Express firms among latest named, shamed by authorities

Hu Min
UC Express, LBEX and Honglou Express were exposed by market regulators for their role in a scheme involving the sale of fake bill numbers.
Hu Min

Seven express delivery and online shopping companies in the city have been fined 2.14 million yuan (US$315,436) for cashing in on fake promotions and fabricating sales figures, the city's market watchdog revealed on Tuesday.

These were among 10 typical cases busted by the city's market regulators last year and exposed by the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation on Tuesday.

UC Express, LBEX and Honglou Express, all registered in Shanghai, were found selling fake express bill numbers via their outlets and showing fake express delivery information on their websites, the Fengxian District Administration for Market Regulation said.

The Shanghai Kuaihe Internet Science and Technology Co purchased the fake information and then sold it to its members, who are online store operators, for 1 or 2 yuan for each number, the administration said.

These online shop operators recorded the fake express bill numbers on shopping platforms like Taobao and JD.com to inflate their sales figures, according to the administration.

In total, about 580,000 fake express bill numbers were found, and such acts violate China's law against unfair competition, the administration said.

In a separate case, the China office of US chemical company Eastman was fined more than 24 million yuan for violating China's anti-monopoly law, the city's market watchdog said.

The company was found signing exclusive agreements with its coating clients in China, prompting them to buy most or all of a coalescing aid from it, which blocked other competitors from entering the Chinese market via normal competitive means, the administration said.

Last year, market regulators citywide busted about 26,000 cases, with fines and confiscations totaling 657 million yuan, according to the administration.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 2 million fake and substandard facial masks and disinfection products were confiscated, it said.

The 10 cases involved monopoly practices, unfair competition, ads, pyramid sales, food manufacturing, special equipment and medical apparatus and instruments.

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