Authentication in China

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Many documents in China need to have a company seal affixed to them (盖章) to make them official. From what I can tell, this involves a normal rubber stamp with the name of the company, and a normal red rubber stamp ink pad that you can buy anywhere.

The thing that shocks the sensibilities is that people rely on this stamp as a form of authentication. On the receiving end of the "transmission", I have encountered many bureaucratic situations where a document is considered to be authentic if and only if it has the company stamp on it. On the authoring end, small companies usually have only one rubber stamp, which they jealously protect by only letting trusted employees have access to it and never stamping things promiscuously.

I don't understand is how this authentication scheme can still exist. Counterfeiting a company's stamp seems completely trivial.


Hey Wesley, this is Huy.

Same thing here in Vietnam. I'm just as incredulous. Funny stuff

Isn't it the same in Japan, with their HanKo ?

Looks like a perduring ancient practice in Asia, reminding the wax seals of the medieval Europe. Current signature practice in the West just removes the constraint of carrying the seal, but does not look much stronger (making a fake HanKo is considered difficult).


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