Labeling snafu brings heavy fine for daigou

Tian Shengjie
The Jinshan District's People's Court has ruled that a shopkeeper must pay more than 60,000 yuan for selling foreign food without Chinese labels and descriptions.
Tian Shengjie

The Jinshan District’s People’s Court has ruled that a shopkeeper must pay more than 60,000 yuan (US$9,222) for selling foreign food without Chinese labels and descriptions.

A man surnamed Zhao spent 6,022 yuan on rosehip extract complex for beauty products made in Australia from the e-shop of a daigou (a shopper who buys foreign products for domestic customers) surnamed Li on the e-commerce platform Taobao. He placed four orders in 2019.

All products were shipped from China, including the Hong Kong Special Administration Region and Guangdong Province, the court said today.

Zhao found that there was no Chinese product description on its packaging, so he sued and asked for a refund and compensation of 10 times the products' value.

The defendant said that as a daigou, the service she provides is to help consumers buy foreign products, which means she doesn't have to take on commodity issues, including the quality, inspection and quarantine certificate for food and the Chinese description with the country of origin and the information of the domestic agent.

The court said there are now two kinds of daigou. One is that overseas people buy products in other countries after domestic consumers place orders. The other is that some people have imported the products before Chinese consumers buy them. The former is not responsible for commodity issues but the latter – which applies to Li – is.

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