TERMS OF SERVICE

Abacus is an internet-based online news communication service provided by SCMP (defined below). Please read the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement (as defined in Clause 1 of this Abacus Agreement) carefully before accessing to and/or using the Abacus Service (as defined in Clause 1 of this Abacus Agreement).  These terms and conditions are only available in the English language.  By accessing to, continuing to access to, using and/or continuing to use the Abacus Service irrespective of the delivery platform or device you use to access it, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement.  If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement, you should not access to or use any of the Abacus Service. 

 

1.         DEFINITIONS

The following definitions should apply in this Abacus Agreement unless otherwise stated.

“Computer” means your computer, notebook, personal digital assistant, tablet, mobile phone, smartphone, television and/or other electronic device now known or later developed used to access to and/or use the Abacus Service.

“Content” means the data, information, materials, text, songs, audio, video, photos, graphics, charts, maps, messages, blogs, ideas, comments, suggestions and/or other content.

“Discussion Forum” means the online Discussion Forum(s) and blog(s) on the Abacus Website.

“Hong Kong” means the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

“SCMP” means individually and collectively South China Morning Post Publishers Limited and/or its ultimate holding company(ies), holding company(ies), subsidiaries, affiliates and subsidiaries of each of such ultimate holding company(ies) and holding company(ies).

“Abacus Content” means all Content that SCMP makes available or presents on Abacus Service.

“Abacus Agreement” means this Abacus online service agreement setting out the terms and conditions of a legally binding agreement between you and SCMP and governing your access to, continuance of access to, use of and/or continuance of use of the Abacus Service.

“Abacus Service” means online news brief and communication service which is available for viewing or otherwise by accessing the Content on the Abacus Website and/or through its mobile websites, applications, newsletters and/or other news aggregators and/or for access to and use of the Discussion Forum, where applicable, subject to the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement.

“Abacus Website” means the Abacus website at https://www.abacusnews.com.

“Third Party Content” means products and services of third parties which are and/or have been advertised or presented on the Abacus Service.

“Third Party Products” means products and services of third parties which are and/or have been advertised or presented on the Abacus Service.

“Your Content” means all the Content that you have made available or presented on the Abacus Service.

 

2.         USAGE

2.1 Anyone is entitled to use for free the Abacus Service subject to the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement.   

2.2 By accessing to, continuing to access to, using and/or continuing to use the Abacus Service, you agree to be bound by all the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement throughout the access to and/or use of the same.

2.3 SCMP reserves the right to modify any terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement and/or any features of the Abacus Service from time to time.  Such modification shall be effective and replace any previous terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement and/or any previous features of the Abacus Service immediately upon posting of the modified Abacus Agreement and/or features of the Abacus Service without notifying you. 

2.4 SCMP reserves the right to change, alter and/or modify the design, layout, pages, look and feel and/or any other aspects or features of the Abacus Service and/or the Abacus Website from time to time.  SCMP further reserves the right to discontinue all or part of the Abacus Service from time to time without notifying you.

2.5 You agree to review this Abacus Agreement periodically to ensure that you are aware of any modifications.  Your continued access to and/or use of the Abacus Service shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of the modified Abacus Agreement.

2.6 SCMP may also impose limits on certain features and services in respect of the Abacus Service.

2.7 You represent that you have read and agree to be bound by SCMP’s Personal Information Collection Statement at https://www.abacusnews.com/privacy-policy.

 

3.         CONTENT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

3.1       Your Content

3.1.1 You retain the intellectual property rights that you may or should have in Your Content.

3.1.2 By posting Your Content on the Abacus Service, you automatically grant SCMP a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide and sub-licensable right and licence to: (i) use, copy, edit, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, make available, communicate and distribute Your Content (in whole or in part), its edited, adapted, translated versions and/or such derivative works; and/or (ii) incorporate the same in other works in any forms, media or technologies now known or later developed. 

3.1.3 In respect of the right and licence as referred to in Clause 3.1.2 of this Abacus Agreement, you represent and warrant that:

(a) you are the sole owner of Your Content and have the full legal right and authority to grant such right and licence;

(b) all of Your Content are your original works and creations and shall not infringe the intellectual property and/or related rights of any third parties including copyright, trademark or other personal or proprietary rights or contravene or violate any applicable laws or regulations; and

(c) all of your Content will not contain libelous, defamatory or otherwise unlawful material. 

