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OSINT Chinese Companies Like a Pro

Finding corporate information is not difficult, you simply need to know your strategy, how to look, and where to look. Let's together learn some interesting facts you may have not known about gathering data on Chinese companies, if you like what you see, then join COSINTI to learn advanced techniques and strategies in OSINT in China.

COSINTI today is the most advanced course on the market of Chinese-focused OSINT skill development.

Do's and Don'ts of Chinese Corporate OSINT.

Chinese ONLY

The majority of the Chinese web is built around the Chinese language. Effective communication in a Chinese business is more fluent and efficient in the Chinese language rather than in English. Understanding this common and widely recognized fact can often significantly enhance search outcomes. When a Chinese company has a website with both Chinese and English versions, it is common for the Chinese version to be more updated and comprehensive. This is also relevant to the company's online PR channels. Moreover, the level of activity on a Chinese company's WeChat account is likely to be more that of its Facebook page. Just like trying to find content in English using the Baidu search engine is a complete waste of time.

WeChat is key (to find the dirty details)

There are more daily activities of a huge number of Chinese businesses that can be seen on WeChat than on any other social media site. A business's WeChat account is generally shown in the Public Accounts, which is a layer of content that anyone can see and search on a computer or mobile device. Annual conferences and work reports, official visits, and reached goals like opening a new plant, office, or product line are common types of content that are posted to these accounts.

Even on WeChat, you need to look beyond the company's own posts to find more sources that report on its activities. These could be accounts from government agencies or professional groups at the local, provincial, or national level, as well as blogs and magazines that are specific to the industry.

In the image on the right we are searching for what commonly known in China as bounties on individuals for fraud in business, debt, and other illegal activities. Searched for '悬赏执行公告' "Bounty Execution Announcement" as an example.

TIP: What you can do to identify information that will not be publicly accessible in company database registries, is pair this with shareholder / director name. Here is a brief high level overview without going into details about type of information you need or can expect to find on such an investigation:

What kind of information can we find when investigating Chinese companies?

  • Registered legal person

  • Registered address

  • Business license expiration date

  • Registered capital

  • Scope of activity

  • Whether the person with whom you are communicating has decision-making power (director, board)

  • Any fraud history of executives

  • Equity structure

  • Percentage of shares

  • Major shareholders

  • Name of account owner

  • Forms of investment

  • Capital availability ratio

  • Bank statements

  • Applications for bank loans or credit with financial institutions

  • Real estate records

  • Promissory notes

  • Letters of credit

  • Government documents

What information you want to consider looking into?

  • Verification of company registration address

  • Legal verification of China companies

  • Company registration detail information

  • Legal inspection

  • Reputation review

  • Company ownership chart

  • Search of subsidiaries and branches

  • Site identification

  • Review of company annual return

  • Review of company certifications and licenses

There is a decent level of transparency on business information, but Western investigators need to understand that QCC, government portals, and Weixin (Wechat) are not the only places to dig up useful insights on Chinese companies. The Chinese internet is a beautiful place full of a lot of useful data, that with the right approach, development search strategy and mindset.. you can find anything, and more than that.. pivot from one piece of data to another using various tools and sources. Access to specific resources mentioned above is challenging to an extent, bypassing Chinese character captcha that is not recognized by OCR, or getting a +86 to register an account, or what happens when a Chinese VPN doesn't work? These are major issues Westerners face today, as the restrictions and regulations become more difficult, it's not the information itself, it's the access to it.

This is just touching the tip of the iceberg about the world of CI, if you want to learn more? then enroll to COSINTI and obtain a 4-month premium subscription. We are working on heavily upgrading our main study book.


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