China's consumer watchdog has vowed to weed out fake products after a sampling test showed fewer than half of goods on sale met market standards.
The State General Administration for Industry and Commerce found that just 46 percent of articles sampled by authorized quality supervisors met requirements.
"The situation in the market is demanding," said Mu Jianhua, director-general of the Bureau of Consumers' Rights Protection under the administration.
The result was revealed after the administration checked 586 commodities in 17 cities of 16 provinces and autonomous regions.
Coats, quilts, electric appliances, cakes and six other commodities were on the administration's checklist.
"We cannot say all the commodities that did not come up to scratch are bogus, because quality is just one aspect for us," Mu told yesterday's press conference in Beijing.
"But commodity quality is really our long-term worry."
Warranties, trademarks, usage instructions and other requirements which are essential if a product is to be authorized for general release have all been checked by the administration.
"The Law of Product Quality and the Law of Consumers' Rights Protection are our weapons and benchmarks," said Mu.
The nationwide check, which started in November, is the first one since the administration was authorized by the central government to be responsible for inspection of products on the market.
The State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine was empowered to monitor whether producers have met product quality standards as the products are still under production.
Mu said his administration will continue to play a bigger role in the nation's large-scale rectification of market order this year, which aims to clean up the market.
And an important part of this is the crackdown on counterfeit and shoddy commodities, according to Mu.
In 2001, industry and commerce authorities across the country achieved marked results in regulating market access and improving the "economic environment." A total of 990,000 enterprises had their business licenses revoked last year.
More than 100,000 cases involving the production and sale of fake goods, and about 130,900 cases involving the violation of consumers' rights, were earmarked for investigation.
He said his administration will tighten the nationwide campaign to fight local protectionism and maintain fair competition which started last year.
China will continue to increase its supervision in the areas of trademarks and advertisements to prevent irregular practices this year.
(China Daily January 18, 2002)