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Small firms banned from TV shopping

SMALL companies will be banned from home-shopping services on television in the near future as the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau moves to regulate the practice.

The bureau announced that companies who want to sell products through TV shopping would need registered capital of at least 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million) and office space of at least 800 square meters.

The bureau will also monitor the companies' reputations. Companies that make false claims in ads will be banned from TV shopping.

There are no specific laws covering the TV-shopping market and it has become one of the biggest source of consumer complaints in the past few years.

The bureau said most people complained the products they received were different from what was advertised and that the after-sale service was poor.

In one case, a consumer surnamed Zhao bought a necklace the advertiser claimed to be silver. He called the manufacturer, who told him the necklace was actually made of alloy.

The bureau also said investigations have found that some companies registered fake addresses, making it difficult for customers to complain.


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