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My fiancé was a fraud (4)

(Xinhua)

08:57, October 28, 2011

Social impact

Zhou Mi believes the case has serious implications. "This could affect society very negatively and cases of identity fraud will thrive. Jiayuan.com is regarded as a leader in this industry. It was not punished by the legal system. This gives a positive signal to smaller online dating service providers, who can be more active in the market in the future without worrying about potential legal problems," Zhou said.

The chairman of the Shanghai Matchmaking Administration, Zhou Juemin, agrees with the lawyer, saying that the reasoning behind the legal argument is similar to the ongoing furor about helping an elderly person, who has tripped and fallen to the ground – many Chinese now fear they will be held to blame for the fall if they help. "This ruling suggests consumers will probably lose any cases like this. An organization as powerful as Jiayuan.com will certainly have good connections with important people. However our association will assume the responsibility of regulating this market in Shanghai from now on," Zhou Juemin told the Global Times.

She said while all Chinese dating agencies with physical locations are administered by civil affairs authorities, there are so far no laws or regulations covering Internet matchmaking. There was a proposal this year that would require Internet dating agencies to register with authorities, and that online matchmakers would have to acquire relevant certificates. The proposal insists the identities of users should be checked.

"We are not only targeting Internet companies that are registered with Shanghai's commercial and industrial authorities, but all those that have clients in the city," Zhou Juemin said.

The proposal was drawn up by the Shanghai Matchmaking Administration, the Shanghai Information Services Association, the Shanghai Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center and the Organizing Committee of the Shanghai Major Business Creation Group.

"We are trying to regulate instead of cracking down on Internet dating agencies," Zhou Juemin told the Global Times. "We've arranged Web patrollers, who can detect if there are any illegal practices. They'll communicate with the Illegal Information Reporting Center if anything illegal is found. The company involved could then be published on the website of the Shanghai Major Business Creation Group. Finally we would close the IP address of the website in Shanghai and stop its regional operations." She said that regulations covering the country's Internet dating services are being considered, but there was no specific timetable for when they would be formally promulgated.


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