Shanghai's market watchdog has ordered DaVinci Furniture Ltd to stop selling products bearing the Cappelletti brand because of "fake ads" and "unqualified labels."
The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau has sealed 188 pieces of Cappelletti furniture in the company's warehouse in the city's Qingpu District.
Officials said DaVinci's ads usually included exaggerated terms such as "supreme" and "top of the world" which were not allowed under Chinese law.
It also said that some of the furniture, which the company claimed was solid wood, is made of either melamine boards or high-density boards.
Labels on the furniture also fail to tell consumers what the furniture was made of or where it was produced, it said.
Shanghai's consumer rights commission urged the company to make full refunds on questioned products.
Up to yesterday, the commission had received more than 50 complaints which involved products ranging from 20,000 yuan (US$2,850) to 3 million yuan in value, officials said.
"If they are confirmed to have told lies on producing places, they will not only give refunds, but also give cash compensation of the same price of the furniture," said Zhao Jiaoli, secretary general of the commission.
DaVinci refused to comment yesterday.
Also yesterday, Guangdong Province authorities said that media reports about the company were "basically true." It was to announce the results of its investigation soon.
China Central Television reported earlier that furniture that the company said had been imported from Italy was produced in Guangdong. The company, however, insisted that all its Italian brands were made in Italy.
The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau found that some of the 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.
It also said that the brand Hollywood Homes, which DaVinci claimed to be a United States brand, couldn't be found in the US. There was no online information on the company except for a Facebook account, which also belonged to DaVinci.
The Xinmin Evening News said that two established furniture dealers in the US said they had never heard of Hollywood Homes. In Los Angeles, Cantoni, a design and sales company with a 26-year history, and Rapport, a furniture dealer for 65 years, said they'd never heard of the brand.
DaVinci said Hollywood Homes furniture was produced in several countries, including China.