Internet Law and Policy in the People's Republic of China

Dan Jerker B. Svantesson

Abstract

With a population of approximately 1.3 billion people, the People’s Republic of
China (“PRC”) has more citizens than any other state in the world. That fact,
combined with the PRC Government‘s encouragement of Internet use, make it
reasonable to suggest that the PRC is emerging as a major participant in the global
use of the Internet. The potential of the PRC as a future market is augmented by the
increasing strength of the PRC’s economy. Currently the PRC is the fastest
growing economy in Asia. Indeed, the rapid development of the Chinese economy is
unprecedented in modern history. Further, there is currently a certain degree of
fear about the impact that the PRC’s restrictions on freedom of expression might
have on the Internet.
  It is against this background that this paper provides a ‘snapshot’ of some
interesting aspects of Internet law and policy in the People’s Republic of China.
Particular attention is given to the extraterritorial reach of the PRC’s regulation.
More specifically, it examines the circumstances under which the PRC courts may
claim jurisdiction over a foreign website in relation to contracts and defamation.

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