Supreme Court Supports Chinese Parents Seeking Reimbursement for Gaming Fees Paid by Kids Online

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Judges from the China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) have said that the judicial authority will support efforts by parents to obtain reimbursements for payments made to online gaming companies by their children without permission during the COVID-19 lockdown.

At a press conference held on 19 May Lin Wenxue (林文学), a first-tier senior judge with the SPC, highlighted efforts by Chinese courts of law to “resolve real problems encountered by members of the public and market actors affected by [COVID-19].”

On the same date SPC issued the “Guidance Opinions Concerning Lawfully and Appropriately Reviewing Civil Cases (II)” (关于依法妥善审理涉新冠肺炎疫情民事案件的指导意见(二)), to help deal with the issue of enterprises and members of the public being unable to promptly execute contracts as a result of COVID-19.

“In accordance with the unique features of transaction contracts the Guidance Opinions contain provisions that in general mandate the prudent use of the contract cancellation system, and balancing the interests of related parties to the greatest extent via contract amendments,” said Lin.

The Guidance Opinions also contain special provisions for appropriately resolving disputes involving the participation by minors in online gaming as well as online rewards.

Liu Guixiang (刘贵祥), a second-tier judge with the SPC, said that most of the legal disputes involving online rewards and online gaming involved minors using their parents’ Alipay accounts or credit cards to make payments.

“For this reason guardians who seek reimbursement from online companies for payments made by their children should find support from courts of law,” Liu said.

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