The Ins and Outs of Employment Background Checks in China

It is common for employers in China to run background checks on job applicants before making an employment offer. Required information may typically include criminal records, educational background, qualifications, and references from previous employers.

Chinese citizens’ criminal records are stored in government databases, which are administered by the PRC Ministry of Public Security and its local counterparts (“Criminal Record Database”). According to relevant laws and regulations, only persons without any criminal convictions may perform certain jobs, and applicants must obtain a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (“CNCC”) from a local public security bureau before performing such jobs (“CNCC Jobs”).Employers are not allowed to check criminal records directly in the Criminal Record Database. They may either require a job applicant to obtain a CNCC, or run a check via a commercial investigator. Commercial investigations may violate privacy laws and those regarding state secrets so their use is not recommended.

Employers may request relevant diplomas and/or certificates to verify educational backgrounds and qualifications. Of course, diplomas and certificates might be counterfeit, and if necessary, employers may verify their authenticity. It is a general and lawful practice in China for an employer to make an employment decision based on a job applicant’s educational background and qualifications.

With a job applicant’s written consent, an employer may ask for a reference from a previous employer and use the reference to help decide whether to employ the applicant.

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