Beijing court handles large amount of consumer rights cases

By Cao Yin | Updated: 2023-03-16


Market supervision officials conduct safety checks on imported cold-chain food in a supermarket in Fengtai district of Beijing. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/]

Disputes concerning food safety have become more frequently seen in a Beijing court when it began hearing cases involving consumer rights protection over the past decade.

The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court released on Wednesday that it has solved 2,271 lawsuits regarding the protection of consumer rights since 2013, 494 of which were caused by food safety, making up 22 percent of the total.

"We applied punitive damages while dealing with the consumption disputes relating to food safety so as to regulate the operation of business people through stringent punishment and strongly safeguard consumers' legitimate rights and interests," Zhang Jun, a judge from the court, said on Wednesday, which was also the World Consumer Rights Day.

"In a case, for example, we eventually supported the plaintiff's request of giving punitive damages to the defendant, as we found the food producer on package label was different from the actual producer, and the label shelf-life was longer that the actual time," he said.

In addition to food-related cases, he added that the court also solved a number of disputes involving online consumption, such as those caused by purchases and services in cyberspace in the past 10 years.