Symposium: A Cyberspace Perspective on Governance, Standards and Control

Electronic Commerce on the Internet: Legal Developments in Taiwan


George C.C. Chen


VOL. XVI • Fall 1997 • NO. 1 (table of contents)

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16 John Marshall J. of Comp. & Info. Law 77


The purpose of this article is to share information about "outstanding legal issues" that Taiwan has experienced in its use of the Internet. It does through five topics. First, the issue of contracts is addressed using the present laws in Taiwan. Contracts are based on an "offer" by one party and "acceptance" of a second party. Digital products displayed on the Internet are said to constitute an offer when it bears a price, but a legal question arises out of how to constitute acceptance. Taiwan law looks to the law of the country where the offer was made to govern the transaction.

Second, Taiwan law ultimately looks to written documentation for evidence. Under Taiwan law, at present, electronic data does not qualify as a document, but it is starting to look to printed copies of the data. It is starting to look at other things such as codes, serial numbers and other authentication.

Third, the Consumer Protection Laws do have some protections for users of the Internet. These include the Fair Trade Law which prohibits merchants from giving false information regarding products to mislead consumers. Certain types of advertising and information also require approval before being allowed to go out over the Internet.

Fourth, electronic payment is another legal issue raised by the use of the Internet. In this part of his paper, the author addresses three broad categories: electronic funds transfer; credit card-based systems: and electronic cash/money.

The final proposition of the comment discusses other issues related to Internet commerce such as copyright and personal data protection.

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