ABSTRACT Service is a very important system in civil action. It runs through civil proceedings and has significant effect on the whole process of civil action. The current service of civil procedure law in China focuses on the ex officio doctrine. Its main purpose is to protect the course of litigation rather than the parties’ procedural interests. In judicial practice, “difficult service” is still a problem which troubles courts at all levels. This article analyses the current status of civil-service system in China and proposes a reform-oriented service system in the country.