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December 24, 2011

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Watchdog fines DaVinci

A CONTROVERSIAL Shanghai-based furniture seller has been fined 1.33 million yuan (US$209,895) over quality, labeling and advertising issues, watchdogs said yesterday.

However, the findings of the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau do not address the most high-profile claim against DaVinci Furniture - that it lied over where some stock was made.

The bureau said products sold by DaVinci bearing the Cappelletti brand were not equipped with Chinese instructions, failing to meet national standards.

And some Cappelletti furniture failed a bureau quality test. Labels failed to tell consumers what the item was made of, as terms such as wood, metal and leather were too general, the bureau said.

The bureau also said some furniture, which the company said was solid wood, was in fact made of melamine boards or high-density boards.

It was also told to end misleading advertising campaigns and remove exaggerated terms such as "supreme" and "top of the world," prohibited under Chinese law.

The investigation followed claims made against the luxury furniture seller.

China Central Television reported in July that furniture that DaVinci claimed had been imported from Italy was produced in Guangdong Province.

In response, the company insisted that all its Italian brands were made in Italy.

The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau found that some of DaVinci's "imported" furniture was made in China. The products were merely transported to Shanghai's Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone before being sent to the company's warehouse, it said.

However, quality supervision authorities have to date released no reports addressing this accusation.

Despite the furore, DaVinci has continued with high-profile projects. On Monday, it opened its new 12,000-square-meter exhibition hall on Huashan Road.

And DaVinci's latest advertising slogan boasts: "Genuine is, as genuine does."


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