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My fiancé was a fraud (3)

(Xinhua)

08:57, October 28, 2011

Legal controversy

Liu Qing wanted the website agency to refund its 500 yuan fee, and pay 20,000 yuan for emotional damages and another 10,000 yuan for the financial losses she suffered during the relationship with that man. Last but not least, she wanted an apology from the agency.

But when the verdict was announced last month, the court rejected all of Liu's claims. The key issue for the case, according to lawyer Zhou Mi, was the nature of Jiayuan.com. Liu believed that it was operating as an online dating agency.

"As a dating agency, it should not fabricate rumors and spread these to its clients. Second, it's obliged to remove misinformation," Zhou said.

But in court Jiayuan.com argued that its legal identity was as an information-providing platform. When approached by the Global Times, the website responded that it had registered with the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce in 2004 as an Internet information service provider. It provides services involving technological consulting, commodity information, as well as assistance with weddings and exhibitions.

"Jiayuan.com has been popular for people looking to get married. But it is essentially an information platform and not a matchmaking agency," said Ren Jianan, head of public relations at Jiayuan.com.

When users register with the website, they must sign an agreement, which includes the acknowledgement that "Jiayuan.com has applied all measures possible to check the authenticity of the photos, information and credentials that users upload but cannot guarantee their accuracy, legality and reliability."

The court recognized the website's status as an information platform and noted that the authenticity clause was printed in bold type, and therefore ruled against the woman.

Spokesman Ren Jianan told the Global Times that they accepted the court's verdict and said that the legal rights of Jiayuan.com had been properly protected.

However Zhou Mi, said the website's argument was ironic because it has been advertising itself as China's largest online matchmaker and the website's founder, Gong Haiyan, was one of the leading draftsmen for the National Standards on Matchmaking Services, which came into law on December 1, 2009.

Liu Qing was not happy with the outcome. She has lodged an appeal, which was accepted by the court earlier this month. But her lawyer Zhou Mi is not confident about this. "There's no law or national regulation standardizing the practice of Internet matchmaking websites. The verdict depends on the judge."

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】

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