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Contract Law of the People's Republic of China

Contract Law of the People's Republic of China

Order[1999] No.15 of the President of the People's Republic of China

Contract Law of the People's Republic of China has been adopted at the Second Session of the Ninth National People's Congress on March 15, 1999, and is hereby promulgated, it will come into force as of October 1, 1999.
President of the People's Republic of China: Jiang Zemin
March 15, 1999
Contract Law of the People's Republic of China



中华人民共和国主席 江泽民

  第一章 一般规定

  第二章 合同的订立

  第三章 合同的效力

  第四章 合同的履行

  第五章 合同的变更和转让

  第六章 合同的权利义务终止

  第七章 违约责任

  第八章 其他规定

  第九章 买卖合同

  第十章 供用电、水、气、热力合同

  第十一章 赠与合同

  第十二章 借款合同

  第十三章 租赁合同

  第十四章 融资租赁合同

  第十五章 承揽合同

  第十六章 建设工程合同

  第十七章 运输合同

  第十八章 技术合同

  第十九章 保管合同

  第二十章 仓储合同

  第二十一章 委托合同

  第二十二章 行纪合同

  第二十三章 居间合同
General Provisions


Chapter 1 General Rules

第一章 一般规定

Article 1 This Law is enacted in order to protect the lawful rights and interests of the contracting parties, to maintain social and economic order, and to promote the process of socialist modernization.
    第一条 【立法目的】为了保护合同当事人的合法权益,维护社会经济秩序,促进社会主义现代化建设,制定本法。
Article 2 A contract in this Law refers to an agreement among natural persons, legal persons or other organizations as equal parties for the establishment, modification, termination of a relationship involving the civil rights and obligations of such entities. Agreements concerning personal relationships such as marriage,adoption, guardianship, etc.shall be governed by the provisions in other laws.
    第二条 【合同定义】本法所称合同是平等主体的自然人、法人、其他组织之间设立、变更、终止民事权利义务关系的协议。婚姻、收养、监护等有关身份关系的协议,适用其他法律的规定。
Article 3 Contracting parties shall have equal legal status, and no party may impose its will on the other party.
    第三条 【平等原则】合同当事人的法律地位平等,一方不得将自己的意志强加给另一方。
Article 4 The parties have the right to lawfully enter into a contract of their own free will in accordance with the law, and no unit or individual may illegally interfere therewith.
    第四条 【合同自由原则】当事人依法享有自愿订立合同的权利,任何单位和个人不得非法干预。
Article 5 The parties shall adhere to the principle of fairness in deciding their respective rights and obligations.
    第五条 【公平原则】当事人应当遵循公平原则确定各方的权利和义务。
Article 6 The parties shall observe the principle of honesty and good faith in exercising their rights and performing their obligations.
    第六条 【诚实信用原则】当事人行使权利、履行义务应当遵循诚实信用原则。
Article 7 In concluding and performing a contract, the parties shall comply with the laws and administrative regulations, respect social ethics, and shall not disrupt the social and economic order or impair the public interests.
    第七条 【遵纪守法原则】当事人订立、履行合同,应当遵守法律、行政法规,尊重社会公德,不得扰乱社会经济秩序,损害社会公共利益。
Article 8 A lawfully established contract shall be legally binding on the parties thereto, each of whom shall perform its own obligations in accordance with the terms of the contract, and no party shall unilaterally modify or terminate the contract.The contract established according to law is protected by law.
    第八条 【依合同履行义务原则】依法成立的合同,对当事人具有法律约束力。当事人应当按照约定履行自己的义务,不得擅自变更或者解除合同。
Chapter 2 Conclusion of Contracts

