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Top 10 hot issues concerning consumer protection in China 2020

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, February 7, 2021
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Editor's Note: The China Consumers Association (CCA) and the data center for public opinion of People.cn have summarized last year's top 10 incidents concerning consumer protection drawing nationwide attention. These incidents focus on people's daily life against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting fallout.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's per capita consumption expenditure in 2020 reached 21,210 yuan ($3,283.31), down 1.6% in nominal terms compared with the previous year. The actual decrease was 4.0% after deducting price factors. Total retail sales of consumer goods in 2020 reached 39.2 trillion yuan.

As the epidemic situation continues to improve domestically, China's consumer market has been recovering both online and offline. Reviewing public opinion on consumer protection in 2020, CCA and the data center for public opinion of People.cn note that problems have emerged in epidemic-related consumption, online sales and services, the internet economy, as well as traditional shopping environment.

Based on a big data platform, the two institutes have quantified the social influence of each incident. Below are brief overviews of the top 10 hot issues:

10. Restrictions behind unlimited "flight pass" 

China Eastern Airlines introduced the country's first "flight pass" package in June 2020. [Photo/VCG]

Social influence index: 78.5

Back in June 2020, China Eastern Airlines introduced the country's first "flight pass" package providing unlimited trips for passengers to major cities on the Chinese mainland on any weekend in that year. The practice was then followed by more airlines in a bid to bolster market growth in civil aviation amid COVID-19. However, the convenience of such service was quickly questioned as more consumers filed complaints on the strict terms and conditions. Many complained about the user experience, difficulties in booking return tickets and aspects of false promotion.

Public opinion suggests that channels of consumer complaints on the issue should be kept open by relevant government bodies and consumer associations; meanwhile, more transparency is needed to empower public supervision. It also suggests relevant airlines should analyze the reasons behind the complaints, and work to optimize user experience concerning the unlimited "flight pass" package.

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