On 1 August, President Zhou Qiang of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) inaugurated the SPC’s new enterprise bankruptcy and reorganization electronic information platform, linked here and accessible through the Supreme People’s Court’s website (www.court.gov.cn). The English title and slogans could have benefited from a 5-minute consultation with a native speaker, but more importantly, some of the functions still appear to be in Beta mode. The platform has three parts.
It provides information for the public on:
- Debtors (债务人信息). :
This function seems to be in Beta mode because when you click further for more details,no further information is available. This section is intended to provide the most recent annual report, related litigation, and information on assets of the company from the industrial and commercial authorities’ database and enable “one-stop shopping” for distressed assets.
Bankruptcy notices, such as this one with a plan on the distribution of the assets of a Xinjiang tomato processing company;
- Bankruptcy rulings made by the local courts, such as this one by the Qidong (Jiangsu) court on accepting the bankruptcy case of a Nantong marine engineering company;
- Laws and regulations (primarily SPC regulations related to bankruptcy);
- Bankruptcy related news, primarily reports on new regulations issued and bankruptcy-related initiatives or conferences, such as this one in Zhejiang, on the crisis in Zhejiang’s ship-building industry);
- Typical (model) bankruptcy and liquidation cases (see an explanation of typical/mode cases here), so far just a re-publication of the typical cases that the SPC issued in June.
Second, bankruptcy administrators are required by these regulations to upload information to issue to parties to the bankruptcy.
Third, judges are required to upload their bankruptcy/liquidation rulings to this platform.
For parties, the platform enables them to have current information on the status of their cases and upload documents to submit to the court or bankruptcy administrator.
The SPC issued regulations on the operation of the platform in late July, available here. It seems likely that the SPC considered the bankruptcy platform of other major jurisdictions in the process. This platform is part of the SPC’s Internet Plus/smart courts policy to provide greater transparency, easier access to information, and “greater informatization,” for some of the reasons described in this short article–particularly having tangible results and promoting the use of information technology.
For anyone seeking to drill down into the details of how bankruptcy and liquidation law is being implemented in China’s political and economic environment, and particularly for lawyers and others doing due diligence and distressed asset investors (domestic or foreign), the platform is unquestionably very useful.