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SPC Issues Juridical Interpretation on Online Consumer Disputes

Tue, 29 Mar 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 1 March 2022, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued “Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Hearing Cases Involving Online Consumer Disputes (I)” (hereinafter “the Provisions”, 关于审理网络消费纠纷案件适用法律若干问题的规定(一)), with effect from 15 March 2022.

The Provisions incorporates 20 articles, mainly regulating online consumption contracts, liabilities in live-streaming marketing, and takeaway catering services. The key points are as follows.

1. Regulating standard clauses of online consumption contracts

Article 1 of the Provisions lists commonly-seen standard clauses unfair or unreasonable to consumers and declares them invalid. Such clauses include, “signing for the receipt of goods representing by default the goods have acceptable quality” and “the business operators’ unilateral interpretation, or the final interpretation, of the contract terms.”

2. Clarifying the responsibility of e-commerce platforms

E-commerce platforms shall bear the responsibility as the product seller or service provider when conducting self-operated business. This responsibility also applies to the situation when the e-commerce platform is not de facto a self-operated business but its trademark is sufficient to mislead consumers to believe that it is self-operated.  

3. Clarifying the liability in live-streaming marketing

When the employees of a business operator conduct false advertising or other conduct causing damages to consumers, the people’s court shall support the consumers’ claim that the business operator on the e-commerce platforms is liable to compensate for such damages.



Cover Photo by Kaiwen Zhao on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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