Shanghai’s first bankruptcy court, established in February last year at Shanghai No.3 Intermediate People’s Court, handled 750 cases, according to the Shanghai High People’s Court work report for last year.

The report, presented to the city’s legislators on Saturday during the ongoing third session of the 15th Shanghai People’s Congress, showed the number of bankruptcy cases last year up by 83.4 percent. Courts settled 387,000 business contract disputes, and in most cases the original contracts were ruled to be valid. Some 23,000 intellectual property cases were settled, up 9.6 percent from 2018.

More than 3,500 civil and commercial cases of the first instance with overseas parties involved were handled last year. A total of 26.1 billion yuan (US$ 3.73 billion) of debt was paid off in 151,000 cases, with Shanghai courts taking the lead in the percentage of cases with debt paid off in due time in the country.

Debtors who failed to pay off their debt in time are faced with a large number of restrictions which affect their daily lives. According to the report, 95,000 debtors were named and shamed, with 137,000 people restricted from booking flights and high-speed railway tickets, buying real estate or assuming high executive roles in businesses.

Combating crimes

Some 31,000 criminal cases of the first instance were settled in 2019, up 11.5 percent, in which 570 people involved in gangs were convicted in 190 cases, while 350 people were convicted in 100 cases of loan sharking. This result was a significant increase from 2018, largely due to a national campaign.

Shanghai courts handled 630 cases involving serious violence, including murder, robbery and kidnapping, and 1,500 cases involving guns, explosives and drugs last year.

They handled 180 duty-related crimes, such as corruption, bribery and malpractice, down 54 percent from 2018. A total of 119 people were convicted, down 52 percent, five of whom were at bureau level or above. The courts settled 1,300 cases of fundraising fraud, online pyramid schemes and telecom fraud.

A separate report on the work of the city’s prosecutors, also presented on Saturday, said that 2,200 people were arrested and 3,000 were prosecuted in P2P fraud cases, a high-profile crime in China in recent years, both up 28.5 percent from 2018. In total, Shanghai courts handled 866,000 cases in 2019, 8.5 percent more than in 2018, with only about 800 cases left unsettled at the end of the year.

Public interest

Prosecutors continued to open public interest lawsuits in cases where the environment or public interest was impaired, with 750 cases last year, almost three times the number in 2018, and filed 19 cases with the courts.

As a result, companies were made to clear 7,300 tons of household garbage illegally disposed of and 120 hectares of polluted water and land were ordered to be restored. The prosecutors also prompted the government to take action against 140 businesses illegally selling food and drugs over the Internet.