China's third internet court opens in Guangzhou
China opened its third internet court, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Friday to help deal with the rising number of disputes and problems caused by society's ever-growing reliance on cyberspace.
The Guangzhou Internet Court will mainly handle internet and intellectual property rights cases, such as disputes related to e-commerce contracts, online copyright issues and online loans, the Supreme People's Court said in a statement.
Appeals against IPR rulings by the court's 13 judges will be able to be lodged at the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court, it said, while appeals in other cases will be dealt with by the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.
Litigants will have access to more efficient and faster legal services in the court, it said. They will be able to follow their lawsuits via the court's website and attend case hearings online, and judges will be able to communicate with them and review evidence through online platforms including a website, smartphone application and WeChat.
The first internet court was established in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in August last year, while the second opened in Beijing earlier this month.
The key feature of such courts is that litigants can deal with their lawsuits entirely online. They are not required to attend court in person at any point from the filing of their case to the hearing.
Such courts aim to deal with the growing number of internet-related disputes across the country, and to explore how to solve them using advanced technology.