第二章 合同的订立

Article 9 In entering into a contract, the parties shall have appropriate capacities for civil rights and civil acts.A party may appoint an agent to enter into a contract on its behalf in accordance with the law.
    第九条 【订立合同的能力】当事人订立合同,应当具有相应的民事权利能力和民事行为能力。当事人依法可以委托代理人订立合同。
Article 10 The parties may use written, oral or other forms in entering into a contract.
A contract shall be in written form if the laws or administrative regulations so provide. A contract shall be concluded in written form if the parties so agree.
    第十条 【合同的形式】当事人订立合同,有书面形式、口头形式和其他形式。
Article 11 "Written form" refers to a form such as a written contractual agreement, letter, electronic data text(including a telegram, telex, fax, electronic data exchange and e-mail)that can tangibly express the contents contained therein.
    第十一条 【书面形式】书面形式是指合同书、信件和数据电文(包括电报、电传、传真、电子数据交换和电子邮件)等可以有形地表现所载内容的形式。
Article 12 The contents of a contract shall be agreed upon by the parties, and shall generally contain the following clauses:
    第十二条 【合同内容】合同的内容由当事人约定,一般包括以下条款:
(1) titles or names and domiciles of the parties;
(2) subject matter;
(3) quantity;
(4) quality;
(5) price or remuneration;
(6) time limit, place and method of performance;
(7) liability for breach of contract; and
(8) method to settle disputes.The parties may conclude a contract by reference to a model text of each kind of contract.
Article 13 The parties shall conclude a contract in the form of an offer and an acceptance.
    第十三条 【订立合同方式】当事人订立合同,采取要约、承诺方式。
Article 14 An offer is an expression of an intent to enter into a contract with another person. Such expression of intent shall comply with the following:
    第十四条 【要约】要约是希望和他人订立合同的意思表示,该意思表示应当符合下列规定:
(1) its contents shall be specific and definite;
(2) it indicates that the offeror will be bound by the expression of intent in case of acceptance by the offeree.
Article 15 An invitation for offer is an expression of an intent to invite other parties to make offers thereto. Mailed price lists, public notices of auction and tender, prospectuses and commercial advertisements, etc. are invitations for offer.Where the contents of a commercial advertisement meet the requirements for an offer, it shall be regarded as an offer.
    第十五条 【要约邀请】要约邀请是希望他人向自己发出要约的意思表示。寄送的价目表、拍卖公告、招标公告、招股说明书、商业广告等为要约邀请。商业广告的内容符合要约规定的,视为要约。
Article 16 An offer becomes effective when it reaches the offeree.
If a contract is concluded through data-telex, and a recipient designates a specific system to receive the date-telex, the time when the data-telex enters such specific system shall be the time of arrival; if no specific system is appointed, the time when the data-telex first enters any of the recipient's systems shall be regarded as the time of arrival.
    第十六条 【要约的生效】要约到达受要约人时生效。
Article 17 An offer may be withdrawn. The withdrawal notice shall reach the offeree before or at the same time when the offer arrives.
    第十七条 【要约的撤回】要约可以撤回。撤回要约的通知应当在要约到达受要约人之前或者与要约同时到达受要约人。
Article 18 An offer may be revoked. The revocation notice shall reach the offeree before it has dispatched a notice of acceptance.
    第十八条 【要约的撤销】要约可以撤销。撤销要约的通知应当在受要约人发出承诺通知之前到达受要约人。
Article 19 An offer may not be revoked, if
    第十九条 【要约不得撤销的情形】有下列情形之一的,要约不得撤销:
(1) the offeror indicates a fixed time for acceptance or otherwise explicitly states that the offer is irrevocable; or
(2) the offeree has reasons to rely on the offer as being irrevocable and has made preparation for performing the contact.
Article 20 An offer shall lose efficacy under any of the following circumstances:
    第二十条 【要约的失效】有下列情形之一的,要约失效:
(1) the notice of rejection reaches the offeror;
(2) the offeror revokes the offer in accordance with the law;
(3) the offeree fails to dispatch an acceptance before the expiration of the time limit for acceptance;
(4) the offeree makes substantial changes to the contents of the offer.
Article 21 An acceptance is the expression of an intention to by the offeree to assent to the offer.
    第二十一条 【承诺的定义】承诺是受要约人同意要约的意思表示。
Article 22 The acceptance shall be made in the form of a notice, except where acceptance may be made by an act on the basis of customary business practice or as expressed in the offer.
    第二十二条 【承诺的方式】承诺应当以通知的方式作出,但根据交易习惯或者要约表明可以通过行为作出承诺的除外。
Article 23 An acceptance shall reach the offeror within the time limit prescribed in the offer.
Where no time limit is prescribed in the offer, the acceptance shall reach the offeror in accordance with the following provisions:
    第二十三条 【承诺的期限】承诺应当在要约确定的期限内到达要约人。
