RealTime IT News

Sohu Provides Online Complaints Desk For China's Consumers

In accordance with China's National Consumer Rights day on Monday, Sohu is hosting in partnership with China Consumer News a month-long Web-based consumer complaints desk called the "315 Consumer Rights Network."

The 315 Web site was produced to encourage China's consumers to report false product claims and faulty merchandise to the appropriate government officials via the Internet. The channel will only operate until the end of March.

According to Sohu, one week into the month long promotion, more than 500 complaints have been filed by 315 Web site visitors.

The 315 Consumer Network includes details on consumer rights and protection regulations, a consumer guide to file product complaints, contact information for the Chinese Consumer Association and other related groups, consumer complaint case studies, and Web-based platform for filing product complaints.

"This cooperative effort by Sohu and China Consumer News is a bold experiment," said Sohu executive, Jian Feng Chen, "We are granting Chinas 2.1 million Web users an opportunity to quickly and conveniently exercise their consumer rights via the Internet."

"The main purpose of this Web site is to introduce the concept of consumer rights to a mass audience," added Jian, "Even after this promotion is over, everyday should be National Consumer Rights Day."

Sohu is one China's top portals and boasts at having over a half a million page views a day.

The portal was created by Internet Technologies China (ITC), a Beijing-based Internet start-up originally backed by MIT professors and scholars.

Sohu's offices were earlier this year raided by Chinese security officials because of an alleged inadvertent link to a pornographic site, local Chinese language papers have reported.

Some sources have indicated that the Beijing authorities were in reality not happy with Net guru and former Sohu partner Nicholas Negraponte's comments that encouraged "disrespect for authority" during a January visit to Beijing - a trip sponsored by Sohu.