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Updated: 2015-03-16 07:40
By XU WEI(China Daily)
China saw the largest rise in consumer complaints last year in the online shopping sector, with three times the number of the previous year, the country's market regulator announced.
Industry and commerce authorities nationwide handled more than 1.16 million cases of consumer complaints last year, up 14.3 percent from the previous year, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce said in a news release on Sunday. The number of complaints and the percentage increase were the highest in five years, the authority said.
The complaints filed against online shopping platforms and online stores saw the most significant increase last year, with a total of 77,800 complaints filed against online stores, according to the authority.
In late January, Taobao, China's largest consumer-to-consumer platform under the e-commerce giant Alibaba group, and the SAIC engaged in a public dispute over a quality-check report, which said that less than 40 percent of the goods sold on Taobao were authentic.
The authority said the online shopping sector has made it difficult for consumers to defend their rights because the sellers are often located hundreds of miles away.
Zhang Mao, minister of the State authority, said in a news conference last week that China's e-commerce boom was a new challenge for regulators.
"Issues such as fake goods and the difficulty in getting refunds for purchases have become the top complaints of online shoppers," he said.