Judicial services for foreign businesses improved

Chinese courts concluded 15,000 foreign-related civil and commercial cases of first instance in 2018, a work report of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) said yesterday.

The SPC set up international commercial courts in the cities of Shenzhen and Xi’an last year, among other measures, to serve the Belt and Road Initiative and the all-round opening up, said the report, which is under review at the ongoing session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature.

Citing an example, the report said the Hangzhou Internet Court in August adjudicated a copyright infringement case and ordered two offending Chinese companies to compensate for the economic loss of British animation “Peppa Pig” character’s copyright owners.

According to the report, Chinese courts concluded 28,000 graft cases involving embezzlement, bribery and dereliction of duty last year. Among the 33,000 people involved were 18 former officials at the provincial level and above. Meanwhile, 32 such former high-ranking officials, including Sun Zhengcai and Wang Sanyun, were charged.

Sun is the former Party chief of Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, who was sentenced to life in prison in May for taking bribes of over 170 million yuan (US$25.29 million), while Wang, former Party chief of Gansu Province, stood trial in October, accused of using his position for bribe-taking.

A total of 2,466 people who offered bribes were convicted last year.

The courts also targeted corruption among their own ranks in 2018, with 1,064 court staff investigated and punished for abusing the power of their positions.

Making headway in the campaign to combat organized crime and root out local mafia, Chinese courts concluded 5,489 related cases in 2018, which involved 29,000 criminals.

Strengthening intellectual property protection, Chinese courts concluded 288,000 cases related to intellectual property rights (IPR) of first instance in 2018, marking a year-on-year increase of 41.8 percent.

A tribunal for IPR-related cases was set up at the SPC last year to further strengthen the judicial protection of IPR.

More efforts were put into the construction of the intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as 19 tribunals for IPR-related cases to improve the legal environment for technological innovation, it said. (Xinhua)