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Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Consumers – 1994

June 1, 2011

(Adopted by the 4th Session of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People’s Congress on October 31, 1993, promulgated by Order No.11 of the President of the People’s Republic of China on October 31, 1993, and effective on January 1, 1994)

Contents
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Rights of the Consumers
Chapter III Obligations of the Operators
Chapter IV State Protection on Consumers’ Lawful Rights and Interests
Chapter V Consumers’ Organizations
Chapter VI Settlement of Disputes
Chapter VII Legal Responsibility
Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1
This Law is formulated in order to protect the lawful rights and interests of the consumers, to maintain the socioeconomic order, and to promote sound development of the socialist market economy.
Article 2
Where the consumers, for the need of living consumption, purchase and utilize commodities or accept services, their rights and interests are protected by this Law; and in the absence of such provisions in this Law, are protected by other relevant laws and regulations.
Article 3
The operators shall, in providing commodities they produce or sell or in providing services, abide by this Law; and in the absence of such provisions in this Law, abide by other relevant laws and regulations.
Article 4
The operators and the consumers shall, in transactions, observe to the principle of willingness, equality, fairness and honesty and reputation.
Article 5
The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the consumers from being infringed upon.
The state adopts measures in ensuring the consumers to exercise their rights according to law and in defending the lawful rights and interests of the consumers.
Article 6
The protection of the consumers’ rights and interests is a common responsibility of the whole society.
The state encourages and supports all organizations and individuals to carry out social supervision over any infringement act of the lawful rights and interests of the consumers.
Mass media shall give a good publicity to the defense of the consumers’ rights and interests and carry out media supervision over any infringement act of the lawful rights and interests of the consumers.

Chapter II Rights of the Consumers
Article 7
In purchasing and utilizing commodities or accepting services, the consumers enjoy the inviolable right of the personal and property safety.
The consumers have the right to demand the commodities or services provided by the operators accord with the requirements of ensuring the personal and property safety.
Article 8
The consumers enjoy the right to know the true situation of the commodities purchased and utilized and the services accepted.
The consumers have the right, according to different situations of the commodities or services, to demand the operators to provide such relevant information as the commodities’ price, origin of production, manufacturer, purpose, performance, specification, grade, major compositions, date of production, term of validity, certification of inspection, operation manual, after-sale service, or the services’ content, standard and charge.
Article 9
The consumers enjoy the right to choose the commodities or services of their choice.
The consumers have the right to select independently the operators who provide commodities or services, to choose independently the varieties of commodities and the kind of services, and to decide independently to purchase a commodity or not and to accept a service or not.
The consumers have the right to make comparison, examination and selection in independently choosing commodities and accepting services.
Article 10
The consumers enjoy the right of fair dealings.
In purchasing commodities or accepting services, the consumers have the right to obtain such fair dealing conditions as quality warranty, reasonable price and correct meterage, and have the right to refuse any forced dealing act of the operators.
Article 11
A consumer who suffers injury or damage to the person or property in purchasing and utilizing commodities or accepting services enjoys the right to seek compensation according to law.
Article 12
The consumers enjoy the right to organize and form according to law social organizations to defend their lawful rights and interests.
Article 13
The consumers enjoy the right to obtain the knowledge and information about consumption and the protection of consumers’ rights and interests.
The consumers shall exert themselves to master the knowledge and operation skills on the commodities or services they need, utilize the commodities correctly and heighten their self-protection consciousness.
Article 14
The consumers enjoy the right, in purchasing and utilizing commodities or accepting services, to have their human dignity and nationality customs and traditions being respected.
Article 15
The consumers enjoy the right to carry out supervision over the commodities, services and the protection work of consumers’ rights and interests.
The consumers have the right to inform against and complain any infringement act of the rights and interests of consumers and any act of law-violation and neglect of duties of state organs and their functionaries in the protection work of consumers’ rights and interests, and have the right to put forward their criticism and suggestions on the work of protecting the consumers’ rights and interests.

