Group buy sites haven’t been doing super-well in China over the past six months. In fact, what with all the bankruptcy and fraud, it almost seems like it would be easier just to let them die a natural death. But yesterday the Ministry of Industry and Commerce released an opinion suggesting that the group buy industry be regulated.
Specifically, the opinion suggests the implementation of an auditing system for both service and product quality, using contracts to define the rights and responsibilities of operators and consumers, enforcing privacy systems to protect users’ information, prohibiting dishonest business practices, recording and saving transaction details, and standardizing group buy sales activities (whatever that means).
The opinion also called on regulators to be more thorough in supervising the industry and enforcing existing regulations. However, it is just an opinion, not a new regulation, and coming as it did yesterday on the eve of World Consumer Rights Day, some may interpret it as grandstanding rather than an actual indication of intent to get anything done.
In any event, if the Ministry of Industry and Commerce wants to regulate group buy, they’re going to have to do it soon or I’m afraid there will be nothing left to regulate. BOOM! Thanks folks, I’ll be here all night.
[China News Agency via Sina Tech]