3.2 Abacus Content

3.2.1 All intellectual property rights in the Abacus Content, including but not limited to the copyright in the compilation of all Content on the Abacus Service, shall remain with SCMP. 

3.2.2 You shall not use, edit, copy, publish, adapt, translate, make derivative works from, distribute or otherwise all or part of the Abacus Content or decompile, reverse engineer or otherwise attempt to discover the source codes of any Abacus Content available on the Abacus Service unless otherwise permitted in advance by SCMP in writing.

3.2.3 You shall not assist or facilitate any third party to make use of any Abacus Content in any manner that constitutes any infringement of SCMP’s intellectual property and/or related rights, including but not limited to “framing”, downloading or establishing unauthorised link(s) to any part of the Content on your or any third party’s website(s) or platform(s).

3.2.4 The domain name(s) on which the Abacus Service is/are hosted is/are the sole property of SCMP.  You shall not use or otherwise adopt the same or similar name(s) for your own use or for any third party’s use.

3.2.5 The trademarks, logos, service marks and other marks of SCMP (“SCMP Marks”) displayed on the Abacus Service are the sole property of SCMP.  You are not permitted to use any SCMP Marks without the prior written approval of SCMP. 

 

3.3 Third Party Content

3.3.1 The trademarks, logos, service marks and other marks of any third parties (“Third Party Marks”) and all Third Party Content remain the sole property of the relevant third party(ies).

3.3.2 In respect of the Third Party Marks, you are not permitted to use any of the same or the name of such third party(ies) without the prior written approval of such relevant third party(ies).

3.3.3 You shall not use, edit, copy, publish, adapt, translate, make derivative works from, distribute or otherwise all or part of the Third Party Content or decompile, reverse engineer or otherwise attempt to discover the source codes of any Third Party Content available on the Abacus Service unless otherwise permitted in advance by such relevant third party(ies) in writing.

 

4.         ONLINE DISCUSSION FORUM (WHERE APPLICABLE)

4.1       Registration

4.1.1    Requirement for Registration

(a)       You have to be at least 18 years old to participate in the Discussion Forum.

(b)       You must register as a member before you can use the Discussion Forum.

4.1.2    Registration Information and Password

As part of the registration process, you will select a password and a username. You also have to give SCMP certain registration information, all of which must be true, accurate and updated.

You must not (i) select or use a username of another person with the intent to impersonate that person; (ii) allow any third party to use your username and/or password or otherwise use your Discussion Forum account (“Discussion Forum Account”); or (iii) use a username that SCMP, at its sole discretion, deems offensive.

Failure to comply with the foregoing shall constitute a breach of this Abacus Agreement, which may result in immediate termination of your Discussion Forum Account.

You shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password, which you will not have to reveal to any representative or agent of SCMP.

You shall immediately notify SCMP of any changes of address or any other particulars provided to SCMP which may affect the use of the Discussion Forum Account or any part thereof.  On SCMP’s request, you shall provide SCMP with information relating to you and your use of the Discussion Forum Account reasonably required by SCMP: (a) to assist SCMP in complying with SCMP’s obligations under any applicable laws; (b) to report to any governmental authorities or agencies and/or regulatory authorities regarding compliance with those obligations; and (c) to assess whether or not you have complied, is complying and will be able to continue to comply with all of your obligations under this Abacus Agreement.

You represent and warrant that your personal data and other information provided to SCMP for registration of and use of the Discussion Forum Account purpose are true, accurate and updated.

By registering for accessing to, continuing to access to, using and/or continuing to use the Discussion Forum Account, you agree to be bound by all the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement throughout the registration process of, access to and use of the same.

Acceptance of your registration of the Discussion Forum Account is at the sole discretion of and subject to confirmation by SCMP.  In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final.

4.1.3    Reasons for Registration Requirement

Your registration is a pre-requisite for using the Discussion Forum.  This is to ensure that you are a “real” person and that you agree to all the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement.  Such registration requirement is also intended to ensure that you take responsibility for your comments and suggestions.

4.1.4    Suspension or Termination of the Discussion Forum Account

SCMP reserves the right to either suspend or terminate your Discussion Forum Account in the event that you breach any of the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement or contravene or violate any applicable laws or regulations in respect of your use of the Discussion Forum Account.

 

4.2       Comments/Suggestions and Language

4.2.1    Types of Comments/Suggestions Not Allowed

You hereby agree and undertake not to make the following comments/suggestions on the Discussion Forum including but not limited to:

(a)       Defamatory, insulting, obscene, racist, sexist and homophobic comments/suggestions.

