The trend among government departments and the judiciary to use "customer service" language in an attempt to shed their icy image is causing controversy.
The Zongpu People's Tribunal under the People's Court of Fengyang County of Anhui Province addresses litigants on its official Weibo account thus: "Dear Litigants, when we tell you to attend a court session, please arrive on time. Otherwise we cannot see you, let alone know what is on your mind, and your rights may not be properly protected."
Wang Shili, the tribunal's presiding judge, admits the style has been borrowed from vendors on Chinese online shopping site Taobao.com, in an effort to bring the court closer to the public.
He said: "By using colloquial language in a polite tone, businesses can instantly put their customers at ease, and because what we deal with every day are mostly community disputes in rural areas, we do not want to emphasize procedures to a degree that may cause harmful effects. We do not want ordinary people to fear courts or judges."
But critics claim the informal, and some say frivolous, style damages the image of the law and the court, which should be serious and rigorous.
Tong Zongjin, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, claimed on his Weibo that the court has mistaken frivolity for warmth toward the public.
It is not the first time that people have been taken aback by unorthodox official statements.
The Jixie police station in Chongzhou City in southwestern Sichuan Province attempted to persuade a fugitive via its Weibo to surrender, posting: "Dear fugitive, if you surrender yourself, we will act as chauffeur, feed you for free and give you a free physical examination."
One online reaction came from someone identified as "Lixiaofo," who said he gets goose bumps when he reads "dear" at an online shop because it masks business greed - not at all appropriate for government use.
Yet when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs used casual language in a recruitment notice, the reaction was warm.
"Dear applicant, do you hold a university degree? Are you proficient in office software skills? Do you have a driver's license? Come and take a look!" This message posted in August was forwarded more than 4,800 times in just three hours and illicited more than 1,000 replies.
Most comments were positive, calling the style lovely and a step forward in communication with the public.
Xia Xueluan, a professor at Peking University, described it as "the awakening of government organizations as they begin thinking about getting closer to the people."