Chinese authorities recover billions for deceived consumers

Updated: 2013-03-14 16:30


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BEIJING -- Chinese authorities have recovered economic losses worth 4.82 billion yuan ($768 million) for deceived consumers over the past five years, official figures showed on Thursday.

In the past five years, China's industry and commerce institutions have processed 24.68 million requests or complaints filed by consumers, officials said at a conference held to mark the International Consumer Rights Day.

These institutions have investigated 546,000 cases involving the sale of fake or shoddy products, as well as 104,000 cases in which consumers' rights were infringed upon in the service sector.

Wang Dongfeng, deputy director of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, said China will strengthen regulations to better respond to consumers' complaints.

Apart from falling victim to traditional business schemes such as sales of bogus products, Chinese consumers are increasingly becoming the target of new types of online swindles, as the country's expanding pool of Internet users has created a fertile environment for such scams.

By the end of 2012, the number of online shoppers had reached 242 million, an increase of 24.8 percent year on year. This fueled a surge in online fraud, including phishing websites, which are disguised as legitimate login pages that prompt buyers to disclose their personal information.

Authorities tracked and handled 24,535 phishing websites during the January-November period last year, according to data from the Anti-Phishing Alliance of China.