Internet giants ordered to make improvements

Hu Min
Shanghai Consumer Council identifies various problems with Pinduoduo and Meituan and tells them to correct their wrongdoings and safeguard consumer rights.
Hu Min

The Shanghai Consumer Council on Monday ordered Internet giants Pinduoduo and Meituan to fix problems and safeguard consumer rights.

E-commerce platform Pinduoduo was found to have problems with commodity quality, bogus products and infringements, compelling cancellation of orders, fake delivery, after-sales services and pricing tricks to lure new users, the council said.

The website operator was ordered to enhance the review of businesses' qualifications and stamp out fake and substandard products, punish businesses with fake delivery and bargain tricks, properly handle consumers' complaints, stop raising intermediary fees via its market advantage positions, and rectify irregularities in developing new users.

Meituan was found with refund disputes due to cancellation of orders, failure to deliver meals, fresh food and vegetables based on orders, and misleading consumers, the council said.

The platform was ordered to improve its service description and rules and remind consumers of important content concerning their rights and interests in an obvious way.

It should fulfill its duty based on orders and contact consumers for a solution in the case of special situations that lead to failure in fulfilling accommodation and ticketing orders, the council said.

It should set the amount of charges fairly for businesses on the platform and not impose an unreasonable burden on businesses and consumers based on its market advantage position. It should also ensure products are delivered on time and avoid fake reception.

It should work out solutions in new business models such as community group purchases to safeguard the rights and interests of these consumers, the council said.

Both companies said they would conduct self-inspection and rectification and submit relevant reports to the council.

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