The case of the day is Fourte International Ltd. BVI v. Pin Shine Industrial Co. (S.D. Cal. 2019). Fourte brought an action against Suzhou Pinshine Technology Co., Suzhou Sunshine Technology Co., Ltd., and Pin Shine Industrial Co., and Bobbin & Tooling Electronics International Company of BVI. It sought leave to serve Suzhou Pinshine and Suzhou Sunshine, both Chinese firms, via email. Foutre noted that that the central authority would refuse to serve the documents because they referenced Taiwan, which of course the PRC does not recognize. It also sought leave to serve Pin Shine, a Taiwanese company, by email.

The court granted the motion as to defendants in both countries. The decision was permissible with regard to the Taiwanese defendant, because Taiwan is not a party to the Hague Service Convention. FRCP 4(f)(3) does not permit a court to authorize a method of service that violates a treaty, but it does permit a court to authorize a method of service that violates the local law of the place where service is to be made. But the decision was erroneous with regard to the Chinese defendants, for the reasons I have given many times before.