(By Gao Tianyi and You Yunting) Data buyers often focus on several potential legal concerns in web-scraped data, particularly relating to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in the United States. But a recent case in China between Weibo and Maimai demonstrates that even where the CFAA does not apply and vendors are using an Open API, risks may still exist if the buyers fail to acquire and use data appropriately.
Weibo is one of China’s largest social media platforms and has over 530 million monthly active users, according to China Internet Watch. Maimai is a China-based professional social-networking platform, which was initially modelled on LinkedIn. In July 2019, Maimai had 25 million monthly active users.