March 15 is China's Consumers' Rights Day, but the country got an early gift this past week when portal Sohu.com helped open an online forum for Chinese consumers and enterprises to discuss and settle quality problems of products. China Consumers' Association helped setup the website located at online315.com.
Consumers' complaints about shoddy products and bad service get much press in China, helped by vigilante consumer advocates like Wang Hai. And it's not uncommon for Chinese courts to hear cases about products worth less than CNY5.00 (USD0.60), and to rule in favor of the consumer.
"Through the Internet, Chinese consumers have a more convenient and efficient way to complain and solve quality problems," said Teng Jiacai, secretary-general of the CCA.
Founded in 1984, the CCA is the most important organization for Chinese consumers to complain and defend their rights and interests. By the end of 2003, the CCA had accepted almost 8 million cases and recovered about CNY5 billion (USD602.4 million) for consumers.
"The CCA and Sohu.com will make a scientific analysis of information on consumer complaints and the reconciliation between consumers and enterprises, and will regularly publicize the analysis result," said Wu Gaohan, deputy secretary-general of the CCA.