(Yicai Global) March 20 -- China's first court that specializes in online-related disputes has been dealing with a rising number of shopping cases for imported food and healthcare items.
The Hangzhou Internet Court accepted almost 2,100 e-commerce disputes last year, or 20 percent of the total, and imported goods got a growing portion of customers' criticism, the white paper it published today shows.
Major e-commerce platforms for overseas goods, such as Alibaba Group Holding's Tmall International, Quanqiugou, NetEase's Kaola and Alibaba-backed Xiaohongshu, also known as the Little Red Book, had all been part of court action last year.
Nearly 70 percent of these shopping disputes were about food and health products, mainly caused by defective labels or instructions, expiry dates, and the use of excessive additives, Zhejiang province-based media Zjol reported, citing a person in charge at the court.
Over one-half of the cases involved dissatisfaction with the product, 23 percent about services bought online, and 21 percent about contract disputes. Along with the traditional product segments, including pharmaceuticals, electronics and apparel, an increasing number of lawsuits was filed for emergent categories, such as vehicles, drones and bitcoin mining rigs.
The value of disputed goods rose. The average value for each subject matter was CNY68,000 (USD10,124), up 39 percent annually. Three cases involved a purchase worth CNY10 million (USD1.5 million) or above, and 100 cases with at least CNY100,000.
E-commerce platforms should standardize their rules and forbid false advertising in order to protect consumer rights, the court suggested.
Editor: Emmi Laine