Liu Shihui, a solicitor based in Southern Guangdong province, is suing Symantec for 1,644 yuan (a shade over £100) for losses caused by the automatic update of Norton Anti-Virus.
The update issued on 18 May identified two critical Windows XP files as potential malware and deleted them, causing havoc for millions of Chinese PC users.
The case, thought to be the first of its type, will set a precedent in China, now a major PC marketplace, and could open the floodgates for compensation by large numbers of Chinese PC users.
However, Phil Higgins, a senior partner at value-added systems integrator and solutions provider Brookcourt Solutions, argued that the case is unlikely to succeed because of Symantec's limited warranty.
"I'm no expert in Chinese law, but in the West an action of this type is unlikely to succeed because of the warranty conditions that IT vendors normally apply to their software," he said.
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