Authors: Zehua Tian
Abstract: Nowadays, electronic commerce develops rapidly with the motivation of advanced Information and Communication Technology. At the same time, the electronic commercial disputes bring challenges to traditional consumer protection system, since their intent to ask for remedies is influenced by long distance and small claims. However, online dispute resolution, as a burgeoning dispute resolution mechanism, has good effectiveness to resolve electronic commercial disputes, and is a better choice for consumers to protect their interests. Through analyzing the status quo of electronic commerce and online dispute resolution, this paper aimed at giving several useful suggestions on the further improvement of online dispute resolution, especially in the aspect of consumer protection. After analyzing national electronic commerce and cross-border one separately, this paper put forward that online dispute resolution is the best method to resolve electronic commercial disputes. Furthermore, the advantages and imperfections of relevant systems in different countries and regions are introduced and analyzed as well. CyberSettle, SquareTrade and Smarsettle are three successful examples. In China, Taobao represents the current development stage of online dispute resolution. Based on a comparative study, the paper pointed out that the special conditions of China will influence the further development of Chinese online dispute resolution specifically. At last, the paper concluded that the convergence of governmental regulation and self-regulation was the best model to develop online dispute resolution. And a four-step dispute resolution process of electronic commercial disputes needed to be established.
Keywords: Online Dispute Resolution; Electronic Commerce; Consumer Protection; Governmental Intervention