Speech by LI Dongsheng, Vice Minister of State Administration for Industry and Commerce

June 12, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning!

I'm very pleased to have this opportunity to offer you information on the efforts of China's Administrations for Industry and Commerce (AICs) in building the “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system, improving consumer protection, strengthening market supervision, and maintaining market order. I would also like to thank the press for your long support in our work!

We have distributed to you some background information sheets that deal with the building of the “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system, overall improvement in consumer protection, food safety supervision and the protection of the exclusive rights to use registered trademarks. To have more time for answering questions from the press, I will be very brief in giving background information on the following major issues.

The “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system is a major effort of the AICs to address the needs which consumers find most important, immediate and actual and represents a significant innovation of the system of market supervision and consumer protection. This hotline-based system starts with consumer protection and continues to create an environment for administrative law enforcement, industry self-discipline and social surveillance. Based on modern information technology (IT), this “ 12315” hotline-based service for handling complaints and reports covers not only consumer protection, but also the protection of exclusive right to use registered trademarks, supervision on the safety of marketed food, advertising regulation, and maintenance of fair competition. Today, the “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system is capable of “intensively accepting complaints and reports, collaborating and coordinating in case handling, giving instructions in emergencies, pooling and analyzing information, and providing tips to consumers.” The system has now extended its operations to many retailers, producers and marketplaces, trying to settle consumer disputes at the retailers and marketplaces where the disputes happen. Also, to facilitate the handling of consumer complaints in rural and urban communities, the system has formed a network of Consumers' Association branches, consumer complaint stations and the “ 12315” communication stations there, trying to settle consumer disputes at the communities, villages and towns where the disputes happen. The “ 12315” system also provides multilingual services, including the English language, to handle consumer disputes in some coastal cities, major tourist attractions and expatriate communities. The AICs have opened more than 6,700 exclusive telephone lines across the country. In 2006, the hotline service improved consumer protection, solved disputes between providers and consumers, brought the modernization of consumer protection to a new level and won approval from consumers by receiving and handling 4.682 million enquiries, complaints and reports from consumers and protecting consumers from economic losses amounting to 780 million Yuan.

As for the protection of the exclusive rights of registered trademarks, AICs nationwide have received, via the system, a great deal of clues regarding trademark infringement and counterfeiting which include trademark infringements concerning farm produce, agricultural materials and infringement of Olympic symbols. AICs have taken initiatives to investigate and punish these activities, and protected the legitimate rights of consumers and trademark owners in accordance with the Trademark Law of China.

As for the supervision of food safety, the AICs, with the purpose of ensuring the safety of marketed food, are active in organizing special campaigns targeted at the safety of food in circulation, especially at stores, supermarkets and fairs in urban and rural areas and regions where cities and rural areas meet, particularly during festivals and holidays including May 1st (May Day), October 1st (National Day), Mid-Autumn Day, New Year's Day, and Spring Festival. These efforts have achieved effective result in ensuring food safety in marketplaces. The “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system has also played a key role in ensuring food safety. In 2006, AICs in the whole country have dealt with 63,065 pieces of consumer complaints on food and 17,362 pieces on catering which dropped respectively by 2.8 percent and 2.1 percent compared with the figures of 2005, and the food market order has been further improved.

Market rectification is a long-term job. Apart from what we have achieved so far in further facilitating the construction of “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system, we organized a campaign named “the Year of Food Safety in Rural Markets” in 2007 and contributed more to keeping market order and ensuring food safety for consumers.

Now, I will be very pleased to answer your questions regarding the “ 12315” administrative law enforcement system and the protection of the exclusive rights to use registered trademarks.

Thank you all!