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China Revises Criminal Procedure Rules on Cybercrimes

Mon, 10 Oct 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 30 Aug. 2022, China’s Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Ministry of Public Security jointly issued the “Opinions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Criminal Procedures in Handling Information Network Crime” (关于办理信息网络犯罪案件适用刑事诉讼程序若干问题的意见, hereinafter referred to as the “2022 Opinions”).

As early as 2014, the departments mentioned above jointly issued the “Opinions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Criminal Procedures in Handling Cybercrime” (关于办理网络犯罪案件适用刑事诉讼程序若干问题的意见), which provided for some issues of cybercrime cases, including the scope and jurisdictional agency of cybercrime, as well as the preliminary investigation, cross-regional gathering of evidence, and collection and examination of electronic data in criminal procedure.

This time, the 2022 Opinions further clarifies the rules of this criminal procedure.

The “information network cases”, also known as “cybercrimes cases”, as defined by the 2022 Opinions involve:
(1) jeopardizing the security of computer information systems;
(2) refusing to fulfill the obligation of information network security management, unlawful exploitation of information network, or aiding and abetting information network crime; or
(3) fraud, gambling, and personal information infringement committed mainly via information networks.

Nowadays, victims and offenders of cybercrime are scattered across the country, spawning a jurisdictional dilemma for China’s law enforcement agencies. The 2020 Opinions was issued to resolve this dilemma.

From 2017 to 2021, it is reported that Chinese courts concluded a total of more than 282, 000 information network crime cases at first instance, among which fraud cases took the highest proportion at 36.53%, followed by the crime of aiding and abetting information network crime at 23.76%.

In addition, during this period (2017-2021), over 660,000 defendants were involved in information network crime in China, averaging 2.4 defendants per case. Among these cases, crimes committed jointly by three or more offenders accounted for 9.5%.



Photo by Liu Hyory on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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