Zhejiang Consumers Council Summons Major E-Commerce Livestreaming Platform Operators

Zhejiang Consumers Council announced on Thursday that in order to stay on top of livestreaming e-commerce, during the ‘Double Eleven Shopping Festival’ this year, the organ tested five major platforms including Taobao, Pinduoduo, JD.com, Kuaishou and Douyin.

Seven livestreaming hosts from Taobao, four from Pinduoduo, two from JD.com, two from Kuaishou and two from Douyin were selected by the organ for this consumer test. These livestreaming hosts include well-known hosts such as Li Jiaqi, Viya, Luo Yonghao, Cherie, Lier Baby and Timor. They all ranked among the top ten in the most popular livestreaming hosts list.

A total of 80 batches of goods were purchased by the organ, including clothes, shoes, food, toys, and electronic goods. The Consumer Council then sent the goods to a third-party institution to test the quality, check the labels, investigate the physical and chemical indicators of the products according to national standards.

During the observation, it was found that some hosts exaggerated in promotion words, used unduly absolute advertising language, compared with other platforms, and missed or sent wrongly sized items. Some products are even inconsistent with the promotional ads. Besides, two batches of fresh produce were found to be short in weight.

After testing, Zhejiang Consumer Council found that among the 80 batches of products purchased this time, 29 batches did not meet the national standards, and the non-conformity rate was 36.25%. Among them, 10 batches are unaccepted products (no name or address of the manufacturer, no date of the manufacture). Nine batches of products’s quality does not meet the national standards. Seven batches’ materials and components do not meet the national standards, and three batches do not have standardized labels. Three products bought from Li Jiaqi’s livestreaming on Taobao have been found to be unqualified in terms of labels.

On Thursday, Zhejiang Consumers Council summoned the five platforms and involved hosts, and explicitly requested them to submit rectification reports before December 28.

The relevant person in charge of Taobao responded that the problematic goods have been removed from the platform, and the corresponding merchants are required to seal up, return to the factory or destroy the stock. These goods are required to not be sold in the future. For hosts and merchants that violated the regulations, Taobao has punished them according to the rules. In addition, it has contacted merchants to make after-sales service plans.

People in charge of Pinduoduo said that all the live-streaming channels involved had been suspended for seven continuous days. It informed the merchants and hosts violated the regulations to operate in line with rules. At the same time, the goods that do not meet the national standards have been removed from the platform, and relevant merchants are required to correct the illegal acts. Douyin, JD.com and Kuaishou also removed the involved unqualified products.

SEE ALSO: Live Streaming E-Commerce Is All the Rage In China

Chinese regulators are tightening supervision over the livestreaming industry. The taxation department of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, found that the famous livestreamer Huang Wei, better known as Viya, evaded taxes totaling 643 million yuan ($101 million) and underpaid other taxes by 60 million yuan by concealing personal income, among other offences from 2019 and 2020. The organ made a tax administrative punishment decision on Huang Wei according to laws and regulations with a total fine of 1.341 billion yuan ($210.3 million).