xi's moments
Home | National Affairs

Regulators beef up consumer protection

Challenges highlighted in supervision of livestreaming sales, platform economy

By CHENG YU | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-03-16 07:08

Livestreamers promote products at an industrial park in Rongcheng, Shandong province, in November. LI XINJUN/FOR CHINA DAILY

China's market regulators have beefed up efforts to protect the rights and interests of consumers, as more than 35 million consumer complaints were effectively dealt with last year.

The State Administration for Market Regulation, the country's top market regulator, said on Friday — World Consumer Rights Day — that such efforts helped consumers save potential economic losses of 4.49 billion yuan ($624 million) in 2023.

Most of the consumer complaints were related to after-sales services, product quality, food safety, contract disputes and unfair competition. After-sales service complaints, in particular, experienced the fastest growth, surging 61.5 percent year-on-year.

Notably, with livestreaming e-commerce seeing explosive growth in recent years, the regulator said that consumer complaints from livestreaming e-commerce significantly outpaced that of traditional e-commerce platforms.

In 2023, Chinese market authorities received over 12.6 million online shopping complaints, accounting for 56.1 percent of the total, the top market regulator said.

"Sectors like livestreaming e-commerce are still newborns, and it is inevitable that various problems arise. Thus, it is necessary to collaboratively establish a comprehensive consumer protection mechanism," said Li Yongjian, a senior researcher of the National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"Currently, China's livestreaming e-commerce sector is moving toward a stage of standardized development. Only by establishing an environment that tolerates failure can various sectors develop healthily, and further exert their roles in promoting consumption," Li added.

The regulator also said that it has intensified efforts to supervise the "platform economy" — tech-driven online marketplaces and other similar operations — to drive its orderly and sustainable development.

From June to October, market regulators from across the country guided 854 platform-based companies to examine their agreement rules, and assisted companies to add 982 agreement rules and optimize 2,698 improper ones.

Wang Xianlin, a member of the expert advisory group of the State Council's anti-monopoly commission, said: "Over the past years, authorities have conducted intensive and special rectifications of improper behaviors in the platform economy and have achieved the desired effect of a fairer market environment."

"Now, it's time for China to return to normalized supervision in the sector. Normalized supervision is basically to avoid intensive and abrupt rectifications, so as to offer a more predictable market environment for platform-based companies," he said.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349