Since China is a party to the Hague Convention governing international service of process, but objected to Article 10 of that convention, service of process on residents of China may not be made by mail, but only by service on the designated central Chinese agency for service of process which then serves the papers in accordance with Chinese local law. Parties may not alter these treaty rights and obligations by contract. So even though the parties’ contract called for service by mail, such service on the Chinese defendant was ineffective and the ensuing default judgment against it was void and could be set aside at any time. The judgment was void even if the defendant had obtained actual notice of the suit by means of the improper service by mail.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 3 (Edmon, P.J.); June 1, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 515