One reader puts forward some questions regarding tort
liability of the on-line BBS owners:
I am interested in the court's decision in Wang Hai Yang
case but do not read Chinese. I note that the case has been
appealed and want to know the court's decision particularly on
the tort liability law and the right to reputation and privacy.
Since the Tort Liability Law came into effect, I want to know if
there had been any changes to the court's interpretation to
right to privacy and right to reputation after Wang Fei case.
For your questions, please see below our reply:
1. Wang Haiyang case;
In Wang Haiyang vs. Hainan Kaidi Network Information Co.,
Ltd. [(2011) guminchuzi. No.399], the first instance court
found that the defendant online BBS owner was subjectively at fault
in refusing to delete online posts of an offensive and libellous
nature regarding the plaintiff despite the plaintiff's various
oral pleas and rendered a decision favorable to the plaintiff by
citing Article 101 of the General Principles of the Civil Law
of the PRC and Sub 2, Article 36 of the Tort Law of the PRC.
However, the court did not address the issue of whether the
defendant was a tortfeasor. It also denied the plaintiff's
Both the plaintiff and the defendant appealed to the Henan
Kaifeng Intermediate People's Court. The appellate court held
that the defendant's refusal to delete the posts in question
without reasonable grounds constituted tortious conduct as against
the plaintiff by infringing the plaintiff's and plaintiff
family's rights of reputation under Article 101 of the
General Principles of the Civil Law of the PRC and Sub 2,
Article 36 of the Tort Law of the PRC. The court ordered
in its decision dated Dec. 19, 2011 that the defendant should make
a formal apology on its website to the plaintiff according to Sub
1, Article 120 of the General Principles of the Civil Law of
the PRC and pay compensatory damages of RMB5,000 to the
plaintiff for emotional distress that he and his family suffered
from the tort, which is calculated based on the standard set by
Article 10 of the Interpretation of the Supreme People's
Court on Several Issues about the Trial of Cases Concerning the
Right of Reputation (1998).
For your reference, the English versions respectively of the
General Principles of the Civil Law of the PRC and the
Tort Law of the PRC can be found at below links:
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