Article 30 of China’s contract law states that an offeree, the person receiving the offer, who makes an acceptance but materially alters the terms of the offer in his/ her acceptance, is actually making a new offer.
Article 30 defines a material change as a change in the subject matter, quantity, quality, price or remuneration, time, place and method of performance, liabilities for breach of contract or method of dispute resolution.
Most people will realize when the price or quality clause changes. But, when you are sending and receiving purchase orders, pay close attention to any changes affecting the forgoing sections of the contract. Just when you thought your contract was accepted, a change in the shipment date, now may have just made what you thought was an acceptance, a counter offer. Furthermore, if this little change in the date made the “acceptance” a counter offer, and you agreed to the counteroffer, you may have signed up to something you didn’t plan on.