Court rules in stem cell contract dispute

Tian Shengjie
Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court rules a contract void after a woman had bought stem cells from a company for beauty treatment. 
Tian Shengjie

A case of stem cell trading has concluded with a contract declared void, Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court said on Tuesday.

The court said that in 2018, a consumer named Lulu was told about the ability of stem cells in beauty treatments by the legal representative of a company, surnamed Hao, and bought 30 samples of stem cells from human placenta, each worth 35,000 yuan (US$5,000). She transferred half of the money (525,000 yuan) to Hao and Hao promised the company would continue to culture stem cells for Lulu and provide a place for their injection.

After Hao gave Lulu eight samples of stem cells, he told her there was not enough time to culture more when Lulu asked for the next month’s injection at the end of February last year. Twenty-two days later, she lost contact with Hao.

She sued the company for terminating the contract and refunding 397,500 yuan last year. A district court supported Lulu and confirmed the validity of the contract but the company appealed to the intermediate court.

It said it was willing to fulfil its contractual obligations but needed more time to culture the stem cells.

The intermediate court considered the refund reasonable but the contract was invalid for two reasons.

One was that stem cells can not be sold in China, the other that the company was not qualified for stem cell clinical research without official approval.

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