Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Baidu offers Chinese law database

Thanks to Jonathan Ocko for bringing to my attention Baidu's Chinese law database, apparently offered in collaboration with Beida's

I invite readers to check the database out for themselves and see how they like it; please let other readers know by leaving a comment to this post.

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The search engine is fine - even covered results such as judgement by a metropolitan court. But appear to be less organized.

Posted by: Yan Luo | Sep 12, 2006 9:51:09 AM

It's good about local legislation search , very efficient, the rest of its functions doesnt make it that special.

Posted by: Qiao Zhe | Sep 13, 2006 10:58:58 AM

I have a Chinese subscription and have used the database extensively for my own research. Here is what I think.

1. The search engine is not simply powerful enough. It only allows keyword search (this is definitely my biggest complaint). Therefore, one has to know the correct Chinese legal terminology to retrieve the relevant cases.
2. I strongly suspect that there is a case reporting bias. Most cases come from big metropolitan areas, like Beijing and Shanghai. I do not encounter many cases from the central and western provinces.
3. There are two ways to print out the cases. Using its default txt or html format will have super big Chinese characters and eliminate case summary header. Directly using the internet browser’s print command will have nagging ads.
4. Academic commentaries-- I would say only about 50% of the time--are on the point.
5. The server is occasionally unstable. It can remain inaccessible for hours without notice.
6. Paying for the service can be tedious. Because it does not accept credit cards, one has to either wire the money or have someone in China pay for it. Rumor has it that discount may be available if one buys from the right sales rep.

On the other hand,

6. It has a very good collection of legislations and government regulations.
7. Its discussion forum provides juicy academic and professional gossips.
8. The customer service is good. Instant online help during normal business hours is possible using MSN Messenger. The staff appears to be bilingual.

Posted by: Willi Hao | Sep 18, 2006 4:37:59 AM

BaiDu's Law search engine can not arrive any cases that BaiDu lost in the courts, though these cases are very important in studying Chinese Internet law.

BaiDu seems used to artificially controlling the search results for its own benifits.

I have a post on this issue today.

Posted by: BlawgDog | Sep 18, 2006 11:18:00 PM

I was just trying to find out the newest "Regulations on Protection of Rights of Communication Via the Information Network" which came into effect on July 1 2006, but sadly, I can not get it, either searching by the full title or the keywords.

I am afraid that Baidu needs to work on it more effectively to up-date this database.

Hope our researchers could benefit from this service.

Posted by: wwx | Oct 2, 2006 4:36:22 AM

Baidu Chinese law database needs to be up-dated!

Posted by: wwx | Oct 2, 2006 4:42:10 AM

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