Chapter III Obligations of the Operators
Article 16
The operators shall, in providing the consumers with commodities or services, fulfill their obligations in accordance with the provisions of the Product Quality Law of the People’s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations.
Where there is an agreement between the consumer and the operator, obligations shall be fulfilled according to the agreement, but the agreement of two parties may not violate the provisions of laws and regulations.
Article 17
The operators shall solicit opinions from the consumers on the commodities or services they provide and subject themselves to supervision from the consumers.
Article 18
The operators shall guarantee that the commodities or services they provide accord with the requirements of ensuring the personal and property safety. In regard to the commodities or services which pose potential hazard to personal and property safety, the operators shall make true to fact descriptions and clear warning to the consumers, specify and label the correct method in utilizing the commodities or accepting services and the method of preventing the occurrence of injury and damage.
When the operators discover that the commodities or services they provide exist serious defects and might cause injury or damage to the personal and property safety even under correct utilization of the commodities and acceptance of the services, the operators shall promptly report to relevant administrative departments and inform the consumers and take measures to prevent the occurrence of such injury and damage.
Article 19
The operators shall provide true to fact information about commodities or services to the consumers and may not make misleading false publicity.
The operators shall make true to fact and clear answers on inquiry of the consumers on the quality and utilization method of the commodities or services provided.
The shops shall label clear price on commodities provided.
Article 20
The operators shall clearly label their real designations and marks.
The operators who hire counters or sites from others shall clearly label their real designation and marks.
Article 21
The operators who provide commodities or services shall, according to relevant state regulations or commercial usage, issue the certificate of purchasing or service vouchers to the consumers; where the consumer asks for the certificate of purchasing or service voucher, the operator must issue thereof.
Article 22
Under normal utilization of the commodities and acceptance of services, the operators shall guarantee the quality, performance, purpose and term of validity, which the commodities or services they provide should have, but excluding the case where the consumers have already known the hidden defects prior to the purchase of such commodities or the acceptance of such services.
Where the operators use advertisements, product descriptions, sample products or other means to indicate the quality status of the commodities or services, they shall guarantee that the actual quality of the commodities or services they provide shall comply with the indicated quality.
Article 23
Where the operators, according to state regulations or agreements with the consumers, commit themselves to take such responsibilities as repair, replacement and return of goods in providing the commodities or services, they shall fulfill such responsibilities according to state regulations or agreements and may not delay intentionally or refuse to fulfillment without reasons.
Article 24
The operators may not make unfair or unreasonable regulations against the consumers in such forms as form contract, notice, statement or shop poster, or diminish or waive their due civil responsibility for infringing the consumers’ lawful rights and interests.
Where the form contracts, notices, statements or shop posters contain the content listed in the preceding paragraph, such content is null and void.
Article 25
The operators may not insult or defame the consumers, may not search the body of the consumers and the articles they carry, and may not infringe upon the consumers’ freedom of person.

Chapter IV State Protection on Consumers’ Lawful Rights and Interests

Article 26
The state shall, in formulating laws, regulations and policies related to the protection of consumers’ rights and interests, heed opinions and demands of the consumers.
Article 27
People’s governments at all levels shall strengthen their leadership, organize, co-ordinate and supervise and urge relevant administrative departments in doing well the work on the protection of consumers’ lawful rights and interests.
People’s governments at all levels shall strengthen their supervision, prevent the occurrence of the act which hazards the personal and property safety of the consumers, and timely put an end to the act which hazards the personal and property safety of the consumers.
Article 28
Industrial and commercial administration departments of the people’s governments at various levels and other relevant administrative departments shall, in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations and within their respective scopes of functions and duties, adopt measures to protect the lawful rights and interests of the consumers.
Relevant administrative departments shall listen to opinions of the consumers and their social organizations on problems concerning operators’ trading acts and the quality of commodities and services, and timely investigate into and handle such problems.
Article 29
Relevant state organs shall, in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations, punish those operators for the illegal and criminal offense of infringing the lawful rights and interests of the consumers in their supply of commodities or services.
Article 30
People’s courts shall take measures to convenience the consumers in filing suits. Where a case of dispute over consumers’ rights and interests meets the indictment conditions as provided in the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, the people’s court must take cognizance of and timely hear such case.

Chapter V Consumers’ Organizations

Article 31
The consumer association and other consumer organizations are social organizations which are established according to law to carry out social supervision over commodities and services, and to protect the lawful rights and interests of the consumers.
Article 32
The consumer association exercises the following duties and functions:
1. to provide the consumers with services on consumption information and consultancy;
2. to join relevant administrative departments in supervising over and inspecting into commodities and services;
3. to report to relevant administrative departments, inquire into and put forward suggestions on issues concerning the lawful rights and interests of the consumers;
4. to take cognizance of consumer complaints, investigate into and mediate such complaints;
5. where the complaints involve quality of commodities and services, the consumer association may submit to the appraising departments for appraisal, and the appraising departments shall inform them on the appraisal conclusion;
6. to support the consumer whose rights and interests are infringed upon in filing the suit against the act which infringes the lawful rights and interests of the consumers; and
7. to expose and criticize through the mass media such acts which infringe
upon the lawful rights and interests of the consumers.
People’s governments at all levels shall support the consumer associations in exercising their duties and functions.
Article 33
Consumer organizations may not engage in commodity operations and profit-oriented services, and may not recommend commodities and services to the society for the purpose of making profits.

