“If the law were society’s operating system, then China is getting a revolutionary and unprecedented upgrade,” writes Sebastian Ko, co-founder of DHB Global, a firm that specialises in biotech commercialisation and regtech. 

His informative post ‘5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom‘ at the World Economic Forum blog asserts that China leads the world in state-backed online dispute resolution. Lawtech adoption is occurring at the same time as a huge increase in the use of the legal system. For example, “the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) has live-streamed over 2 million trials.”

“The NBSC reported that nearly 23 million court cases were registered nationwide in 2017 (many of them settled before trial). By comparison, about 5.6 million cases were registered in 2007 … [and] demand for legal services should increase exponentially over the next five years.”

“The modern Chinese legal profession is about 30 years old. It has a relatively short history of legal professional customs and norms when compared with other major economies. In this environment, many attorneys are emboldened to quickly embrace technology to gain competitive edge, intensifying entrepreneurship and innovation.”

“Chinese people are highly accustomed to conducting virtually all aspects of their daily lives on smartphones; indeed they outright expect to. The Chinese and African markets co-lead the world in mobile payment adoption. A recent search on Apple’s App Store for “legal service” yielded over 40 apps providing legal advice online and connection to lawyers. The same search on the WeChat’s App Store yielded around 20 apps. Many of these apps were developed to market specific firms, establish lawyer marketplaces and “Uber for legal services” platforms. It is unsurprising that legal services are popularly made available online and via mobile app to offer Chinese people the same kind of low-cost and time-saving convenience they would expect of other services.”

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