A record high of consumer complaints filed with the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce in 2015
on WeChat would get a free admission ticket to its soft opening in late April.
In the ad, the company claimed that the facility covered an area of more than 153,000 square meters (the equivalent of 21 standard soccer fields), and the facility was the result of a total investment of $5.68 million. More than 200,000 WeChat users forwarded the advertisement.
The facility failed to open as scheduled because inspections and approvals from relevant governmental authorities had not been completed and the promise of free tickets evaporated.
“The size of the facility was actually only half of what was advertised and the amount of investment was only 3 percent of what it claimed in the article,” said Zhang Yusong, a spokesman with the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce. “All the photos used in the article were downloaded from the Internet.”
The company was fined $23,300 for committing sham advertising.
“In the booming new-media environment, WeChat and Weibo (the Chinese version of