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The deadly danger of 'seckill'

[ 2010-04-23 14:06]     字号 [] [] []  
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Malls and supermarkets are being strongly urged to stop organizing so-called seckill sales over fears that people could become seriously hurt in the melee they sometimes create.

Seckill sales get their name from a word that originated in the online gaming community and are characterized by offering products at very low prices for extremely short periods.

Beijing authorities brought out regulations two years ago to stem their use and strengthened those rules this week, making such sales illegal for "life necessities " such as rice, oil, meat and eggs.

Xu Kang, deputy director of the Beijing municipal commission of commerce, said using the seckill method to sell bare essentials is now outlawed in Beijing, and stores that break the rule face a 100,000-yuan fine.

"We strongly oppose promotions that lead to large numbers of people gathering in a very short time because of the safety problems that could arise," Xu said on Thursday.

Xu pointed out that a seckill sale in 2007 at a Carrefour supermarket in southwestern Chongqing municipality caused a stampede that left three people dead and injured 31.

Wang Chengrong, vice president of Beijing Vocational College of Finance and Commerce, said seckill sales are also an infringement of consumers' rights. "Unlike a common sale, which is open to every client, seckill sales are time-limited and only a small number of clients can get access to the opportunity, and that is not fair," he said.

Wang said items offered for sale through the seckill method are often sold for less than their cost as stores compete with one another to attract customers.

Li Shunli, chairman of the Beijing Chamber of Commerce, suggested retailers consider more creative and effective means of promoting themselves. "Price cuts are not the only or most important way of doing promotions," Li said.

Guiyou department store, for example, has worked with communications organizations on promotions and held events such as a session for VIP clients that featured the Deyun cross-talk group and actor Deng Chao.


1. What is a ‘seckill’ sale?

2. Where does the term come from?

3. What are the regulations?


1. Seckill sales offer products at very low prices for extremely short periods.

2. Seckill sales get their name from a word that originated in the online gaming community.

3. Beijing authorities made such sales illegal for "life necessities" such as rice, oil, meat and eggs. Stores that break the rule face a 100,000-yuan fine.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

The deadly danger of 'seckill'

About the broadcaster:

The deadly danger of 'seckill'

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.