Recovery of pure economic loss in China: Current situation, problems and future prospects

Yu Yan*, M.G. Faure

*Corresponding author for this work

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Should pure economic loss be compensated in China? If so, to what extent? Both questions are left unsolved in the established literature. We contribute to the existing literature by showing that the Chinese courts have developed a relatively conservative attitude towards the compensation of pure economic loss and that the arguments adopted by the courts to deny recovery are neither fair nor reasonable. Using the law and economics analysis, we have recourse to four complementary solutions. First, pure economic loss cases involving socially relevant losses should be compensated. Second, when social losses are not involved, pure economic loss should also be compensated if the third parties are willing to pay or have paid for protection against such a loss. Third, to relieve the excessive pressure imposed by the compensation for such loss, the concepts of causation and the duty of the victim to mitigate damage need to be further clarified in Chinese laws. Fourth, when determining the amount of compensation for pure economic loss, we should carefully balance the trade-off among a variety of factors, including the extent to which the damage could have been foreseen, the nature of the loss, the blameworthiness of the tortfeasor, the size of the plaintiff class, the public policy toward professional standards, the victim’s private loss, the social loss, the courts’ capacities to calculate the loss, and the third parties’ willingness to pay for protection against the loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-313
JournalJournal of European Tort Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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