China bolsters online consumer protection with new regulations
Updated: April 9, 2024 19:16 Xinhua

BEIJING, April 9 -- China's newly unveiled regulations for consumer protection have detailed a series of rules targeting problems in online consumption, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said Tuesday.

The regulations, released in March and slated to take effect on July 1, 2024, primarily focus on ensuring the implementation of the law on the protection of consumer rights and interests.

As online consumers and online retail sales of goods in China have grown, the number of complaints and inquiries regarding online consumption has also surged rapidly over the past year, accounting for 56 percent of the country's total, Liu Jun, deputy head of the SAMR, told a press conference.

The new regulations stipulate that vendors shall not forge business data or user evaluations, nor shall they promote bundle sales or engage in big data-enabled price discrimination. Provisions have also been set out for auto subscription renewals and a no-hassle return policy.

For the next step, the SAMR will work with other related departments to address the problems that might occur in online consumption and continue to optimize the online consumption environment, Liu said.

China boasted over 900 million online shoppers as of the end of 2023, with online retail sales of physical goods accounting for 27.6 percent of the country's total retail sales of consumer goods, official data showed.

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