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July 19, 2011

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DaVinci sorry for misleading clients

DAVINCI Furniture Co Ltd yesterday apologized to consumers after being accused of lying about where some of its furniture was made and producing fake ads.

The Shanghai-based company said in a statement that it will "accept supervision from the government, media and the public," and has "started self-inspection."

"We are now cooperating with the government to double check the situation and will take on our responsibility according to the law," said the statement.

The company also apologized to its suppliers around the world.

This was the first time the company has apologized to consumers since being embroiled in the scandal. The company, however, wouldn't say whether it would give refunds to consumers.

Last week, China Central Television reported that some of the furniture that the company claimed was made in Italy was actually manufactured in China.

Later, the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said that during the first half of the year, about 10 percent of the company's so-called imported products were actually domestically produced. They were transported to Shanghai's Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone or to the United States before going to the company's warehouse in Qingpu District.

Later the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau also accused DaVinci of publishing fake ads because the terms "supreme" and "top of the world" appeared - words that are not allowed under China's laws.

Labels on the furniture also failed to accurately tell consumers what the furniture was made of, said the bureau.

The local consumers' rights watchdog said it has heard increasing complaints about the company since last week.

"We have to work overtime every day to deal with the complaints and consultations," said Chen Min, an official with the Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection.

Commission officials are planning to meet with the company's senior managers, and will urge them to respond to consumers' requests for refunds.

According to Chinese law, if DaVinci lied to its customers about the country of origin of its products, the company will have to give customers double their money back - full refunds plus cash compensation equal to the price of the furniture, according to the commission.


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