From 26 to 30 June 2017, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme and the Department of Treaty and Law at the Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) held the annual training course on commercial law.
The course was attended by 50 officials representing all of the Ministry’s departments. Upon completion, the participants were able to pass on what they had learned to their colleagues, thus producing a multiplier effect. The goal of the course was to inform participants about current developments in Chinese, German and European civil and commercial law. The main topics this year were data protection, the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence, consumer protection in online retailing, the new General Section of China’s Civil Code and the Chinese system of regulating competition. Each topic included presentations by an expert from Germany or Hong Kong and by a Chinese expert, who then took part in further in-depth discussions.
The five-day training event was opened by Mr Wang Jianbo, Director of the Department of Treaty and Law at the Ministry of Commerce, and Dr Marco Haase, Deputy Manager of GIZ’s Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme in Beijing. Dr Eike Frenzel, lecturer at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, and Mr Cui Congcong, Deputy Director of the Institute of Internet Governance and Law at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, gave talks on data protection in the EU and China. The participants also discussed the legal opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence with Dr Frenzel and with Ms Liu Ying, who lectures at the Institute of Intellectual Property of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Mr Zhuang Xiaoyong (Director of the Second Division of Civil Law of the Legislative Affairs Commission) and Dr Haase gave an introduction to the new General Section of the Chinese Civil Code. Dr Enno Ruppert, legal advisor at GIZ’s Quality Infrastructure Project in Beijing, and Professor Xue Hong of the Law School of Beijing Normal University, outlined the market supervision and consumer protection mechanisms that govern online trading in Germany, Europe and China. On the last day of the course, Dr Cai Junfeng, Deputy Director of MofCom’s Anti-monopoly Bureau, gave a talk on China’s new system for regulating competition. Mr Stephen Crosswell and Mr Tom Jenkins, both lawyers with Baker McKenzie LLP in Hong Kong, reported on new developments in EU competition law and compared China’s new regulatory system to European competition policy.