Beijing Daily, 2/23/11
China's Ministry of Commerce began circulating its "Standards for Third-Party E-Commerce Transaction Platforms (draft edition)" for feedback yesterday. The standards require that online product information be filled out accurately, and that pictures of physical objects or commodities being sold should display the product from multiple angles, and should not distort or mislead viewers with regard to the product's color, size, proportions, or other properties.
The draft dictates that platform operators should, within reason, remind users of the risk associated with online transactions, and should require users to confirm transaction details before processing payments; payment service operators should also require payers to confirm payment. The standards encourage platform operators to establish a "cooling period" during which customers may cancel their orders for any reason.
The review draft encourages third-party transaction platforms to ask both parties in any online transaction totaling more than RMB 50,000 to affix electronic signatures to the order.
In the cases of damaged products, the standards dictate that store operators should provide full explanations and photographic documentation of the flaws. If a complainant can demonstrate that an online vendor violated their rights or published illegal information, platform operators will be required to issue a warning to the responsible party to cease and desist, delete the fraudulent or harmful information, and provide the complainant with the vendor's personal data and contact information if requested.