China Consumers Association Releases Annual Report on Consumer Rights Protection

On Friday, the China Consumers Association released its 2021 annual report on China’s consumer rights protection, covering food security, automobiles, and other fields.

The annual report focuses on reviewing the important progress that has been made with China’s consumer rights protection laws in 2021, as well as the three major challenges that remain.

Firstly, there are still some shortcomings in the construction of the consumer protection laws themselves. Secondly, consumer rights infringement in several fields still needs to be addressed. In particular, the areas include the excessive collection and use of personal information, production and sales of food that does not meet safety standards, quality defects of automobiles, and inducing excessive consumption targeting minors. Thirdly, consumer protection in online transactions is facing new problems and challenges.

In terms of food safety, the National Consumers Association accepted nearly 80,000 complaints in 2021, showing a slight upward trend compared with 2020. Food safety issues of coffee chain Starbucks, chain restaurant Yoshinoya, RT-Mart, beverage brand Nayuki are all included in the report.

The annual report also points out the new problems of rights protection in the new energy smart car industry. In 2021, the National Consumers Association accepted more than 40,000 complaints about automobiles and auto parts, an increase of nearly 20% compared with 2020.

Major automobile safety problems include sudden acceleration, flameouts, oil leakage, abnormal engine noise, and brake steering failure.

Safeguarding rights while addressing the above problems is also difficult for many car owners. In the report, the association discussed the widely-publicized complaint made by a Tesla car owner at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021 and another consumer’s claim at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November 2021.

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Other problems include the inconsistent sales information of used cars, insecure quality of vehicles, and extra pay for models in tight demand.