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Overview of eSignature Legality in China
China has legally recognized eSignatures since 2004 with The PRC Electronic Signature Law. Under this act, eSignatures are viewed as the same level of validity as pen and paper signatures when the appropriate requirements are taken.
Electronic Signature Law
The PRC Electronic Signature Law regulates the legality and admissibility of eSignatures.
Are eSignatures legal, admissible, and enforceable?
Summary of Law
eSignatures in China are broadly defined as “the data in electronic form contained in and attached to a data message to be used for identifying the identity of the signatory and for showing that the signatory recognizes what is in the message.” The following guidelines must be met for an eSignature to be valid:
- eSignature is identifiable and only controlled by signatory
- Any alterations to the signed document can be detected
In certain cases, when a third party electronic verification is needed, both parties must provide relevant information and documentation.
eSignatures are not recommended for:
- Adoption documents
- Inheritance documents ie transfer of land or real estate
- Contracts terminating utility services
- Marriage licenses
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general informational purposes only. It is meant to help companies understand the legal framework used for eSignature legality. This is not intended to be legal advice and should not be a substitute for professional legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney for legal advice or representation.