CIETAC—background to and structure of the institution
Produced in partnership with Kevin Hong of Norton Rose Fulbright

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Kevin Hong of Norton Rose Fulbright provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • CIETAC—background to and structure of the institution
  • An introduction to arbitration in China
  • CIETAC and its sub-commissions
  • Sets of CIETAC arbitration rules
  • Functions of CIETAC
  • Structure of CIETAC
  • CIETAC's jurisdiction
  • CIETAC and the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

CIETAC—background to and structure of the institution

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Many arbitral organisations have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with practical guidance and/or changes to their usual procedures and ways of working. For information on how this content and relevant arbitration proceedings may be impacted, see Practice Note: Arbitral organisations and coronavirus (COVID-19)—practical impact. For additional information, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arbitration—overview.

The best known of the Chinese arbitral institutions is the China International Economic Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) which was formed in 1954 to support China’s growing trade and economic relations with other countries and survived the cultural revolution. CIETAC is now one of the world’s leading commercial arbitration centres handling a very substantial caseload.

CIETAC’s current arbitration rules took effect from 1 January 2015 (the CIETAC Rules 2015). This Practice Note reflects CIETAC's structure and role as set out in those revised rules.

Chinese parties favour arbitration as the means for resolving commercial disputes, particularly those arising from international commercial transactions. With China’s current extensive outbound investment, Chinese parties are involved in international arbitration in all of the world’s leading centres. Wherever possible, however, Chinese parties prefer arbitration in their own country so foreign parties need to know what to expect if faced with an arbitration before a tribunal in China.

An introduction to arbitration in China

Two important features of arbitration in China derive from its historical development.

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