China’s first “Internet court” opened in the eastern city of Hangzhou to deal specifically with cyberspace-related cases.
The Hangzhou Internet Court will hear lawsuits in seven categories, including cases related to online shopping and copyright disputes. Cases will also be processed entirely online.
Chen Guomeng, president of Zhejiang Province’s Higher People’s Court, said that all Internet-related cases will gradually be separated from the existing judicial system and dealt with exclusively by the new court.
Hangzhou is one of China’s principal tech hubs and is home to many of the country’s major Internet companies, including Alibaba and NetEase.
The city’s court system already deals with a growing number of e-business lawsuits. In 2013, the courts heard around 600 such cases, compared with more than 10,000 last year.
“The founding of the Internet Court is aimed at better dealing with the changes in people’s lives brought about by the Internet,” Professor Xie Yongjiang from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications told CGTN.
“The Court makes full use of advanced information technologies to break temporal and spatial constraints and improve the efficiency of rulings,” he said.
The court’s establishment comes as China ramps up efforts to combat cybercrime.
On June 1, the country’s first Cybersecurity Law came into force, primarily aimed at preventing Internet service providers from collecting and selling users’ personal information.
The Hangzhou Internet Court also opened in the same week as an emergency response plan to better tackle online security incidents was released by the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs.
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily