Chinese Contract Law: Theory and Practice


Posted: 6 Jun 2007

See all articles by Mo Zhang

Mo Zhang

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law


Amazingly, almost all Fortune 500 companies have a business presence in China. This phenomenon indisputably demonstrates that China has now become the center of global attention. Yet many foreign businessmen and lawyers still feel discomfort about Chinese law and the legal system that they will encounter in their business dealings with China.

Issues that must be dealt with for foreign parties doing business in China include, among others, whether China has a sound legal system, whether private interests will be protected effectively under the socialist system of China, and whether a contract will be honored and enforced in China. Additional questions arise: How are contracts treated and handled differently from what we do at home? How is the doctrine of freedom of contract being accepted in China? What contract theories are there in China? How do we make a contract with Chinese counterparts? Could the law of our country be applied to a contract involving China? What remedies will be available in case of breach of contract? How will a judgment or arbitral award be enforced in China? The book offers a comprehensive analysis on Chinese Contract Law both in theory and in practice. It discusses the issues surrounding the process of contract formation, performance and remedies for breach, and addresses the doctrines underlying the law of contract. The issue-oriented format and comparative mechanism employed in the book are intended to provide an inside view of Chinese Contract Law and its application in the people's courts. Efforts are made to discuss different solutions to the above issues based on the nature of particular fact patterns. The purpose of the book is to help "catch the cubs by boldly entering into the lair of tiger".

The book begins with a review of the legislative history of contract law in China, and then moves onto an analysis of the Chinese nature of contracts. With a focus on the 1999 Contract Law of China, the book covers such subjects as formation of contracts, defenses to the formation of contracts, performance of contracts, assignment, breach and remedies, as well as third parties. The last chapter of the book has a special concentration on international contracts.

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Mo, Chinese Contract Law: Theory and Practice. CHINESE CONTRACT LAW: THEORY AND PRACTICE, Brill Academic Publishers, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Mo Zhang (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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