The Measures improve the implementation of China’s Consumer Rights Protection Law (“CRPL”), amended in 2014, for the following reasons:

  • They list prohibited activities and specify circumstances that could be (i) a business operator “deliberately delaying or unreasonably refusing to meet consumers' demand,” (ii) fraudulent conduct, (iii) misleading publicity, and (iv) an infringement of consumers’ right to the protection of their personal data, as provided under the CRPL.
  • They define “consumers’ personal data,” which is not included in the CRPL, and address the uncertainty of classifying personal data in practice. Under the Measures, consumers’ personal data refers to data that, alone or with other information, identifies a consumer. This includes the consumer’s name, gender, occupation, date of birth, identification card number, residential address, contact details, medical history, and financial and marital status.
  • They extend the CRPL’s standards, establishing business operators’ noncompliance liabilities. Generally, the SAIC and its local counterparts can either impose a fine of up to (i) 10 times the amount of the unlawful gains, also confiscating all illegal earnings; or (ii) RMB 500,000, if there are no unlawful gains. Other possible consequences include suspending activities, revoking business licenses and publicly disclosing noncompliance.

Date of issue: January 5, 2015. Effective date: March 15, 2015