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Thursday, July 2, 2015, 10:47

Justice comes to virtual world

By Meng Jing And Caoyin

Sesame Credit Management, a consumer credit agency backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has teamed up with China's top court to pressure people to comply with court verdicts.

Sesame Credit, a business unit under Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co, the parent company of China's largest e-payment tool Alipay, said in a statement on Tuesday that it has connected with the Supreme People's Court's database, which contains a real-time blacklist of those who flout court verdicts, including debtors.

Those on the blacklist will not only see their Sesame credit score reduced but also find that they are banned from buying high-priced items online across Alibaba's e-commerce platforms including Taobao and Tmall.

The top court, which released a blacklist of dishonest debtors in November 2013, has already cooperated with several banks and transportation authorities to prevent people on the blacklist from applying for credit cards and loans or traveling by air, high-speed trains or first-class sections on ships and ordinary trains in a bid to get them to obey judgments.

Sesame Credit is the first Internet-based company that the Supreme People's Court has agreed to cooperate with.

Liu Tao, from the top court's verdict implementation department, told China Daily that the idea is to ban high-end spending by such debtors.

"The goal is to further push those on the blacklist to obey court verdicts," she said.

More than 700,000 people were on the blacklist of the top court as of December 2014.

Liu Honghui, a Beijing-based lawyer, said: "The Internet is a major buying channel in today's China, and if a debtor is buying luxury goods online, that means they can afford their debts."

Liu said it is also reasonable that the restrictions only apply to luxury items. "We also have to ensure that debtors can have what they need to live," he added.

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