BRICS Law Journal

Advanced search

Digital Platforms in China and Europe: Legal Challenges

Full Text:


The paper considers the processes of platformatization of the economy and public government, which have become the last decade’s primary trend. Analysis of the digital markets in Russia, China, and Europe proved the dominance of the digital platforms of large technology companies. According to the authors, the concentration of market power in digital platforms threatens a competitive environment in digital markets. In this regard, the demand for antitrust regulation of their activities is justified. Another legal challenge arises concerning the trend of creating public services on the digital platforms of large technology companies. The paper analyzes China’s experience in the platformatization of legal proceedings, where the process of establishing online courts is conducted in close cooperation with the leading digital platforms of the PRC. In contrast to China, in Russia, the main focus is on combining public services, and information systems of various departments within a single platform to provide public services, with large technology companies acting as operators. Therefore, the authors conclude that it is necessary to strengthen legal mechanisms to protect citizens’ rights and interests during the digitization of public services – primarily citizens’ rights to data protection. The problems revealed demonstrate the necessity of a balanced approach to the legal regulation of digital platforms. While it is important to stimulate their development, it is necessary to limit the opportunities for violating the rights and interests of other participants in the digital environment.

About the Authors

Yu. Kharitonova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Yulia Kharitonova – Professor, Law Faculty

1, Bldg. 13–14 Leninskie Gory, GSP-1, Moscow, 119991

L. Sannikova
State Academic University for the Humanities
Russian Federation

Larisa Sannikova – Head of Centre for Legal Research of Digital Technologies

26 Maronovskii per., Moscow, 119049


1. Zarubina M.N. & Pav lov A.A. On Procedural Realities and Potential Possibilities of the Use of Electronic Evidence in Civil Procedure, 9(1) Herald of Civil Procedure 205 (2019)].

2. Busch C. et al. The Rise of the Platform Economy: A New Challenge for EU Consumer Law?, 5(1) J. Eur. Consum. Mkt. L. 3 (2016).

3. Cao Y. Regulating Digital Platforms in China: Current Practice and Future Developments, 11(3-4) J. Eur. Comp. L. Pract. 173 (2020).

4. Colangelo G. & Maggiolino M. Data Protection in Attention Markets: Protecting Privacy Through Competition, 8(6) J. Eur. Comp. L. Pract. 363 (2017).

5. Colangelo M. & Zeno-Zencovich V. La intermediazione on-line e la disciplina della concorrenza: i servizi di viaggio, soggiorno e svago, 1 Diritto dell’informazione e dell’informatica 43 (2015).

6. De Franceschi A. The Adequacy of Italian Law for the Platform Economy, 5(1) J. Eur. Consum. Mkt. L. 56 (2016).

7. Gillespie T. The Politics of ‘Platforms,’ 12(3) New Media Soc. 347 (2010).

8. Kostka G. China’s Social Credit Systems and Public Opinion: Explaining High Levels of Approval, 21(7) New Media Soc. 1565 (2019). 9826402

9. Liu Y. Consumer Protection in Mobile Payments in China: A Critical Analysis of Alipay’s Service Agreement, 31(5) Comput. L. Secur. Rev. 679 (2015). clsr.2015.05.009

10. Mezzanotte F. Regulation of Business-Clients Relationships Through ‘Organisational Law,’ 13(2) Eur. Rev. Contract L. 123 (2017).

11. Obergefell E.I. & Thamer A. (Non-)Regulation of Online Platforms and Internet Intermediaries – The Facts: Context and Overview of the State of Play, 12(5) J. Intellect. Prop. L. Pract. 435 (2017).

12. Plantin J.C. & Seta G. de. WeChat as Infrastructure: The Techno-Nationalist Shaping of Chinese Digital Platforms, 12(3) Chin. J. Commun. 257 (2019).

13. Sannikova L.V. & Kharitonova Y.S. The Trust and the Digitalization of Society, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Education Science and Social Development (ESSD 2019).

14. Sénéchal J. The Diversity of the Services Provided by Online Platforms and the Specificity of the Counter-Performance of These Services – A Double Challenge for European and National Contract Law, 5(1) J. Eur. Consum. Mkt. L. 39 (2016).

15. Susskind R. Online Courts and the Future of Justice (2019).

16. Xu S. & Hong-min C. Externality of Network in Market Competition: Theory and Practice, 6 Soft Science 65 (2003).

17. Yan X. Identification of Network Effect and the Dominant Market Position of Instant Messaging Industry, 12 Intellectual Property 22 (2014).


For citations:

Kharitonova Yu., Sannikova L. Digital Platforms in China and Europe: Legal Challenges. BRICS Law Journal. 2021;8(3):121-147.

Views: 719

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2409-9058 (Print)
ISSN 2412-2343 (Online)