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China Marks Consumer Rights Day With New Law That Protects Digital Shoppers


Chinese consumer shopping online

Twenty years after the issue of China’s Consumer Protection Law, e-commerce became the major target of the latest amendments to the law for the first time. During the World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, new amendments of “seven-day unconditional refund” went into effect.

According to the new law, consumers have the right to receive an unconditional refund for products purchased via the internet, television, telephone or mail order with seven days upon receipt of the products. Merchants must refund consumers within seven days of receiving the returned goods.

Categories that are not eligible for the seven-day unconditional refund including bespoke products, fresh and perishable goods, magazines, newspapers and digital products sold via download.

In fact, the new policy of seven-day unconditional refund is not something new in China. Large e-commerce marketplaces such as Tmall and B2C online retailers like JD adopted this as a standard several years ago.

However, there are still many complaints about online and television shopping safety – especially in regards to after-sales service. According to the China Consumer Association, online shopping related consumer complaints reached 20,454 in 2013, accounting for 52% of total complaints about sales and services.

The new regulations are expected to help boost online sales as consumers feel more safe when they have the right to return products that do not meet their expectations.

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