(1) if the offer is made in dialogues, the acceptance shall be made immediately unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties;
(2) If the offer is made in forms other than a dialogue, the acceptance shall reach the offeror within a reasonable period of time.
Article 24 Where an offer is made by letter or telegram, the time limit for acceptance shall accrue from the date shown in the letter or from the date on which the telegram is handed in for dispatch. If no such date is shown in the letter, it shall accrue from the postmark date on the envelope.Where an offer is made by means of instantaneous communication, such as telephone or facsimile,etc. the time limit for acceptance shall accrue from the moment that the offer reaches the offeree.
    第二十四条 【承诺期限的起点】要约以信件或者电报作出的,承诺期限自信件载明的日期或者电报交发之日开始计算。信件未载明日期的,自投寄该信件的邮戳日期开始计算。要约以电话、传真等快速通讯方式作出的,承诺期限自要约到达受要约人时开始计算。
Article 25 A contract is established when the acceptance becomes effective.
    第二十五条 【合同成立时间】承诺生效时合同成立。
Article 26 An acceptance becomes effective when its notice reaches the offeror. If notice of acceptance is not required, the acceptance shall become effective when an act of acceptance is performed in accordance with transaction practices or as required in the offer.
Where a contract is concluded in the form of date-telex, the time of arrival of an acceptance shall be governed by the provisions of Paragraph 2, Article 16 of this Law.
    第二十六条 【承诺的生效】承诺通知到达要约人时生效。承诺不需要通知的,根据交易习惯或者要约的要求作出承诺的行为时生效。
Article 27 An acceptance may be withdrawn, but a notice of withdrawal shall reach the offeror before or at the same time when the notice of acceptance reaches the offeror.
    第二十七条 【承诺的撤回】承诺可以撤回。撤回承诺的通知应当在承诺通知到达要约人之前或者与承诺通知同时到达要约人。
Article 28 Where an offeree makes an acceptance beyond the time limit for acceptance, the acceptance shall be a new offer except that the offeror promptly informs the offeree of the effectiveness of the said acceptance.
    第二十八条 【新要约】受要约人超过承诺期限发出承诺的,除要约人及时通知受要约人该承诺有效的以外,为新要约。
Article 29 If the offeree dispatched the acceptance within the time limit specified for acceptance, and under normal circumstances the acceptance would have reached the offeror in due time, but due to other reasons the acceptance reaches the offeror after the time limit for acceptance has expired,such acceptance shall be effective, unless the offeror notifies the offeree in a timely manner that it does not accept the acceptance due to the failure of the acceptance to arrive within the time limit.
    第二十九条 【迟到的承诺】受要约人在承诺期限内发出承诺,按照通常情形能够及时到达要约人,但因其他原因承诺到达要约人时超过承诺期限的,除要约人及时通知受要约人因承诺超过期限不接受该承诺的以外,该承诺有效。
Article 30 The contents of an acceptance shall comply with those of the offer. If the offeree substantially modifies the contents of the offer, it shall constitute a new offer. The modification relating to the subject matter, quality, quantity, price or remuneration, time or place or method of performance, liabilities for breach of contract and method of dispute resolution, etc. shall constitute the substantial modification of an offer.
    第三十条 【承诺的变更】承诺的内容应当与要约的内容一致。受要约人对要约的内容作出实质性变更的,为新要约。有关合同标的、数量、质量、价款或者报酬、履行期限、履行地点和方式、违约责任和解决争议方法等的变更,是对要约内容的实质性变更。
Article 31 If the acceptance does not substantially modifies the contents of the offer, it shall be effective, and the contents of the contract shall be subject to those of the acceptance, except as rejected promptly by the offeror or indicated in the offer that an acceptance may not modify the offer at all.
    第三十一条 【承诺的内容】承诺对要约的内容作出非实质性变更的,除要约人及时表示反对或者要约表明承诺不得对要约的内容作出任何变更的以外,该承诺有效,合同的内容以承诺的内容为准。
Article 32 Where the parties conclude a contract in written form, the contract is established when it is signed or sealed by the parties.
    第三十二条 【合同成立时间】当事人采用合同书形式订立合同的,自双方当事人签字或者盖章时合同成立。
Article 33 Where the parties conclude the contract in the form of letters or data-telex, etc., one party may request to sign a letter of confirmation before the conclusion of the contract. The contract shall be established at the time when the letter of confirmation is signed.
    第三十三条 【确认书与合同成立】当事人采用信件、数据电文等形式订立合同的,可以在合同成立之前要求签订确认书。签订确认书时合同成立。
Article 34 The place of effectiveness of an acceptance shall be the place of the establishment of the contract.
If the contract is concluded in the form of data-telex, the main business place of the recipient shall be the place of establishment. If the recipient does not have a main business place, its habitual residence shall be considered to be the place of establishment. Where the parties agree otherwise, such agreement shall apply.
    第三十四条 【合同成立地点】承诺生效的地点为合同成立的地点。
