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Starting May 1, Your WeChat History Can Be Used As Evidence In Court
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From May 1st, 2020, more types of electronic data will officially become admissible as forms of evidence in Chinese courts.
The decision of the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China regarding evidence in civil litigation promulgated on December 26, 2019, will come into force on May 1, 2020. The decision further refines and expands the scope of electronic data.
The Supreme People’s Court newly amended provisions on evidence in civil litigation, details the types of electronic data, including five categories and various forms:
(1) Information published by web pages, blogs, microblogs, and other network platforms;
(2) Communication information of network application services such as SMS, e-mail, instant messaging and communication groups;
(3) User registration information, identity authentication information, electronic transaction record, communication record, login log, and other information;
(4) Documents, pictures, audio, video, digital certificates, computer programs, and other electronic documents;
(5) Other information that can prove the facts of the case stored, processed, and transmitted in digital form.
This means that, from May 1, the above electronic data can be formally entered as evidence in court.
How to Save Electronic Data as Evidence
There are some important things to pay attention to when planning to save electronic data as evidence.
Screenshots of WeChat transfers have been rejected in courts.
Zhang Bo, a lawyer of Henan Jichun law firm, said that “The provisions on evidence in civil litigation are clear. If the parties take electronic data as evidence, they shall provide the original. A copy made by the producer of electronic data that is consistent with the original, or a printed copy or other output mediums that can be displayed and identified directly from the electronic data, shall be deemed as the original of the electronic data.” Zhang Bo said, for example, whether WeChat records can be used as evidence in the court depends on two premises.
The first is to be able to prove that the user of WeChat is both parties because WeChat is not a real name system; the second is to ensure the integrity of WeChat records, because WeChat evidence is a life-style segment record, if not complete, it may lead to out of context, and the court will not accept it.
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