The Hangzhou Court of the Internet—said to be to first internet court in the world—officially went into operation today. The court was launched in June and plans to accept filings electronically and try cases via live stream. Its main task is to handle the rising number of online disputes, including copyrights, purchases, defamation, contracts, and loans.
The Hangzhou cyber court will have jurisdiction over certain online and e-commerce related cases in the Hangzhou area and will use an online platform that allows people to file cases and attend trials, according to China Law Blog.
Hangzhou was chosen because it is the home of many internet companies, including Alibaba. In recent years, the city has seen a surge of e-commerce related cases and has decided to run a pilot program for disputes coming from the online sphere in 2015.
In June, the court in Hangzhou issued a landmark prison sentence for fake reviews on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao. The accused was sentenced to 5 years and 9 months and fined RMB 920,000 for setting up a platform that enabled online merchants to pay for fake buyers who would purchase empty packages and leave positive reviews. Other suspects of this offense, also known as “brushing,” have been brought to court since then.