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No hiding place for economic criminals

CHINA'S State Administration for Industry and Commerce uncovered 451,100 cases of economic violations and crimes last year.

The number of the cases, which involved 1.29 billion yuan (US$188.7 million), was down 18.32 percent from the previous year, the administration said yesterday.

Of the total, 59,300 cases, or 13.14 percent, were related to the production and sales of fake goods.

To protect consumers' rights, the administration has beefed up efforts on food safety checks, crackdowns on illegal advertising, pyramid selling, trademark violations and commercial frauds in recent years.

It also pledged to strengthen food and product safety monitoring and checks.

A cell phone message complaint platform is to open soon to provide a new channel for consumers' complaints, according to the administration. It will have the same number across the nation - 12315.

In addition to receiving complaints, it will also be able to issue warnings to consumers, according to the administration.

"To better protect consumers' rights, the government should lay the emphasize on prevention, instead of dealing with problems afterwards," said Wang Dongfeng, an official with the administration.

The administration also said that China cracked more than 2,500 pyramid-selling cases in 2008.

Last year, industry and commerce authorities across the country destroyed nearly 20,000 pyramid-selling hideouts, and handed over 167 cases, involving 941 people, to the police.

China's top legislature has approved a number of law amendments which impose penalties on organizers of pyramid schemes.


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