E-commerce platform operators urged to establish 'cooling-off' system

15:20, April 14, 2011      

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The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) officially released the "Regulations on Third-Party E-commerce Transaction Platform Services" on April 12, offering a guideline for the conduct and related procedure management of e-commerce third parties while encouraging the e-commerce industry to establish a "cooling-off" system to allow consumers to unconditionally cancel contracts and ask for a refund during the "cooling-off" period.

The MOFCOM made the release during a third-party e-commerce transaction platform forum for 2011 jointly hosted by the MOFCOM and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce.

"China's e-commerce credit system is still unsound, resulting in frequent disputes related to online transactions. In response, regulation designers have put forward an e-commerce transaction dispute resolution mechanism and have explored new ideas and methods to preserve the e-commerce market order," said Li Jinqi, director of the Department of Information Technology under the MOFCOM.

He also said that to preserve the transaction order, the regulations will encourage e-commerce platform operators to establish a "cooling-off" system to give consumers the unconditional rights to cancel contracts during the "cooling-off" period. The system allows consumers to reconsider their goods within a certain period after shopping and to unconditionally return the goods as they wish.

"This can keep consumers from making impulse purchases and improve their shopping experience," Li said. He noted that it is voluntary rather than compulsory for e-commerce platform operators to establish the "cooling-off" system recommended in the guideline.

By People's Daily Online
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