According to media reports, China has launched a cyber-court to handle internet-related disputes. China’s new cyber-court in the city of Hangzhou (home of Alibaba and NetEase) will hear cases which are e-commerce and internet related. Due to Du Qian, the cyber-court chief justice, the aim of the cyber court is to “offer regular people an efficient, low-cost solution to these new kinds of disputes that take place on the internet.” The court will have the ability to handle all aspects of a case online from beginning to end.
The court will accept filings electronically and try cases via live stream for the following areas of dispute:
- contract disputes arising from online shopping,
- product liability disputes arising from online shopping,
- internet service contract disputes,
- internet copyright infringement disputes, and
- disputes arising from financial loans executed online.
To file a case, plaintiffs must first have their identity verified either through Alipay (Alibaba’s payment service) or by physically showing an ID to a court clerk in Hangzhou. A lawsuit can be filed in five minutes, and that litigating these types of cases online will save time and reduce costs.
Once filed, pre-trial mediation is attempted through internet, phone, or videoconference, and if a resolution is not reached, the suit is formally submitted to the case filing division of the court, which is handled online.