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Blockchain to improve consumer protection in cross-border e-commerce

By Zhao Tong (People's Daily Online)    17:49, November 21, 2019

The China Silk Road Group, China Academy of Science and Technology for Development and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)organized a seminar on the Blockchain-based Online Dispute Resolution (BODR) in Beijing on Nov. 20, soliciting opinions on how blockchain technology can be utilized to improve consumer protection in cross-border e-commerce.

The seminar was attended by experts, scholars and business insiders from fields including science and technology, law, insurance and e-commerce.

With the continuous development of science and technology, cross-border e-commerce is growing rapidly. However, e-commerce is complicated due to its trans-regional, virtual, and autonomous characteristics, which lacks a simple and efficient dispute resolution mechanism to protect the rights and interests of cross-border e-commerce consumers affected by different laws, policies and cultures in different countries.

Yan Lijin, chairman of China Silk Road Group, delivers his remarks during the seminar in Beijing on Nov. 20, 2019. (Photo/Bai Yujie)

Yan Lijin, chairman of the China Silk Road Group, said that through discussions with the UN, they found that blockchain technology may be an effective way to resolve cross-border e-commerce disputes online.

He also emphasized that developing an online disputes resolution mechanism would boost the next generation of global e-commerce digital economy, setting international rules which didn't exist before.

Teresa Moreira, head of the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch, Division on the International Trade and Commodities, UNCTAD, echoed Yan’s point, noting that the project was a huge achievement.

Teresa Moreira, Head of Competition and Consumer Policies Branch, Division on the International Trade and Commodities, UNCTAD, delivers her remarks during the seminar in Beijing on Nov. 20, 2019. (People’s Daily Online/Zhao Tong)

“This will be very significant. For us, it is our first big project in the field of consumer protection, especially in the context of the digital economy,” Moreira said.

The project’s core team under the Silk Road Group introduced the current status of the BODR project to participating experts, explaining everything from the overall project structure, autonomous and controllable technology base and implementation methods.

The China Silk Road Group, China Academy of Science and Technology for Development and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) organize a seminar on the Blockchain-based Online Dispute Resolution (BODR) in Beijing on Nov. 20. (Photo/Bai Yujie)

Experts in attendance agreed that the BODR project is a landmark international cooperation technology project of the Belt and Road Initiative. Once implemented, it will promote the development of global cross-border e-commerce and promote China's deeper participation in international trade cooperation.

This conference marks the first time that the BODR project has asked for the opinions of the whole industry in the form of a seminar. It also reflects that the BODR project wishes to gather all possible legal, policy, technical and commercial resources to jointly promote the welfare of all human beings.

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(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Du Mingming)

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