Legal procedures for international online shopping to be clarified

(      Updated : 2022-12-28



Legal procedures for dealing with consumption disputes involving foreign elements will be clarified, in a bid to face rapidly growing international online shopping and provide stronger protection for consumers.

The clarification on jurisdiction has been added in a draft revision to the Civil Procedure Law, which was submitted to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on Tuesday for review.

In the draft amendment, if a consumer has a dispute with sellers from other countries and decides to sue them, the court where the consumer is located will be allowed to accept the lawsuit.

Additionally, it allows Chinese courts to use instant messaging tools or electric systems to deliver ruling to foreign litigants, so as to meet the urgent demand of both sides in lawsuits by improving the delivery efficiency.

The revision mainly focuses on civil procedures of handling cases involving foreign elements, as China has seen fast development of foreign exchange reserves, global trade in goods and outward foreign direct investment over the past few years, according to Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, the nation's top court.

"As our country's high-level opening-up has been constantly advanced, courts nationwide have witnessed a rising number of civil disputes related to foreign elements, covering more than 100 countries and regions around the world," he said while explaining the revision to lawmakers on Tuesday.

"To provide more efficient and convenient legal services to foreign litigants and to safeguard the country's sovereignty, security and development interests, it's essential to further improve the Civil Procedure Law," he added.

The current law was passed by the top legislature in 1991. Before the latest amendment, it had been revised four times, respectively in 2007, 2012, 2017 and last year.