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How do Chinese internet courts work?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2019 | Intellectual Property

As technology advances, it has quickly become a cornerstone for many businesses. Big tech companies, like Apple, create new tech products every year. Others, like Amazon, primarily conduct all of their business online. 

In response to the increase of business’ internet components, China established online courts to handle the legal issues that arise in this area of business.

Internet courts are a fairly new development—and unique to China

China introduced internet courts in 2017. So far, there are only three courts that can be found in:

  • Hangzhou
  • Guangzhou
  • Beijing

These courts only have jurisdiction in these three regions. Therefore, these new courts are not yet widespread.

However, China Daily reports that the number of online business disputes has surged in the last few years. If this trend continues, it is likely that there will be more internet courts in the future. That is why it is critical for business owners operating in China to learn more about these internet courts.

How do these courts work?

These courts are specifically dedicated to handling internet-related disputes. The vast majority of the cases these courts handle involve intellectual property infringement or disputes on the internet. They also handle matters such as:

  • Internet service contracts
  • Online domain names and ownership
  • Financial matters conducted online, such as online sales

In addition to resolving internet disputes, these courts also conduct litigation and all legal processes entirely online. Both parties submit their evidence online, including any financial documents and contracts. And the court also conducts all hearings online, for the most part. 

What does this mean for U.S. companies in China?

U.S. companies in China must be prepared if they face business or intellectual property disputes involving online components. These courts are designed to move cases along quickly—with most hearings lasting less than an hour. 

As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, Chinese courts greatly favor documented evidence. And the fast-pace of these courts demands efficiency. Therefore, companies with significant technological elements must maintain organized records and take the time to understand the laws and processes surrounding Chinese internet courts.