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Consumer Day shame for companies in China

op business and technology news for March 15, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "The case of the missing Politburo member."
2 weeks ago
Jia Guo

  • China’s name-and-shame TV show puts household brands on edge / Bloomberg
    Today is World Consumer Rights Day, an annual promotion of the rights of consumers, which was launched on March 15, 1962, by U.S. president John F. Kennedy. There’s not much fuss made about it in America, but it is a big deal in China, as many large companies are targeted for unfair practices by the country’s state broadcaster in an annual program called “CCTV March 15 Gala” (晚会 3.15). This year, highlighted companies included: Hudong Baike, a Wikipedia-like online encyclopedia, for becoming the largest “false advertising garbage station”; Muji stores, for selling nuclear-contaminated food from Japan; Nike, for selling basketball shoes with solid rubber bottoms instead of advertised air cushioning; ecommerce sites and Alibaba’s Tmall, for selling contaminated food and water on their platforms; and Wuhan Le Bailing Biological Technology Company, for inviting fake doctors to give “health lectures” to elderly people and selling dodgy health products.
    On the popular Chinese social network Weibo, many users praised the TV program. One commentator said, “Calbee food was actually nuclear contaminated. I threw out the rest right away. But I already ate two bags and am worried that I probably have genetic mutations.” Another commentator said, “It is obvious that ‘3.15’ was focusing on issues that mattered to people’s health and life such as food safety, instead of matters such as car repair or a mobile phone quality problem.” (All links above in Chinese.)
  • China’s Anbang denies report of Kushner property investment / Reuters
    China’s Anbang Insurance Group denied earlier reports indicating that the company was investing $400 million in a Manhattan office tower owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. A spokesman for Anbang said that “there is no investment from Anbang for this deal.” Kushner Companies, which bought the property located at 666 Fifth Avenue for $1.8 billion in 2006, responded that “nothing has been finalized.” The New York Times reported (paywall) in January that Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui and Jared Kushner were nearing agreement on a joint venture to redevelop the building.

By Jia Guo
Jia Guo is from the coastal city of Qingdao. She has an M.A. in multimedia journalism from NYU and has worked at Facebook and Bloomberg TV in New York City.
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