Fair prices guaranteed during CIIE

Market inspectors have been busy checking that all prices in and around the CIIE venue are fair and reasonable.
Fair prices guaranteed during CIIE
Zhou Shengjie / SHINE

Officials check price tags at a convenience store in the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Qingpu District.

Fair prices guaranteed during CIIE
Zhou Shengjie / SHINE

Inspectors check prices at a time-honored brand store. 

Shanghai's market watchdog conducted an inspection at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Qingpu District over the weekend ahead of the opening of the second China International Import Expo.

A 7-Eleven store was ordered to improve labelling in a joint inspection by the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation and the Qingpu District Administration for Market Regulation.

Some price tags were missing and others did not correspond with the products on the shelves. Different categories of products were mixed.

"Wrong price tags mislead consumers," said Yuan Sheng, an official with the price supervision and inspection office of the market regulator.

In an earlier inspection, a few catering businesses were found to have irregularities such as the real size of meals compared with those shown on photos, and were ordered to fix the problem.

Pricing inspectors are working day and night on meticulous checks of the prices on the tags in comparison to the originally registered prices and on inspections at hotels, parking lots and ride-hailing cars, just to list some, in a bid to prevent  visitors being ripped off.

From October 26 to November 14, prices of hotel rooms should not exceed the price of similar rooms between October 1 and November 30 last year. Hotels opening after November 14, 2018, should set their prices by referencing hotels of the same standard and in similar areas.

The prices of rooms in a new high-end hotel near the expo venue has been found exceeding the price limit by 500 yuan (US$70) to 600 yuan per room on October 31 but has since rectified the matter.

"There is a huge demand for accommodation during the expo, particularly hotels close to the convention center. Random price hikes will leave a bad impression on guests, making intervention necessary," said Yuan. "The goal is to stabilize prices and create a good environment."

A print shop was found charging 5 to 10 yuan per printed sheet, much higher than the market price during the first expo, drawing complaints. The shop has since cut prices significantly.

An intangible cultural heritage and time-honored brands area will debut at this year's expo.

"The variety of products in this area makes price appraisal difficult," said Yuan. "Some businesses raise original prices and then offer 'discounts'."

All businesses have been ordered to clearly mark prices of their commodities and they are banned from making changes, he said. The prices of products must be reported in advance and registered.

"They are ordered to charge strictly based on the price shown on the tag," said Yuan. A universal price tag has been designed by the administration, and the prices must be true and accurate.

For some expensive products, officials also require proof supporting the prices and a promissory letter agreeing to operate honestly. Selling fake or short weighted products is strictly banned.

In a 100-day enforcement campaign in preparation for the expo, agricultural and sideline products were checked and about 80 problems were found, resulting in total fines of 626,900 yuan.

Fair prices guaranteed during CIIE
Zhou Shengjie / SHINE

Officials check prices at a cafe. 

Fair prices guaranteed during CIIE
Zhou Shengjie / SHINE

Inspectors at a catering venue check out traditional Shanghai snacks.

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