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  • Writer's pictureBoyd Jones

Avoid Arbitrary Detention in China

Traveling to China can be a lucrative opportunity to expand your company's reach and gain access to a vast market as well as tap China as the world's factory floor. However, it's important to be aware of the potential risks and challenges you may face while conducting business in China, including the possibility of arbitrary detention.





Arbitrary detention is the unlawful detention of an individual without due cause or legal justification. In China, this practice is often used to silence political dissidents and human rights activists, but foreign businesspeople can also be targeted.


To avoid arbitrary detention in China, there are several steps you can take as follows:


  1. Research the current political and legal climate in China before traveling. This will help you understand the potential risks and challenges you may face, and allow you to plan accordingly. (Including the legal risks such as quarantining due to COVID-19).

  2. Avoid engaging in any activities that could be perceived as critical of the Chinese government or its policies. This includes avoiding sensitive topics such as Tibet and Taiwan, and avoiding contact with political dissidents or human rights activists.

  3. Be cautious about what you share on social media and other online platforms. China has strict internet censorship laws, and anything you post online could be used against you.

  4. Avoid carrying sensitive information with you, such as documents or electronic devices that contain sensitive data. If you must carry such information, be sure to protect it with strong encryption and secure passwords.

  5. Establish a clear plan for communication and support in case of an emergency. This should include registering with your in-country embassy or consulate, having handy contact information for the local embassy, locking down a trusted contact in China, and having a lawyer who specializes in international business law on speed dial.

  6. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid dangerous or high-risk areas. If you are detained, remain calm and cooperate with the authorities.


By following these steps, you can help protect yourself against arbitrary detention in China and focus on successfully conducting business in the country. Strategic Sourcing can assist you in terms of all of the above. Feel free to contact us.

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