China's market regulator to launch new rules on online deals

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s market regulator will launch new rules this year to clarify the responsibilities of platform companies involved in online transactions, the state-owned Xinhua News Agency said.

Wei Li, an official of the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR), told Xinhua that the regulator will “adopt more powerful supervision methods this year and deploy a series of actions” to clear up “prominent problems in the online market”.

The regulator will also accelerate the construction of a system that will collect the online transaction information in real time allowing for better monitoring and coordination, Wei was quoted as saying on Monday which is Consumer Rights Day in China.

The government has flagged it will be issuing new rules for the internet sector. Heightened scrutiny by Chinese regulators since December has included the announcement of a probe into e-commerce giant Alibaba,, penalising Alibaba-backed and Tencent-backed firms for not seeking anti-trust reviews for deals, while other firms have also been fined for irregular pricing.

SAMR said it will also strengthen the legal system and issue detailed rules aimed at protecting the rights of consumers.

It said administrative guidance can be expected on major promotional events and cited Singles’ Day, the annual online shopping spree created by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Reporting by Sophie Yu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Kim Coghill and Edwina Gibbs