Re­vi­sion pro­tects buy­ers of prod­ucts on­line

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Top News - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

On­line traders who fake sales data or user feed­back in an at­tempt to mis­lead con­sumers can now be fined up to 2 mil­lion yuan ($301,400) and loose their busi­ness li­censes, un­der a change in the law.

The re­vised Anti-Un­fair Com­pe­ti­tion Law was adopted on Satur­day at the bi­monthly ses­sion of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, the top leg­is­la­ture, af­ter a third read­ing.

“Reg­u­lat­ing on­line mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion is a high­light of the re­vi­sion,” said Yang Hong­can, di­rec­tor of Anti-Mo­nop­oly and Anti-Un­fair Com­pe­ti­tion En­force­ment Bureau of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion for In­dus­try and Com­merce.

Yang said he wel­comes the ben­e­fits brought by on­line shop­ping, but he noted var­i­ous emerg­ing prob­lems in the mar­ket that have at­trib­uted to un­reg­u­lated be­hav­ior.

“We tried to keep the in­ter­ests of ven­dors and cus­tomers in mind while re­vis­ing the law, be­cause we need to keep fair mar­ket or­der while en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tion in the cy­berspace,” he said.

The po­ten­tial fine for on­line traders who fake sales data or user feed­back in an at­tempt to mis­lead con­sumers

Yang said the re­vised law, which is sched­uled to take ef­fect in Jan­uary, will bet­ter solve prob­lems of on­line pur­chases, es­pe­cially on the world’s big­gest an­nual one-day on­line shop­ping fes­ti­val, Sin­gles Day, which falls on Nov 11.

Ven­dors or third-party com­pa­nies that fab­ri­cate trans­ac­tions to help pro­mote goods and ser­vices, re­lease false ad­ver­tis­ing, or delete cus­tomers’ neg­a­tive com­ments to at­tract or de­fraud con­sumers will be fined from 200,000 to 1 mil­lion yuan, un­der the re­vi­sion.

Vi­o­la­tors in se­ri­ous cases will face a fine of 2 mil­lion yuan and their busi­ness li­censes will be re­voked.

In ad­di­tion, ven­dors who use pack­ag­ing, names, dec­o­ra­tions or web­sites of or sim­i­lar to those of fa­mous or in­flu­en­tial prod­ucts to de­ceive cus­tomers will be also fined, it added.

The re­vised law urges in­dus­trial as­so­ci­a­tions to up­hold mar­ket or­der by in­creas­ing self-dis­ci­pline, and it stip­u­lates that su­per­vi­sion and in­spec­tion department of­fi­cials may not dis­close trade se­crets of en­ti­ties they in­ves­ti­gate.

Yang Zhen, a mem­ber of the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, said the law is bet­ter de­vel­oped af­ter three re­views and will ef­fec­tively safe­guard con­sumers’ rights.

Yang He­qing, an of­fi­cial of the com­mit­tee, added that the clar­i­fied re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of busi­ness op­er­a­tors in the re­vi­sion also pro­tect their rights and in­ter­ests.

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