Chapter VI Settlement of Disputes
Article 34
A dispute of the rights and interests of the consumer arising between the consumer and the operator may be settled through the following channels:
1. to settle through mediation with the operator;
2. to request the consumer association for mediation;
3. to make the complaint to the relevant administrative department;
4. to apply to the arbitration organ for arbitration according to the arbitration agreement with the operator; and
5. to bring a suit to the people’s court.
Article 35
A consumer whose lawful rights and interests are infringed upon when purchasing and utilizing the commodity may claim for compensation from the seller. Where, after such compensation is made by the seller, the responsibility lies with the manufacturer or other sellers who provide the commodity to the seller, the seller has the right to recover its losses from the manufacturer or other seller.
A consumer or other victim suffers injury and damage to the person or property due to the defects of the commodity may claim for compensation from the seller, and may also claim for compensation from the manufacturer. Where the responsibility lies with the manufacturer and after such compensation is made by the seller, the seller has the right to recover its losses from the manufacturer. Where the responsibility lies with the seller and after the manufacturer has paid such compensation, the manufacturer has the right to recover its losses from the seller.
A consumer whose lawful rights and interests are infringed upon when accepting services may claim for compensation from the service provider.
Article 36
A consumer whose lawful rights and interests are infringed upon in purchasing and utilizing the commodity or accepting the service may claim for compensation from the enterprise which take both the rights and obligations of the original enterprise which has split or merged.
Article 37
Where illegal operators who use business licenses of others provide commodities and services and infringe upon the lawful rights and interests of the consumers, the consumers may claim for compensation from such operators and may also claim for compensation from the holders of such licenses.
Article 38
A consumer whose lawful rights and interests are infringed upon in purchasing the commodity or accepting the service from sales exhibitions or leased counters may claim for compensation from the seller or service provider. After the conclusion of such sales exhibitions and the expiration of the lease term of such counters, the consumer may claim for compensation from the organizers of such sales exhibitions or lessors of such counters. The organizers of such sales exhibitions and lessors of such counters have the right, after making such compensation, to recover their losses from the sellers or service providers.
Article 39
A consumer whose lawful rights and interests are infringed upon because of false advertisements used by the operator to provide the commodity or service may claim for compensation from the operator. The consumer may request the competent administrative department to mete out punishment to the advertising operator who publishes the false advertisement. An advertising operator who can not provide real designation and address of the operator shall bear responsibility of compensation.

