Hangzhou working hard to protect consumers

Wu Huixin
Details of quality supervision and related law enforcement work for 2020 demonstrate the Hangzhou's efforts to resolve disputes and protect its citizens.
Wu Huixin

Hangzhou’s market regulation bureau, in partnership with Hangzhou Consumers Association, has released the details of quality supervision and related law enforcement work in 2020.

Last year, around 750,000 complaints were received from customers, and the association helped consumers retrieve or avoid loss of more than 126 million yuan (US$19.4 million).

Local departments built an online complaint platform in cooperation with 15 online shopping malls. All the statistics can be shared between different authorities, making mediation work more efficient.

In a bid to streamline the dispute resolution process between retailers and consumers, the consumers association worked with Shangcheng District People’s Court to launch an online court. So far, it has dealt with 278 small claims disputes.

As the hub of China’s livestreaming industry, Hangzhou has a cavalcade of wanghong (Internet celebrities) and industrial bases. Local authorities have released a series of regulations aimed at curbing irregularities and protecting consumers’ rights.

Over the past years, fake Longjing tea has affected local farmers’ profits. To protect the authentic Longjing brand, the bureau and association launched a digital management platform last year, making sure that every production and sales procedure is under government’s supervision.

Local authorities also initiated a health code for restaurants. Diners can scan a QR code to learn about the sanitation and food safety levels. The code covers more than 74,000 restaurants, bars and cafes across the city.

The government also held legal promotion activities and livestreamed online to spread legal knowledge across Hangzhou to raise the awareness of self-protection among citizens.

To help residents in the countryside where the nearest official service window often takes hours by car, the bureau has established about 280 village-based legal rights protection stations. Villagers can complain directly at these stations which are linked to downtown authorities.

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