eCommerce Week 2019: Dr Ying Yu advises UN on how blockchain technology can be used to protect consumer rights

26 April 2019

 

FLJS Research Fellow and Oxford One Belt One Road programme Deputy Director Dr Ying Yu delivered a talk at the United Nations during eCommerce Week 2019, at an event in Geneva on 3 April, advising the UN on how blockchain technology can be used in the development of international, cross-border consumer protection practices. 

Organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Yu addressed the session on International Cooperation on Consumer Protection in Cross-Border E-Commerce. UNCTAD sought her views on two issues: Which international initiatives and best practices could help promote enforcement cooperation to protect consumers in cross-border e-commerce, and what role the UN should play in facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues.

Dr Yu firstly discussed the current situation with regards to the scale of cross-border e-commerce in China. She then illustrated China's top importation partnering countries by trade volume, the range of transactional problems that hinder the development of cross-border trading, and the challenges that prevent countries from resolving these issues successfully. Dr Yu further shed light on how the introduction of blockchain technology and its applications into consumer protection regime for cross border e-commerce can become best practice.

In response to the session chair's question on the role of the UN, Dr Yu suggested that UNCTAD is well-positioned to bring together all stakeholders horizontally and vertically for international cooperation on consumer protection. This means cooperating not only between jurisdictions but across sectors within each respective jurisdiction. In addition to the pubic sector, private sectors’ experiences are also invaluable in this context, she noted.

Dr Ying Yu is Research Fellow of Law, Justice and Society at the University of Oxford, and Director of the China Programme in the Foundation of Law, Justice and Society.