Background checks are becoming increasingly popular in China, especially within the financial and technology sectors that require a high level of due diligence when making hiring decisions. Common background checks in China include: Criminal Record Search, Civil Records Search, Bankruptcy Records Search, Education Degree Verification, Employment Verification, Professional Reference Check, Motor Vehicle Records Check and Global Monitor.
Legal Landscape of China Background Checks
There are numerous legal and cultural considerations that companies should be aware of before implementing a background screening program in China. While China does not currently have any formal information security laws, the PRC Constitution states that the privilege to protection is a resident’s personal dignity is secured as a central right. China also authorized the Cybersecurity Law of China in 2017, regulating that Chinese organizations with data must undergo government security checks. The Ministry of Information and Industry of China has distributed a draft of guidelines, the “Information Security Technology – Guide for Personal Information Protection,” otherwise called the Draft Guidelines. These rules address the issue of handling any sensitive information from China and the transferring information outside of China. In addition, various locales within China may have their own civil or local laws to ensure security assurance.
Best Practices of Conducting Background Checks in China
In order to conduct background checks in China, especially for employment verifications and education verifications, it is necessary to obtain the applicant’s full name in Chinese characters, along with their Chinese identification number. This is due to the fact that many Chinese schools and employers record names in Chinese and they do not have the English translation of the name. This is due to the fact that there may be as many as ten ways to translate an English name to a Chinese name, and vice versa.
Background Check Products Available in China:
- Criminal Background Checks – Info Cubic uses China’s Ministry of Public Security criminal record data set for criminal historical verifications, which is a database reporting crimes and offenses dating back to 1995. The Ministry of Public Security database excludes Hong Kong and Taiwan area. An individual’s name in Chinese and public ID are required to run this search. Criminal records are attached to a person forever and move with the person through life. A person’s criminal history data is recorded by the person’s name in Chinese characters and their Chinese ID number. If an individual moves, they should enroll with the nearby police headquarters, so their criminal history moves with them. Under Section 100 of China’s Penal Code, an individual must disclose their criminal history. When applying for a job, an individual must unveil any previous criminal records they have.
- China Civil Records Search– A China Civil Records report includes the case type, file date, case number, name of court where case was filed, plaintiff, defendant and disposition if a case can be located.
- China Bankruptcy Records Search – Info Cubic utilizes an experienced worldwide court researcher network, government contacts and trusted private agencies to assists to identify an applicant’s bankruptcy records. The report may include a file date, case number, name of court where case was filed, and case status if a bankruptcy case can be located.
- Education Degree Verification – An applicant inflating their educational accomplishments is one of the most common issues found on an applicant’s resume or application. Info Cubic processes education verifications by contacting educational institutions directly to verify degrees or certifications earned. We verify dates of attendance, graduation date and degree information. Chinese residents are also permitted to obtain a “Education Experience Certificate,” which outlines a person’s on-the-job experience versus his or her educational background.
- Employment Verification – Past employment verification is recommended prior to hiring a job candidate in China since approximately 40% of all resumes and employment applications contain falsified information. Info Cubic’s standard Employment Verification reports the employer’s name, applicant’s title, dates of employment, whether they are eligible for rehire, and we ask for additional comments.
- Reference Checks – A job applicant may provide written consent for a potential employer to contact references prior to making an employment decision.
Chinese Police Certificates
A Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (“CNCC”) is issued for a person who does not have criminal record. If a person does have convictions, another certificate lists all of their convictions they have had while living in China. Chinese police certificates are generally widely available and considered accurate. People can apply for these certificates at the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) (or certain types of employers such as state-owned enterprises), then make application to the notary office for a certificate based on the PSB document.