Thou­sand

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

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

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