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Chinese translation agency asking for Passport/ID number
Thread poster: briski

briski  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:46
Italian to French
+ ...
Apr 16, 2008

Hello,
I know that this topic has been already asked, but haven't found anything for Chinese agencies.

I have answered to a job offer posted on proz, they sent me a translation test (one into my mothertongue, the other into English and they have explained me why) and at the end of the email they also write that before starting cooperation with them, as I am a formal freelance translator, they need a copy of my ID/passport.
Shouldn't the VAT number be enough to show that I am a professional translator and pay taxes?
I deal with many foreign agencies (although none in China) but none have ever asked me a scanned copy of my passport...

Can someone advise or share experience? Is this normal? I am a bit concerned about it....
Thanks!


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Faruk Atabeyli  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:46
Member (2009)
English to Turkish
+ ...
I would not Apr 16, 2008

Requesting passport number or any other personal information always rings the alarm bells with me. I immediately suspect identity theft. I may have received too many Nigerian 419 scams but better safe than sorry.

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briski  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:46
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
BB Apr 16, 2008

Tha agency has BB entries, 3 to be be exact, and they are all very positive.
That's why I sent them my CV...eventhough in the offer, thay had alreday written they wanted a copy of the passport/ID.
Maybe in China this is a normal procedure...


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 06:46
English to Russian
~ Apr 16, 2008

briski wrote:

I have answered to a job offer posted on proz, they sent me a translation test (one into my mothertongue, the other into English and they have explained me why) and at the end of the email they also write that before starting cooperation with them, as I am a formal freelance translator, they need a copy of my ID/passport.

Can someone advise or share experience? Is this normal? I am a bit concerned about it....
Thanks!


I do know what agency you are talking about: I have also contacted them.

I agreed to send them a copy of my scanned ID/passport as soon as I get the first job from them but I refused to do their tests (and it was an absolutely correct decision as it turned out that the rates they offer are lower than mine).


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:46
English to Polish
Didn't happen to me Apr 16, 2008

I work for many Chinese/Taiwanese/HK agencies and don't remember being ever asked for a passport copy. So this surely isn't typical Chinese requirement. And I can't imagine why they would need that for?


Anni


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 06:46
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
no need for that passport Apr 19, 2008

briski wrote:

Hello,
I know that this topic has been already asked, but haven't found anything for Chinese agencies.

I have answered to a job offer posted on proz, they sent me a translation test (one into my mothertongue, the other into English and they have explained me why) and at the end of the email they also write that before starting cooperation with them, as I am a formal freelance translator, they need a copy of my ID/passport.
Shouldn't the VAT number be enough to show that I am a professional translator and pay taxes?
I deal with many foreign agencies (although none in China) but none have ever asked me a scanned copy of my passport...

Can someone advise or share experience? Is this normal? I am a bit concerned about it....
Thanks!


I deal with a dozen of agencies from China and they NEVER EVER asked passport copies nor anything else data except for the data that was on invoices. What they need that passport copy for? Passport data is SENSITIVE personal information and I think it should not be given to anyone "from the Internet". Esp. when such info is not needed for agency-translator cooperation.


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lbone  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 11:46
English to Chinese
+ ...
No Apr 20, 2008

briski wrote:

Tha agency has BB entries, 3 to be be exact, and they are all very positive.
That's why I sent them my CV...eventhough in the offer, thay had alreday written they wanted a copy of the passport/ID.
Maybe in China this is a normal procedure...


This is not a normal procedure in China.

Formal agencies in China usually would request
1) a short test
2) background introduction in the form of CV or just a short descriptioin
3) contact information

But SELDOM (not never) such things as ID or passport. One company asked me for my ID, I refused, and they kept working with me without mentioning that again. Their explanation was they would list me as their employee and they need the ID to transfer fund to my account from their company account in the way of employer paying employee. I am sure at least 95% Chinese agencies do not need it.


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:46
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Same here Apr 25, 2008

- I think it's the same agency.

I did their test, and we are now discussing rates, because they are too low.

My passport has expired, but they would still like a copy of it, they say it's to check that I am actually a native speaker of Danish. Could you perhaps erase the passport no. before you send it to them?

I googled them and all I could find is that they are VERY active in trying to recruit - I guess because they don't pay very well. I have had a nice correspondance with them and I think they are genuine - just different


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Liangjun Gu
Local time: 11:46
Chinese to English
+ ...
not normal Apr 26, 2008

I dont think such request necessarily means cheating, but it seems not a regular way to do so.

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Allesklar  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 13:16
English to German
+ ...
my 2 cents Apr 27, 2008

One funny thing about Asian agencies is that western clients contact them, because they expect cheaper rates. The Asian agencies however are drawing on the same pool of translators as all the others, because there aren't that many native speakers of western languages in their countries. In the end you are a western translator, working for a western end client at Asian rates. That's globalisation for you

Still, I did a couple of jobs for some Chinese agencies when I started out, just to get some experience. They didn't ask me for my passport or anything and they did pay, but there were always some hassles with every job, such as small changes to the source text which they wanted me to translate for free, the asked me to "proofread" machine translations at even more ridiculous rates, source texts would contain some totally incomprehensible Chinglish etc.

So when I get contacted by Asian agencies, I offer them the same rates as everyone else and don't hear from them again, but I haven't looked back.


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 06:46
English to Russian
~ Apr 27, 2008

Allesklar wrote:

there were always some hassles with every job

So when I get contacted by Asian agencies, I offer them the same rates as everyone else


So do I. Sometimes a bit higher because of the mentioned usual hassles...


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