(b)       Speech, attacks and remarks which appear to be threatening, abusive, offensive or arousing hatred or discrimination.

(c)       Impersonations, illegal comments/suggestions or comments/suggestions which violate or encourage the violation of any laws or the propriety(ies) or other right(s) of any third party(ies).

In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final.

4.2.2    Types of Language Not Allowed

You also agree and undertake not to make any comments/suggestions on the Discussion Forum which consist of vulgar, profane, crude, violent or hostile language or swearing.  In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final.

 

4.3       Proper Use

4.3.1    No Commercial Use or Investigation

You must not use the Discussion Forum for:

(a)       the promotion of any products or services or for any other commercial purposes;

(b)       any sponsorship, petition, campaign or chain message;

(c)       an investigation, e.g. tracing the whereabouts of a person.

In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final. 

 

4.4       Moderation

4.4.1    Right to Moderate

SCMP reserves the right to moderate any comments, suggestions and other information which have been posted or made available on the Discussion Forum.  In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final.  

4.4.2    Reasons for Moderation

The Discussion Forum is intended to be an engaging and informative platform for SCMP’s readers to discuss and debate a wide variety of topics.  By moderating the submissions made to the Discussion Forum, SCMP creates a space where different perspectives and well-informed opinions can be exchanged in a respectful and civilised manner.

4.4.3    Editing and Removal of Content

SCMP reserves the right to edit or remove part or all of the Content and/or any other information on the Discussion Forum which violate(s) the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement or which, in the sole opinion of SCMP, appear(s) to be inappropriate for display on the Discussion Forum.   In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final. 

4.4.4    Moderation Request from Readers

You can flag a comment/suggestion on the Discussion Forum for SCMP’s review or moderation, state the reasons you believe it should be removed and submit a report to SCMP if you find the comment/suggestion:

(a)       to be in breach of any of the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement;

(b)       to be inappropriate for posting on or abusing the space available in the Discussion Forum.

In this regard, SCMP has the sole and full discretion and its determination shall be final.

 

5.         PRIVACY OF PERSONAL DATA

 All information received by SCMP from your use of Abacus Services will be used by SCMP in accordance with its Personal Information Collection Statement. Please read SCMP’s Personal Information Collection Statement at https://www.abacusnews.com/privacy-policy for details of how SCMP may process your personal data.

 

6.         DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES

6.1       Abacus Service and Computer

SCMP makes no representation or warranty that:

            (a)       the access to, use of and functioning of the Abacus Service and the availability of any Content on the same will be timely, uninterrupted, without error or omission; and free of viruses or other harmful components; and

            (b)       the view of any Content in or with any Computer will not affect the functionality or performance of the Computer.

 

6.2       Content

            SCMP makes no representation or warranty regarding the view of or the results of the view of any Content on the Abacus Service in terms of its correctness, accuracy, reliability, usefulness, timeliness or otherwise. 

 

6.3       Third Party Content

SCMP makes no representation or warranty regarding the view of or the results of the view of any Third Party Content on the Abacus Service, the Abacus Website or websites linked from the Abacus Website in terms of its correctness, accuracy, reliability, usefulness, timeliness or otherwise. 

 

6.4       Abacus Content

SCMP makes every effort to ensure that all Abacus Content on the Abacus Service is accurate and complete to the best of SCMP’s knowledge.  However, SCMP provides the Abacus Content for informative purposes and on an ‘as is” basis only.  SCMP disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose or the warranty of non-infringement to the extent permissible under law.

 

6.5       Professional or Expert Advice

The data, information and/or any Content made available on the Abacus Service are of a general nature and do not purport to contribute an offer or a provision of any professional or expert advice.  You should consult a qualified professional adviser or expert to obtain independent advice and verification of the information and data contained in the Abacus Service as necessary.

 

6.6       Third Party Products

You acknowledge and agree that SCMP does not endorse or recommend and has no control over the Third Party Products which are advertised or made available on the Abacus Service, the Abacus Website or websites linked from the Abacus Website.

 

6.7       View of Information on the Abacus Website

You agree that all Content, statements, information, opinions, comments, suggestions and/or materials from SCMP, other readers, other users, third parties and advertisers on the Abacus Service and the Abacus Website should be viewed and relied upon only with care and discretion and at your own risk.  SCMP shall not be responsible for any loss or liability incurred by you arising from such view or reliance.

