How to make legal documents via voice recognition technology and how to reach online settlements on e-commerce disputes were among topics discussed at a meeting on mediation held Tuesday in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.
At the International Summit on Mediation, sponsored by China Council For The Promotion of International Trade, more than 400 legal experts and online firms from over 10 countries and regions agreed that the boom in e-commerce globally requires better online mediation and settlement services.
"Online mediation and settlement suits the e-commerce era, and can greatly improve work efficiency and lower the cost of legal procedures," Peter Phillips, director of U.S. firm Business Conflict Management LLC said.
Compared to conventional trade, many e-commerce businesses are smaller in scale and more likely to have business disputes, according to Yang Peng, a service director from Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.
"Alibaba's online platforms have provided dispute appeal, mediation and settlement services for all contracted parties," he said.
Alibaba is based in Hangzhou, China's e-commerce hub. The city has 60 million registered international e-commerce businesses.
In the first half of this year, Hangzhou recorded 4.4 billion U.S. dollars in cross-border e-trade, up 20.85 percent year on year.
The number of e-commerce cases makes up less than 0.2 percent of all cases handled by Hangzhou's West Lake District People's Court, but that number is growing, said Chen Liaomin, deputy director of the court.
China inaugurated the country's first Internet court in Hangzhou in August, which specializes in handling Internet-related cases such as disputes concerning e-commerce trade, Internet finance, copyright of online publications and personal rights.
Wang Jiangqiao, deputy head of the Internet court, gave a briefing of the court's functions at the forum and said that legal procedures can be initiated via the court's website www.netcourt.org.cn.
He said for e-commerce disputes, the court requires three rounds of mediation before beginning judicial proceedings. Mediation can occur either via online and offline channels.
(Xinhua News Agency, September 20, 2017)