The Ministry of Justice previously said it would build its online service platform, www.12348.gov.cn, as a closest legal adviser for the public. I would like to ask, what role is the platform playing during the outbreak? Especially in terms of ensuring the resumption of work and production. Thank you.
Thank you for your question. On Feb. 5, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the need to strengthen public legal education and legal services related to the prevention and control of the epidemic at the third meeting of the Commission for Overall Law-based Governance of the CPC Central Committee. The 12348 online and phone-based public legal services give full play to the advantages of "no face-to-face contact, no infection, convenience and timely response," and provide free legal counseling to the public and enterprises that resume work and production.
As of Feb. 24, the 12348 online service platform at both ministerial and provincial levels had received a total of 4,195 consultation inquiries related to the epidemic, mainly focusing on seven types of legal issues: labor and personnel, contract disputes, civil disputes, consumer rights, infringement disputes, social security, claims and debts. After the resumption of work and production, consultation inquiries related to contract disputes have increased, especially in terms of housing lease contracts and contracts for sales of goods. Legal counseling on housing lease contracts mainly concern contract extensions, dissolution of contracts, an inability to move in or out, returning rent when it's not possible to live in, and rent exemption because of no business operation. Legal counseling on contracts of sales of goods is mainly concerned with price rises caused by cost increases, and failure to supply on schedule due to road closures. All the consultation inquiries related to the epidemic have been replied to in a timely manner – the average response time being 66 minutes, and public satisfaction rate reaching 95.3%. During the epidemic outbreak, the 12348 hotline in Hubei province has provided round-the-clock service, and the hotline in Guangdong province has received more than 100 consultation calls a day related to the epidemic prevention and control. All of our platforms are effectively responding to people's concerns, providing psychological counseling, and protecting the rights and interests of enterprises.
In terms of public legal education, first, we set up special columns related to the epidemic prevention and control work on the official websites of the Ministry of Justice, online law popularization platform (legalinfo.gov.cn), online legal service platform (12348.gov.cn), our Weibo and WeChat accounts, and our app. The columns collect and illustrate a series of common legal issues and useful information related to prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, and provide solutions to matters of public concern. Second, the National Office for Law Popularization published a Q&A booklet on legal knowledge related to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic. It covers 23 questions and answers, mainly based on the law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases and wildlife protection law, so as to provide legal reference for the epidemic prevention and control. It also illustrates 46 typical cases of 18 different types, mainly focusing on going out in violence of temporary regulations and price gouging, in order to popularize and explain relevant legal knowledge. Third, we initiated special campaigns to popularize relevant laws related to the epidemic prevention and control. We integrated legal popularization into legislative, law enforcement and judicial work related to the epidemic prevention and control using new media and technologies. We compiled and published legal knowledge and law popularization booklets on epidemic prevention and control, and made electronic versions available to readers to download and read for free. We have sent SMS messages about law enforcement to all cellphone users across the country. We have also made efforts to promote legal publicity related to the epidemic prevention and control into communities, rural areas and online. In doing so, we have effectively helped staff working on the frontline and the public increase their legal knowledge on epidemic prevention and control. Thank you.