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July 13, 2011

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Furniture retailer to face press

A LUXURY furniture retailer is to hold press conferences today in Shanghai and Beijing after it was accused of falsely claiming its goods are made in Italy.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau is now investigating DaVinci Furniture Ltd.

Results of quality tests on its products are expected to be released within five days.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Entry-Exit Quarantine Inspection Bureau, together with its counterparts in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, is expected to examine the company's import and export records for the past two years, according to China Central Television.

CCTV reported earlier that DaVinci entrusted a domestic company in Guangdong Province to produce so-called "made in Italy" furniture.

The goods were then transported to Italy before being brought back to the Chinese mainland for sale as imported furniture, said CCTV.

DaVinci has denied the accusation, insisting all its products bearing Italy-based brands are produced in Italy.

Yesterday, the city's consumer hotline 12315 said it has received more than 20 calls asking for updates. The company's Shanghai outlet on Zhenning Road was inundated with concerned customers.

"They promised it was solid wood when I bought it, but said yesterday it's high density board covered with solid wood," said one consumer who bought a 100,000 yuan (US$15,151) bed.

"Now they have changed their description again to say it's 'made of wood,'" said the woman who asked not to be named.

Initial findings by the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau showed that almost all furniture stocked in the company's warehouse in Qingpu District was made of high density board rather than real wood.

Officials said there were problems with labeling.

"They say the material in the furniture is "wood" or "metal" but don't say what type of wood and metal it is," said Zheng Hong, deputy director of the fair trade department of the bureau.

"Such labeling is not accordant with the country's standard and is unfair to consumers," added Zheng.


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