Research: Legal regulation of Internet intermediaries in China

A grant of £78K from AHRC/Newton Fund has been awarded to Dr Lingling Wei to carry out a one-year project on Regulating Internet Intermediaries in China: Legal and Empirical Evidence for Better Policy Making. The fund is managed by the AHRC Centre for Digital Copyright and IP Research in China.

A team of CIPPM researchers led by Dr Wei (comprising Professor Maurizio Borghi, Dr Fabian Homberg and Dr Marcella Favale) will work in conjunction with researchers from the University of Chinese Academy of Science to collect evidence on current practices and possible approaches to online enforcement of intellectual property rights in China. The research will inform policy making on effective and fair mechanisms to address intermediaries liability.

Regulating internet intermediaries is a pressing issue of the digital economy worldwide. China faces this challenge, in particular, in view of its flourishing e-commerce and creative entertainment industry. The project aims at providing legal and empirical evidence on how to strike the right balance between the seemingly conflict goals of protecting Intellectual property rights, consumer welfare and internet based business innovation. The project involves some of the ‘big players’ of the Chinese internet industry such as BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent), the Chinese governmental agencies (trade mark office and Copyright Administration of China) and consumer watchdogs. Dr Wei will start her fieldwork in China this month.