 

7.         LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY

7.1       In no event shall SCMP be liable to you or you shall hold SCMP liable for any losses, damages, liabilities and expenses under any causes of action (whether in contract or tort or otherwise) caused by the access to or use of, or inability to access to or use of, the Abacus Service, and/or caused by the view of, or inability to view of, the Content, Your Content, Abacus Content, Third Party Content and/or the Abacus Website.

 

7.2       Your Content

            You acknowledge and agree that: (i) you shall be solely and fully responsible for Your Content and any related consequences including but not limited to any third party claims arising from or in connection with the same; and (ii) SCMP shall not be liable in any manner.

 

7.3       Third Party Content

SCMP shall not be liable in any way for the Third Party Content including but not limited to its accuracy, completeness, usefulness, relevance, timeliness or otherwise.

 

7.4       Force Majeure

            SCMP shall not be liable for any failure or delay in performance of its obligations under this Abacus Agreement because of circumstances beyond its reasonable control, including, without limitation, acts of God, typhoons, rainstorms, virus outbreak, government restrictions, strikes, wars, network failures or telecommunications failures.

 

7.5       Under no circumstance shall SCMP be liable for any indirect, special, consequential or incidental damages arising or resulting from the access to or use of, or inability to access to or use of, the Abacus Service, or the view of, or inability to view of, Content, Your Content, Abacus Content, Third Party Content and/or the Abacus Website.

 

8.       ACCESS TO AND AVAILABILITY OF Abacus SERVICE AND LINKS

The Abacus Service contains links to other related world wide web internet sites, resources, and sponsors of SCMP.  Since SCMP is not responsible for the availability of these outside resources, or their content, you should direct any concerns regarding any external links to the site administrators or webmasters of such sites.

 

9.       HACKING, DISRUPTION AND IMPAIRMENT

You hereby undertake not to hack into, interfere with, disrupt, disable or otherwise impair the proper working of the Abacus Service including but not limited to reprogramming, reverse engineering, decoding, tampering, sniffing and session hacking.

 

10.       SECURITY

10.1     You shall notify SCMP’s Customer Service at digitalsupport@scmp.com of any known or suspected unauthorised access(es) to and/or use(s) of your Discussion Forum Account and/or the Abacus Service; and/or any known or suspected breach(es) of security, including but not limited to loss, theft, unauthorised disclosure(s) and/or use(s) of your Discussion Forum Account password, and/or unauthorised access(es) to and/or use(s) of your Discussion Forum Account.

 

10.2     You are responsible for all accesses to, usages of or activities on your use of the Abacus Service.  Any fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise illegal activity(ies) may be grounds for termination of your access to and/or use of the Abacus Service, at SCMP’s sole discretion, and SCMP may refer you to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

 

11.       COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN SCMP AND READERS

11.1     You agree that SCMP may send electronic mail(s) or digital message(s) to you for the purpose of informing you of changes or additions to the Abacus Service.

 

11.2     SCMP reserves the right to gather and use information about your access(es), usage(s) and demographics, and agree to maintain your data privacy, in accordance with SCMP’s Personal Information Collection Statement, and the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and all relevant applicable data privacy laws and regulations in force from time to time.  For more information please read the SCMP’s Personal Information Collection Statement at https://www.abacusnews.com/privacy-policy.

 

12.       SOFTWARE LICENCES

You shall have no rights to the proprietary software and related documentation, or any enhancements or modifications thereto, provided to you in order to access to and/or use the Abacus Service (“Access Software”).  You may not sub-license, assign or transfer any licenses granted by SCMP, and any attempt at such sub-license, assignment or transfer shall be null and void.  You may not otherwise copy, distribute, modify, reverse engineer, use, or create derivative works from the Access Software.

 

13.       TERMINATION OF Abacus SERVICE

13.1     SCMP may (i) deactivate or suspend the Abacus Service or any part thereof, with or without notice to you, to carry out system, maintenance, upgrading, testing and/or repairs; (ii) limit or suspend your access to and/or use of any of the Abacus Service with or without notice to you if SCMP is of the sole opinion that such action is appropriate as a result of your access to and/or use of the Abacus Service; (iii) take any steps or omit to take any steps, with or without notice to you, for any reason SCMP deems relevant to the management or the operation of any of the Abacus Service and SCMP’s business, that may expand, reduce, modify, suspend, limit, make inaccessible or adversely affect the Abacus Service or any part thereof.

