choice of arbitral institution specified in their contract. Given that CIETAC is now operating in two jurisdictions and is in disagreement with its mainland sub-commissions as to case handling, when documenting the arbitration agreement for disputes to be determined by CIETAC in Hong Kong, parties should clearly state that 'CIETAC Hong Kong Center' is the chosen arbitral institution.

Enforcement of the Center's Awards in the Mainland

According to our research and consulting with CIETAC, we understand that the Center is regarded as a Hong Kong arbitral institution, the awards made by the Center will be Hong Kong awards for the purpose of enforcement. According to Chinese law, the awards made by the Center can be enforced in line with the Arrangement of the Supreme People's Court on Reciprocal Enforcement of Arbitration Awards between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("the Arrangement").

To apply for enforcement of an award made by the Center, an applicant shall submit to the competent court an application for enforcement within two years of the award being made. The competent court is the Intermediate People's Court located where the party who refuses to fulfill the award domiciles, or its property is located. If the place of domicile or the locality of the property is both in the mainland and the HK, the applicant can choose either mainland courts or Hong Kong courts for enforcement. If the enforcement in the chosen jurisdiction is inadequate to cover the amount of the award, then the applicant can seek enforcement for the unrecovered amount in the other jurisdiction.

Elsewhere the awards will be enforceable according to the New York Convention.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.