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Penny SHEN
Head of International Desk China

Support by the
Crédit Agricole group

Last updated: August 2022

The China International Desk, part of the Asia Pacific International Desk, is based in Crédit Agricole CIB China's Shanghai and Beijing branches. It assists the Group's corporate clients with their local operations, including account opening, financing arrangements, banking information and advice.


Crédit Agricole CIB China in brief:

  • CACIB China is a subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole Group, the world's leading French banking group (12th largest bank in the world and 2nd European bank by equity, 47 countries covered, 141,000 employees and 51 million clients worldwide)
  • Creation of the first subsidiary in China in 1898
  • One of the country's leading foreign debt financing institutions
  • Pioneer in many financing projects and among the first foreign banks to be licensed by China
  • Foreign exchange operations (RMB)
  • 6 locations: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Xiamen, Shenzhen (representative offices)
  • 222 employees.


Other business units of the Crédit Agricole Group in China are:

  • AMUNDI, which has set up a joint venture with Agricultural Bank of China (ABC): ABC-CA Fund Management Company, specializing in fund management.
  • Amundi Investment Advisory (Beijing) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amundi Asset Management, established in 2019.
  • Amundi BOC wealth management Co. Ltd is a joint venture between Amundi (55%) and BOC Wealth Management (45%), registered in Shanghai in September 2020. It is the first foreign majority-owned company in China authorized to design and offer wealth management products.
  • GAC-Sofinco Auto Finance Co. Ltd, a 50-50 joint venture between Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and Guangzhou Automobile Group. It provides financing solutions to customers and dealers of GAC-related automobile brands in China.

For more information, see the list of Crédit Agricole Group locations.


Means of payment

With China

Company cheque

Bank cheque

SWIFT transfer

Bill of exchange

Promissory note

Documentary remittance

Documentary credit


Weak / None








Advice from the
international desk

General Information
For setting up:

Over the past few years the Chinese government has introduced many reforms related to the banking and financial industry. The tendency is to no longer make the injection of minimum capital obligatory upon the registration of a business. We recommend you ask the experts of the Crédit Agricole Group about different cases.

For negotiations:
Companies with no local presence that would like to trade with China should, in view of the foreign exchange controls, firstly ensure that their Chinese purchasers have an import licence (even if the currency of the commercial contract and of the payment is in RMB). Furthermore, China has no database to provide financial information on non-listed companies. It is therefore necessary to crosscheck information about potential suppliers or clients before signing a contract. In any case it is highly recommended to work on the basis of documentary credits or the payment of substantial deposits.


Means of Payment & Banking Specificities
There is still foreign exchange control in continental China, regardless of the numerous reforms introduced since 2013 by the SAFE and PBOC in relation to the banking system and businesses registered in different free zones. For international payments (in foreign currencies and/or in RMB) Chinese banks must request justifying documents as per the regulations imposed by the different regulators. On the other hand, the procedures are much easier for domestic payments in RMB (CNY): businesses can choose between cheques or bank transfer. The systems for domestic bank transfers, centralised by the PBOC via its electronic system, have changed a lot: over the past few years domestic payment has become very easy.

For transfers in RMB made from France it is no longer necessary to provide justifications if they have to do with commercial transactions. However, such justifications are still required for payments related to service provision.
Since August 2012 the PBOC has accelerated the rate of internationalisation of the RMB. A series of measures has been published (including direct investment in RMB from abroad, and financing in RMB abroad, etc.). The Crédit Agricole Group is equipped to carry out transfers and documentary credits in RMB.

Since the end of 2013 we have seen a surge in fraudulent transfers made from France to China.


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