Law & Policy

Hot-Headed Ctrip.com Rushes Into Court

Believing that the China Booking Association's website had unflattering information that harmed Ctrip.com's (CTRP) reputation, Chinese online travel service provider Ctrip.com has won a small victory in court after it sued the website operator.

Shanghai Lanbao Travel Service Company, the operator of China Booking Association's website, had been handed a lawsuit that sought damages of up to CNY500,000 as compensation. Local media report the court has just sentenced Lanbao to stop its behavior, but refused Ctrip's request for CNY500,000 in compensation.

According to reports, CBA posted many negative comments about Ctrip.com on the CBA website and announced many administrative punishments that China's Department of Industry and Commerce issued in regards to Ctrip's business. Ctrip believes the information was posted to harm the company's brand because CBA is a competitor.

However, Lanbao argues that it was not posting the information because Ctrip is a competitor. Rather, the company says because Ctrip is only a computer technology company, it does not belong to the same travel-related industry as CBA and therefore is not a competitor.

Ctrip.com reportedly also sued another much smaller travel website Qunar.com last year in Beijing for similar reasons. And Ctrip itself was sued by Beijing Golden Holidays for poor competition but later won the case because Golden Holidays could not provide evidence on how much its reputation was harmed.

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