Zhejiang Consumers Council Speaks with iQiyi and Other Video Platforms Regarding Advertisements

The Zhejiang Consumers Council scheduled a regulatory talk with iQiyi, Youku, Tencent Video, Sohu and PPTV regarding the issue that consumers still have to watch advertisements after purchasing memberships to their platforms.

At the regulatory talk, Zhejiang Consumers Council pointed out that after buying the membership on these five platforms, users still have to watch advertisements in various forms, such as ads on previous episodes, during paused videos, at the end, and pop ups. The number of ads shown mean that it’s highly likely for users to click on one of them. At issue, however, is that, should the user click on an ad and then be taken to a website, it is extremely difficult for users to return to their episode as the return key is so small.

The Council demands all platforms solve the issue of minuscule return buttons on the ads they display. All platforms must submit a written report to the Council before November 12.

In addition to the above five platforms, executives from four other video and audio websites also attended the regulatory meeting, namely, Mango TV, LeTV, Ximalaya and Dragonfly FM, were interviewed by Zhejiang Consumers Council at the same time.

In addition to the above-mentioned advertisement problems, the regulatory talk also reviewed the progress on matters discussed by the Zhejiang Consumers Council and attended by the video platforms last year.

On April 8 last year, according to membership numbers, the Zhejiang Consumers Council summoned several video and audio platforms including iQiyi, Tencent Video, Youku, Mango TV, etc. to a regulatory talk, and pointed out many problems.

Many of the platforms’ websites have unclear descriptions of advertising privileges, and are suspected of false propaganda. Further, many do not notify users about automatic renewals as the automatic subscription option is checked by default. Automatic subscriptions were easy to start but difficult to cancel.

Many platforms added paid services but purchased programs could not be watched in full screen mode. Finally, many of the platforms’ information collection authorization was virtually useless. However, in October of this year, it was found that there are still several video websites that have not fixed the above issues.

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The Zhejiang Consumers Council requires all video websites to remind members of their rights in a prominent position before paying for their memberships, and these rights shouldn’t only show in service agreements. For pop-up and moving advertisements, the cancellation key must be set at a reasonable place so that consumers could easily close it. For film-on-demand services, video platforms should set up a single-chip purchase payment mode so that consumers can purchase on demand. Finally, the process of unsubscribing should be simplified.