Chapter VII Legal Responsibility
Article 40
Except where this Law provides otherwise, an operator who provides the commodity or service shall assume civil responsibility in accordance with the provisions of the Product Quality Law of the People’s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations if the operator is under one of the following circumstances:
1. Where the commodity has the defect;
2. Where the commodity does not have the operating characteristics that the commodity should have and the description does not make at the selling time;
3. Where the commodity is inconsistent with the product standards marked on the commodity or its package;
4. Where the commodity is inconsistent with the quality condition indicated by product description or the sample products;
5. To produce the commodity clearly declared to be eliminated by the state or to market the commodity that has become ineffective or has gone bad;
6. To market the commodity in insufficient weight;
7. Where the contents of services or charges run counter to the agreement;
8. To delay arbitrarily or refuse without justified reason the demand by the consumer on repair, refurbishment, replacement, return of goods, making up the difference in quantity, refunding payment for goods and service charges or indemnity; and
9. Other circumstances as provided by laws and regulations on the infringement of the consumers’ rights and interests.
Article 41
An operator who causes injury to person of the consumer or other victims in providing the commodity or service shall pay the medical expenses, nursing costs during the treatment period and loss in income caused due to loss of working days; where disability is resulted, the operator shall also pay such costs as self-assistance apparatus for the living of the disabled, living allowance, indemnity for the disabled and the living cost required by his or her dependents; where the case constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.
Article 42
An operator who causes the demise to the consumer or other victims in providing the commodity or service shall pay such costs as funeral expenses, indemnity for fatality and the living expenses required by the dependents of the dead; where the case constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.
Article 43
An operator who, in violation of the provisions of Article 25 of this Law, infringes upon the personal dignity or the personal freedom of the consumer shall stop such infringement, rehabilitates the reputation of the consumer, eliminate influence, make an apology, and compensate losses of the consumer.
Article 44
An operator who causes damages to property of the consumer in providing the commodity or service shall, according to the demand of the consumer, assume civil responsibility in such ways as repair, refurbishment, replacement, return of goods, making up the difference in quantity of the commodity, refunding payment for the commodity and service charges or indemnifying the losses. Where there is a separate agreement, such agreement shall apply.
Article 45
With respect to the commodities guaranteed for repair, replacement and return as prescribed by the state or agreements between the operators and the consumers, the operators shall take the responsibility of repair, replacement and return. Where the commodity can still not be used normally after two repairs during the warranty term, the operator shall take the responsibility of replacement or return.
With respect to the large commodities guaranteed for repair, replacement and return, which the consumer demands for repair, replacement or return, the operator shall assume such reasonable costs as transportation.
Article 46
An operator who provides the commodity by means of mail-order shall provide such commodity as agreed upon. The operator who fails to provide as agreed upon shall honor the agreement or refund the payment for goods according to the demand of the consumer; and shall also cover the reasonable expenses that the consumer must pay.
Article 47
An operator who provides the commodity or service by means of advance received shall provide thereof as agreed upon. The operator who fails to provide as agreed upon shall honor the agreement or refund the advance payment according to the demand of the consumer; and shall also indemnify interests for the advance payment and compensate the reasonable expenses that the consumer must pay.
Article 48
Where a consumer demands to return the commodity which is not up to the standards as determined by the relevant administrative department according to law, the operator shall be responsible to return.
Article 49
An operator who has the fraudulent act in providing the commodity or service shall, according to the demand of the consumer, increase the compensation to the losses suffered by the consumer, the amount of increased compensation is one times of the commodity price or service charges that the consumer has paid for the commodity purchased or for the service accepted.
Article 50
An operator who is under one of the following circumstances shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations where the Product Quality Law of the People’s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations have the provisions on the organs in charge of punishment and penalty methods; and in the absence of such provisions in laws and regulations, the operator shall be ordered to make corrections by the industrial and commercial administration department, and may be, according to the case, separately or accumulatively given a warning, confiscated its ill-gotten gains, imposed a fine of more than one times and less than five times of its ill-gotten gains, and if there is no ill-gotten gains, imposed a fine of less than 10,000 yuan; where the case is serious, the operator shall be ordered to suspend operation for rectification or be revoked of its business license:
1. the commodity produced or sold which is not up to the requirements on ensuring the personal and property safety;
2. adulterating or mixing up the commodity, using the spurious as the genuine, using the second as the best, or falsifying the substandard commodity as the qualified commodity;
3. manufacturing the commodity which has been declared to be eliminated by the state or selling the commodity which is no longer effective or has gone bad;
4. falsifying the origin of production of the commodity, falsifying or using without authorization the name and address of other manufacturer, counterfeiting or using without authorization such quality certifications as certification mark and brand-name and quality marks;
5. marketing the un-inspected or un-quarantined commodity which should be subject to the inspection or quarantine or counterfeiting the inspection or quarantine conclusion;
6. making misleading and false publicity on the commodity or service;
7. arbitrarily delaying or refusing without justified reasons demands of the consumer on repair, refurbishment, replacement, return of goods, making up the difference in commodity quantity, refunding payment for goods and service charges, or indemnity for losses;
8. infringing upon the personal dignity or the personal freedom of the consumer;
9. other circumstances which infringe upon the rights and interests of the consumers and which shall be penalized as provided by laws and regulations.
Article 51
An operator who does not agree with the administrative penalty decision may, within 15 days from the date of receiving the penalty decision, apply for a reconsideration to the next higher organ. The operator who does not agree with the reconsideration decision may, within 15 days from the date of receiving the reconsideration decision, bring a suit to the people’s court; the operator may also directly bring a suit to the people’s court.
Article 52
Whoever uses such methods as violence or threaten to hinder the functionary of the relevant administrative department from exercising the duty of office according to law shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law; whoever does not use such methods as violence or threaten to refuse or hinder the functionary of the relevant administrative department from exercising the duty of office according to law shall be punished by the public security organ in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations for Public Security Control and Punishment of the People’s Republic of China.
Article 53
Any functionary of the state organs who neglects his or her duty of office or covers up the operator’s act which infringes upon the lawful rights and interests of the consumer shall be subject to the administrative penalty by the unit to which the functionary belongs or the superior organ; where the case is serious and constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.

Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions
Article 54
Means of production purchased and utilized by farmers directly used in agricultural production shall be treated with reference to this Law.
Article 55
This Law shall enter into effect as of January 1, 1994.
Source:
http://www.lehmanlaw.com/resource-centre/laws-and-regulations/consumer-protection/law-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china-on-protection-of-the-rights-and-interests-of-the-consumers-1994.html

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