3.15 annual gala: Bad practice exposed in battle to protect consumer rights
The annual "3.15" gala produced by China Central Television lifted its curtain on Wednesday to mark World Consumer Rights Day.
With undercover reports, the gala exposed cases in which many companies and brands have violated consumers' rights.
Here are the highlights from the gala:
Foods from Japan's radiation-affected area
Radiation has continued to affect products from Japan's Fukushima and the nearby areas six years after the massive earthquake and the tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2011.
Foods from Japan's high radiation-affected areas were found in the Chinese market. These products were sold in several stores, including some large Chinese e-commerce platforms, Muji stores, and Aeon stores.
Some retailers hid the origin of the product by using vague labels. For instance, a product made in the Tokyo prefecture was found in Muji with a new label stating "made in Japan" on its package. However, China has banned imports of food from the area.
Over 13,000 online shops were suspected of selling the contaminated foods, and local authorities have worked to prevent the radiation-affected goods from flowing into the Chinese market.
Misleading promotion by Nike
Nike, one of the largest sports brands in the world, was found to have used misleading promotions. Consumers found shoes did not contain the air cushion claimed in an advertisement.
Local authorities in Shanghai have rushed to the headquarters of Nike in Shanghai and further investigation is underway.
Fake Wikipedia with false advertising
Hudong Baike, an online knowledge-sharing platform which claims to be the largest Chinese website of its kind, was accused of false advertising. Any product can be verified on the website by paying 4,800 yuan (700 US dollars), without any other requirements.
A patient with liver cancer found a verified item showing a "magic" medicine on the website, which could kill the cancer cell within seven days. However, the medicine was not even registered at the State Food and Drug Administration.
The gala also revealed several cases which violated consumers' rights, such as putting illegal additives into animal feed, unlicensed maternity matrons and stealing consumers' data via QR codes.