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Chinese furniture retailer's "fake imports" fine paid: authorities

(Xinhua)

10:10, February 12, 2012

SHANGHAI, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Shanghai said Saturday that luxury furniture retailer Da Vinci has already paid its "fake imports" fine, over a month after the company openly refused to pay the penalty fare.

The Shanghai-based retailer was fined 1.33 million yuan (211,777 U.S. dollars) by the city's industry and commerce bureau in December, months after it was found to have deceived customers about the origin of its products.

The company sold substandard furniture and those pieces of furniture would all be confiscated, the bureau said on December 23.

Da Vinci later said that it would not pay the bill and would lodge a complaint against the bureau.

However, the bureau said in a statement on Saturday that the company has paid its fine within the required time frame and it has not heard anything about the complaint yet.

An investigation was launched after media reports in July accused Da Vinci of lying about places of production and selling inferior-quality products at high prices.

The company claimed its furniture was made in Italy, but the furniture had actually been manufactured in Chinese factories, "exported" to the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, and Da Vinci later "imported" and stored the products in its warehouses in Shanghai.

However, the industry and commerce bureau's punishment mostly focused on the company's substandard furniture. Investigation results have yet to be released by the customs department in charge of the "fake imports" claims.

The bureau has also ordered the company to replace nonstandard descriptions on labels such as "Famous American Brand" and "Global Purchase."

The company's advertising slogans, including "the biggest in Asia" and "with the highest quality," should not be used again, according to the bureau.

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