China’s first “cyber court” was launched on Friday to settle online disputes, as the legal system attempts to keep up with the explosion of mobile payment and e-commerce.
Residents of the eastern city of Hangzhou — home to e-commerce giant Alibaba — can now register their Internet-related civil complaints online and wait to log onto to their trial via video chat.
The cyber court will “offer regular people an efficient, low-cost solution to these new kinds of disputes that take place on the internet,” Du Qian, the cyber-court chief justice, told the official Supreme People’s Court news agency.
The court will handle cases such as online trade disputes, copyright lawsuits, and product liability claims for online purchases.
China is home to the world’s largest number of internet users — 731 million at the end of last year — and e-commerce is a vital part of the government’s efforts to turn China into a consumer demand-driven economy.