According to the government body that acts as China’s quality watchdog, over 40 percent of consumer goods available on e-commerce platforms last year were of subpar quality. (Photo : Getty Images)
The quality of goods bought online are deteriorating, as was revealed by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine on Wednesday, March 15, which also happened to be World Consumer Rights Day.
According to the government body that acts as China’s quality watchdog, over 40 percent of consumer goods available on e-commerce platforms last year were of subpar quality, China Daily reported.
The data was obtained from random inspections the agency performed, which involved 1,013 batches of different products, including kitchenware, clothing, toys, and even paper diapers.
Of the 1,013 batches inspected, 415 were found by the agency to be substandard, Han Yunping, spokesman of the administration, said.
Aside from failing to meet quality standards, the products were also incorrectly labeled. According to national regulations, imported consumer products must be correctly labeled in the national language.
Meanwhile, consumer goods available in other platforms were found to be of better quality. Only 29 percent were revealed to have failed quality standards, according to the administration.
Just in time for the World Consumer Rights Day, the administration called for stricter measures to ensure the quality of consumer goods in the market.
“Quality supervision authorities at all levels must intensity quality supervision and keep cracking down on law violations to improve the quality of products and protect consumers’ rights,” Mei Kebao, deputy head of the administration, said according to China Daily.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries in China. Its growth was impressive, but policy-makers were slow to write legislation and regulations that will support the sector and its consumers.
“Emerging industries, like shopping through overseas e-commerce channels, developed rapidly in recent years, leaving legislation and regulations lagging behind,” said Li Jun, a law professor at the University of International Business and Economics, in an interview with China Daily.
An e-commerce law, which will potentially protect customers’ rights and ensure product quality, is still being drafted.