 

13.2     SCMP may, upon discovery of any suspected or actual, fraudulent, deceptive, unlawful or improper use of the Abacus Service by you, suspend your access to and/or use of any or all of the Abacus Service temporarily or permanently.

 

13.3    This Abacus Agreement may be terminated by SCMP for any reason at any time.  

 

13.4     Termination under the provisions of this Abacus Agreement shall not affect SCMP’s rights in relation to any antecedent breach(es) or liability(ies) incurred prior to the date of termination nor shall it affect the coming into force or the continuance in force of any provision contained in this Abacus Agreement which is expressly or by implication intended to come into or continue in force on or after such termination.  All remaining benefits (whether monetary or non-monetary) that you may enjoy under this Abacus Agreement as at the date of termination shall be forfeited absolutely.

 

14.       LEGAL AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS

You acknowledge that SCMP may be required under applicable laws and/or regulations and/or upon receipt of instructions from governmental authorities or agencies and/or regulatory authorities to carry out acts which may be in breach of any of the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement.  In this connection, you agree not to hold SCMP liable or responsible.

 

15.       WRITTEN EVIDENCE

15.1     You hereby agree that all records of SCMP relating to the Abacus Service, to your access to and/or use of the Abacus Service, your Discussion Forum Account and/or your particulars, to your view of any Content on the Abacus Website, and/or to the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement (collectively the “Records”), which despite being in electronic or digital form, are deemed to be written and original documents. 

 

15.2     You shall not dispute or challenge the validity, enforceability or admissibility of any Records on the grounds that it/they is/are not a written or original document(s), is/are in electronic or digital form, or was/were produced by or is/are the output of a Computer; and you hereby waive any such right you may have under law.

 

16.         INDEMNITY

You agree to indemnify SCMP and its employees, officers, agents, contractors, readers and users and hold them harmless from and against all losses, claims, demands, actions, proceedings, costs (including but not limited to legal costs) and liabilities (including but not limited to statutory and tortuous liabilities) which may be suffered by or brought against SCMP and its employees, officers, agents, contractors, readers and users arising from or in connection with:

(a)       your connection to the Abacus Website;

(b)       your access to and/or use of the Abacus Service and/or your posting of any Content on the Abacus Service;

(c)       your breach of any of the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement, including but not limited to any representations and warranties given by you;

(d)       your contravention of any applicable laws or regulations; and/or

(e)       your violation of the rights of any person(s) and/or entity(ies).

 

17.       GENERAL

17.1     SCMP shall have the right to sub-license, sub-contract, assign or transfer its rights and obligations in this Abacus Agreement to any third party at its sole and absolute discretion.

 

17.2     No failure on the part of SCMP in exercising any right, power or privilege and no course of dealing between you and SCMP shall operate as a waiver thereof, nor shall any single or partial exercise of its right, power or privilege under this Abacus Agreement preclude any other or further exercise thereof or the exercise of any other right, power or privilege. 

 

17.3    If any term or provision of this Abacus Agreement is not applicable or held to be illegal or unenforceable, in whole or in part, under any enactment or rule of law, such term or provision or part shall to that extent permissible be deemed not to form part of this Abacus Agreement, but the validity and enforceability of the remainder of this Abacus Agreement shall not be affected.

 

17.4     SCMP and you expressly agree and acknowledge that the terms and conditions of this Abacus Agreement shall not be enforceable by and do not confer any right on any person entity or third party who is not a party to this Abacus Agreement. 

 

17.5.1 If you are a user whose principal address or principal use of Abacus Service occurs in any jurisdiction other than the United States then these terms and conditions will be subject to Hong Kong law. In this case, to the extent possible in the applicable jurisdiction, both you and SCMP agree that the courts of Hong Kong will (subject to the final paragraph in this Section 18) have non-exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute which may arise out of, under, or in connection with these terms and conditions.

17.5.2 If you are a user whose principal address or principal use of Abacus Services occurs in the United States then these terms and conditions will be subject to the laws of the State of New York, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions. In this case, to the extent possible in the applicable jurisdiction, both you and we agree that the courts of the State of New York will (subject to the final paragraph in this Section 18) have non-exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute which may arise out of, under, or in connection with these terms and conditions.

 

 

17.6     For enquiries, please contact SCMP’s Customer Relationship Hotline at (852) 2680 8822 or email to digitalsupport@scmp.com.