40 per cent of online trade in China fake or substandard

Zhang DejiangChinese lawmakers have been urged to tighten controls on online trade after a report suggested counterfeit and low quality goods accounted for just over 40 per cent of sales.

The report on the implementation of the latest iteration of the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers also notes that China is now the biggest online marketplace in the world, overtaking the $300bn US market, and was valued at 2.8trn yuan ($442bn) last year.

An article published by the state-run Xinhua news agency notes that complaints concerning online purchases rose 357 per cent to reach 77,800 last year, according to data from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

This has prompted calls for the Chinese government to bring in new legislation to govern e-commerce, particularly with regard to the rights of consumers and the responsibilities of retailers.

The report (in Chinese) was presented at a plenary meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which was presided over by Chairman Zhang Dejiang.

The revelations come as China's online retail platforms, and particularly Alibaba, have come under intense scrutiny of late over counterfeit listings, and the measures taken by the sites to take them down.

Earlier this year, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) accused Alibaba of being 'lax' in what it allows traders to sell on its online retail platforms, prompting a war of words between the company and Chinese government.

Alibaba's chief executive Daniel Zhang said during the company’s financial results conference last week that the company "remains committed to providing a trusted consumer experience with authentic products by driving merchants that peddle counterfeit products off our marketplaces."

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