Rules warning for e-commerce operators

City's market watchdog lays down the law at a conference of 22 e-commerce companies ahead of the November 11 shopping spree. 

Shanghai's market watchdog has ordered e-commerce platforms to abide by regulations covering quality, consumer protection and price ahead of the November 11 shopping spree, which is usually accompanied by an avalanche of complaints.

It made the call at a conference attended by 22 e-commerce companies on Friday, including Pinduoduo and online food delivery platforms Ele.me and Meituan Dianping.

City authorities dealt with around 2,000 cases of illegal Internet advertisements and unfair competition between January and September, and some broadcast anchors on e-commerce platforms used fake promotions and slandered competitors to trick consumers, the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation said.

Some products sold on online shopping platforms were found to have quality flaws, particularly group purchase products at low prices, the administration said.

There were big differences between the actual clothing and shoes to that shown to consumers, while some businesses sold used tablets, cellphones and digital products as new, it said.

Some bogus products were found via haitao, online purchases of overseas products, it added.

In addition, some businesses failed to fulfill contracts and changed discount rules randomly or even canceled orders.

Some businesses on e-commerce platforms were unlicensed due to platform operators' failure to check, the administration said.

E-commerce platforms were ordered to handle complaints timely and establish personal information protection, compensation and refund systems, while working out emergency plans in terms of logistics and Internet safety.

The administration said it is stepping up checks on trademark infringements, fake promotions and price fraud, in preparation for the second China International Import Expo and the shopping spree. 

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