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Campaign Targets Commercial Fraud
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Thirteen ministries and departments will today launch a month-long publicity campaign targeting commercial fraud.


The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the State Administration of Taxation, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the Ministry of Health and other departments have promised to strike hard at fake advertisements, scams, bogus medicines and other frauds.


During the first six months this year, "medicine and food administration departments have suspended the sale of more than 300 medicines," said Qu Jianmin, an SAIC official, at a press conference yesterday.


Of the 860,000 medical adverts in the period, 15,000 were ordered to change and a total of 14.5 million yuan (US$1.8 million) in fines was issued.


Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are the hotbeds of commercial fraud, said Yao Guanghai, deputy secretary-general of the National Office of Rectification & Standardization of Market Economic Order, citing the result of an online survey.


Yao said his office will expand supervision and checks on false adverts, scams and mobile phone messages. as well labor violations and real estate fraud.


Both Qu and Yao attributed the prevalence of commercial fraud to legal and supervisory loopholes, as well the lack of an accountability system among individuals and enterprises.


Incomplete statistics indicate that Chinese enterprises have suffered more than 600 billion yuan (US$74 billion) in losses due to the lack of an accountability system, said Liu Peng, an official from China Enterprise Federation.


"Credibility of Chinese enterprises as a whole is at a 'primary stage,' lagging behind the development of the market economy," he noted.


To eradicate commercial fraud, a complete legal system is needed, said Yao.


(China Daily September 1, 2006)


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