Article 35 Where the parties conclude a contract in written form, the place where both parties sign or affix their seals on the contract shall be the place of establishment.
    第三十五条 【书面合同成立地点】当事人采用合同书形式订立合同的,双方当事人签字或者盖章的地点为合同成立的地点。
Article 36 Where a contract is to be concluded in written form as required by relevant laws and administrative regulations or as agreed by the parties, and the parties failed to conclude the contract in written form, but one party has performed the principal obligation and the other party has accepted it, the contract is established.
    第三十六条 【书面合同与合同成立】法律、行政法规规定或者当事人约定采用书面形式订立合同,当事人未采用书面形式但一方已经履行主要义务,对方接受的,该合同成立。
Article 37 Where a contract is to be concluded in written form, if one party has performed its principal obligation and the other party has accepted it before signing or sealing of the contract, the contract is established.
    第三十七条 【合同书与合同成立】采用合同书形式订立合同,在签字或者盖章之前,当事人一方已经履行主要义务,对方接受的,该合同成立。
Article 38 Where the State has issued a mandatory plan or a State purchasing order based on necessity,the relevant legal persons and the other organizations shall conclude a contract between them in accordance with the rights and obligations as stipulated by the relevant laws and administrative regulations.
    第三十八条 【依国家计划订立合同】国家根据需要下达指令性任务或者国家订货任务的,有关法人、其他组织之间应当依照有关法律、行政法规规定的权利和义务订立合同。
Article 39 Where standard terms are adopted in concluding a contract, the party supplying the standard terms shall define the rights and obligations between the parties abiding by the principle of fairness, and shall inform the other party to note the exclusion or restriction of its liabilities in a reasonable way, and shall explain the standard terms upon request by the otherparty.
Standard terms are clauses that are prepared in advance for general and repeated use by one party, and which are not negotiated with the other party when the contract is concluded.
    第三十九条 【格式合同条款定义及使用人义务】采用格式条款订立合同的,提供格式条款的一方应当遵循公平原则确定当事人之间的权利和义务,并采取合理的方式提请对方注意免除或者限制其责任的条款,按照对方的要求,对该条款予以说明。
Article 40 When standard terms are under the circumstances stipulated in Articles 52 and 53 of this Law,or the party which supplies the standard terms exempts itself from its liabilities, increases the liabilities of the other party, and deprives the material rights of the other party, the terms shall be invalid.
    第四十条 【格式合同条款的无效】格式条款具有本法第五十二条和第五十三条规定情形的,或者提供格式条款一方免除其责任、加重对方责任、排除对方主要权利的,该条款无效。
Article 41 If a dispute over the understanding of the standard terms occurs, it shall be interpreted in accordance with common understanding. Where there are two or more kinds of interpretation, an interpretation unfavorable to the party supplying the standard terms shall prevail. Where the standard terms are inconsistent with non-standard terms, the latter shall prevail.
    第四十一条 【格式合同的解释】对格式条款的理解发生争议的,应当按照通常理解予以解释。对格式条款有两种以上解释的,应当作出不利于提供格式条款一方的解释。格式条款和非格式条款不一致的,应当采用非格式条款。
Article 42 The party shall be liable for damage if it is under one of the following circumstances in concluding a contract and thus causing losses to the other party:
    第四十二条 【缔约过失】当事人在订立合同过程中有下列情形之一,给对方造成损失的,应当承担损害赔偿责任:
(1) pretending to conclude a contract, and negotiating in bad faith;
(2) deliberately concealing important facts relating to the conclusion of the contract or providing false information;
(3) performing other acts which violate the principle of good faith.
Article 43 A trade secret the parties learn in concluding a contract shall not be disclosed or improperly used, no matter the contract is established or not. If the party discloses or improperly uses such trade secret and thus causing loss to the other party, it shall be liable for damages.
    第四十三条 【保密义务】当事人在订立合同过程中知悉的商业秘密,无论合同是否成立,不得泄露或者不正当地使用。泄露或者不正当地使用该商业秘密给对方造成损失的,应当承担损害赔偿责任。
Chapter 3 Validity of Contracts

第三章 合同的效力

Article 44 The contract established according to law becomes effective upon its establishment.
With regard to contracts that are subject to approval or registration as stipulated by relevant laws or administrative regulations, the provisions thereof shall be followed.
    第四十四条 【合同的生效】依法成立的合同,自成立时生效。
Article 45 The parties may agree on that the effectiveness of a contract be subject to certain conditions. A contract whose effectiveness is subject to certain conditions shall become effective when such conditions are accomplished. The contract with dissolving conditions shall become invalid when such conditions are satisfied.
If a party improperly prevent the satisfaction of a condition for its own interests, the condition shall be regarded as having been a
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