Challenging arbitral awards in China
Produced in partnership with Arthur Dong and Alex Yuan of AnJie Law Firm
Challenging arbitral awards in China

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Arthur Dong and Alex Yuan of AnJie Law Firm provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging arbitral awards in China
  • Jurisdiction of the PRC courts and general procedure
  • Different rules for foreign-related awards and domestic awards
  • Legal grounds for setting aside domestic awards
  • Legal grounds for setting aside foreign-related awards
  • Comparison between PRC law and the New York Convention
  • Challenge hearing and ruling
  • Stay of enforcement pending set aside proceedings
  • Prior Reporting System
  • Prevailing attitude of courts

Under the laws of the People’s Republic China (PRC), a party to an arbitration may apply to a PRC court to challenge or set aside an arbitral award. The set-aside is known as vacation or annulment in many other jurisdictions.

Jurisdiction of the PRC courts and general procedure

The PRC courts may only set aside arbitration awards that are seated in Mainland China and rendered by the arbitration institutions of Mainland China (Article 58 of the Arbitration Law, 1995 (the Arbitration Law)). The Arbitration Law does not have binding force in respect of awards seated in other jurisdictions. Therefore, the PRC courts cannot set aside arbitration awards seated in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or foreign states.

An application to set aside an award must be filed at the Intermediate Court whose jurisdictional territory encompasses the arbitration institution which rendered the arbitration award (Intermediate Court) Arbitration Law, Article 58). Large cities in China often consist of the jurisdictions of multiple Intermediate Courts. For example, Beijing has four Intermediate Courts and Shanghai has three.

However, an applicant should refer to specific regional regulations to ensure the application to be filed to the right court. For example, now Beijing 4th Intermediate Court is the exclusive court to hear cases of setting aside arbitral awards which are rendered by arbitration institutions located in Beijing, regardless