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ZHONG LUN LAW FIRM WON TWO NEW CASES FOR AMAZON AND YIHAODIAN

Recently, Zhong Lun Law Firm (China) has won two lawsuits for Amazon and Yihaodian (an online supermarket platform owned by Walmart) in Shanghai, which exemplify the new type of lawsuit that has emerged from the thriving e-commerce space in China in the recent years. Unlike traditional face-to-face transactions, both of these two cases deal with online shopping and involved two core questions in e-commerce – “whether the display of goods on an e-commerce platform constitutes an offer or an invitation to offer” and consequently “whether an online order placed by the customer constitutes an offer or an acceptance.” Ultimately, the Shanghai court ruled that “the display of goods on the e-commerce platform was only an invitation to offer, and the online order was the offer.” The judgments for the two cases show the court’s new tendency to place value on finding a balance between “protection of rights and interests of consumers” and “e-commerce business dealers’ duty of care and cost of error correction”. The court’s judgment allows e-commerce companies to reduce cost, while at the same time provide consumers with more and better goods and services.

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