Market watchdog busts 5,604 false ad cases last year

Hu Min
Total fines and confiscated funds amounted to 102 million yuan, said authorities, who also provided details on several typical false-ad cases.
Hu Min

Shanghai's market watchdog busted 5,604 cases of false advertisements last year, among which 80 percent involved Internet ads, while total fines and confiscated funds amounted to 102 million yuan (US$14.59 million), authorities announced on Friday.

The Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation also exposed 12 typical cases of illegal advertisement on Friday ahead of this year's World Consumer Rights Day on March 15.

Among them, Shanghai Jiangcheng Dermatology Hospital was fined 250,000 yuan for violating China's advertisement law.

The hospital used comparison photos of four patients with skin diseases before and after treatment to promote its services. However, the photos were downloaded from the Internet and re-edited, the administration said.

It was ordered to stop releasing such false ads immediately.

Shanghai Yunxi Medical Treatment Science and Technology Co was fined 100,000 yuan for false ads.

It claimed it was established in 2013 and had branches in more than 20 cities in China, yet it was set up in 2015 and has no branches at all, the administration found.

Further, it claimed that its cosmetic equipment is better than 99 percent of similar items on the market, and it was the No.1 skin management brand in China, although neither claim could be proved and supported, the administration said.

Shanghai Linhuai Internet Science and Technology Co was fined 350,000 yuan for promising that its students can obtain a driving license in just 20 hours after attending training, the administration said. It also promised to exempt all fees for students who fail their license exam.

The company admitted that the "20 hours" actually refer to the time students spend driving, while only tuition fees would be exempted for exam failure, the administration said.

Shanghai CIIC International Training Centre was fined more than 120,000 yuan for releasing advertisement claims that its faculty were examiners of the HSK test for Chinese language proficiency in non-native speakers.

Milbon (Shanghai) was fined 500,000 yuan for using the wrong Chinese map in promotion on its website, listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate countries, which was to the detriment of national dignity and interests of China, the administration said.

Shanghai Rudder Eyewear Co was fined 220,000 yuan for using pornographic photos in its promotion of spectacles on WeChat.

Yon Ho, a food company, was fined 300,000 yuan for claiming its soybean milk was a national gift of China and was presented to foreign embassies in China in its advertisement on WeChat, the administration said.

The milk was presented by the company to a few embassy staff on non-official occasions and the act was not authorized by authorities, the administration said. 

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