Following the split between the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) in Beijing and the Shanghai and Shenzhen sub-commissions [see July 2012 China Bulletin], the two sub-commissions went through several name changes, among which are the Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC) and Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA). In the meantime, Beijing CIETAC has attempted to direct all designation to use CIETAC arbitration in existing agreements to itself. This situation creates a risk for parties naming CIETAC Shanghai or Shenzhen in their arbitration agreements – an award from either location could be unenforceable or set aside, or determined to violate the agreement of the parties if challenged, since Shanghai and Shenzhen are no longer CIETAC sub-commissions.
To reduce this risk, parties should amend their agreements now (before a dispute arises) to specify the current name of the organization they wish to use as their agreed arbitration organization.
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