(1) Organization Construction
China Consumers Association ("CCA" or 'the association") was established in December 1984 upon the approval of the State Council. As of October 2015, altogether 3,193 consumer organizations were established at county-level or above nationwide, among which 31 are at the level of provinces, autonomous region and municipalities. (There are 16,351 sub-associations, 80,444 complaint handling offices and 22,952 liaison stations established at the villagers committees, community committees, industrial administration departments, colleges and universities, factories and mining enterprises in urban and rural areas, and over 72,461 voluntary supervisors and participants are engaged in the undertakings of consumer rights protection.)
(2) Complaint handling
Handling complaints is to perform the statutory obligations of the association and resolve disputes over consumption behaviors. CCA provides guidance for sub-associations nationwide on setting up complaint handling offices at the local fields, announcing hotline and mailbox information or even operating a moving complaint-handling vehicle at some places. It also assigns officials to factories, mining enterprises and rural areas, and listens to consumer complaints. By H1 2015, the consumers associations nationwide have jointly processed 15.09 million consumer complaints cases since CCA was established, and have recovered RMB 13.8 billion worth of economic loss for consumers.
(3) Annual theme
Annual theme is a unified theme jointly developed by CCA and its sub-associations nationwide to specify the focus of the work in the year. In early 1997, CCA proposed "Enhance Integrity, Combat Fraud" as its annual theme, and this was the first time that the consumer organizations nationwide jointly adopted one slogan to communicate its working concepts to the public. Over the past 19 years, CCA has initiated a series of consumer protection campaigns centering on the theme like "Enhance Integrity, Combat Fraud", "Green Consumption", "Transparent Consumption" and "New Law, New Rights, New Obligations", effectively promoting the publicity of consumption concepts and consumer rights protection awareness.
(4) Comparative testing
Comparative testing is an approach adopted by the association to perform its first public welfare obligation directionally bestowed by the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights. CCA obtains samples from the market with respect to certain commodity or service, analyses and compares the product or service taking the consumer concerns and practicality into consideration and by way of scientific testing and fair evaluation, then communicates the findings to the consumers objectively, completely and accurately, thus providing the consumers with consumption information and advisory services so that they can be better informed and be more capable of making choices independently. For the past 30 years, CCA has carried out hundreds of comparative tests on commodities and services, which has helped promote the development and modification of national standards and administrative criteria for relevant products and services.
(5) Consumer warning
Consumer warning refers to the warning messages that consumer organizations arrange to publish with the purpose of enhancing consumer precautions and reminding them to be alert to low-quality commodities and services so as to diminish the physical, economic and mental damages done to the consumers. Consumer organizations sort out such information from consumer complaints and in daily practices, which is usually found to be universally applicable and typical, obtain data for crisis cases, potential risks and prevention measures through scientific analysis, and timely publish such information to arouse wide public concern. Since the implementation of the updated Law on Protection of Consumer Rights, CCA and the associations at sub-provincial level or above have published 205 pieces of warning messages just within the year of 2014 relating to online shopping, overseas travel, group shopping, small household appliances, vehicle appliances, remodeling and financial services.
(6) Consumer education
Consumer education is an important work of consumer organizations to enhance the consumer awareness of their rights and obligations, improve their capabilities of protecting their own rights, and enable them to protect their rights and interests voluntarily, independently, self-reliantly and lawfully and practice the sustainable consumption way of life. Meanwhile, consumer education is also an effective approach to advance the work of consumer rights protection. CCA has been actively advocating scientific, courteous, healthy and environment-friendly consumption behaviors through circulation of brochures, videos and set-up of education bases.
(7) Advisory services
CCA provides consumption information and advice to consumers through the publication of China Consumers magazine, its official website and Wechat public account.
The China Consumers Monthly was started in 1994. The magazine carries such special columns as Comparative Testing, Authoritative Detection, Special Investigation and Consumer Warning to respond to queries from consumers.
The CCA official website was launched in 1998 and fully upgraded in 2014.
The CCA Wechat public account was officially opened in 2015.
(8) Development of laws and regulations
CCA is engaged in assisting relevant authorities with development of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of Consumer Rights ever since its establishment. In 2013, CCA participated in the work of making amendments to the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights. The updated version officially came into force on March 15th, 2014. Currently, the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights has become one of the basic laws best-known to the general public in China.
CCA also proactively assists relevant authorities with the development and modification of laws, regulations and standards relating to protection of consumer rights and interests as a representative of the consumers, including the Anti-Monopoly Law, Food Safety Law, Postal Law, Tort Liability Law, Insurance Law, Civil Procedure Law and Tourism Law. By reflecting the social conditions and public concerns to the government, CCA has been playing a positive role in pushing forward the improvement of legislation among government agencies.
(9) Consumer experience study and service review
Consumer experience study refers to the process that consumer organization officials carry out in-depth study on consumer services in daily life as an ordinary consumer to obtain a profound understanding and implement effective oversight of the services. Service review refers to the work that consumer organizations issue criticizing opinions on acts that the public are most concerned about as they jeopardize consumer rights and interests, and urge the relevant enterprises to make rectification. CCA has organized sub-associations to carry out experience study in the sector of tourism, civil aviation, commerce and healthcare, and a series of service review on unfair standard terms in the field of telecommunication, commercial property, automobile, insurance and finance, both producing a favorable response from the public.
(10) Initiating public welfare lawsuit
Initiating public welfare lawsuit is a new mechanism developed under the updated Law on Protection of Consumer Rights. CCA and the sub-associations at the level of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities may file a lawsuit with the People's Court against any act that has jeopardized the lawful rights and interests of a majority of consumers. Currently, the consumer rights protection commission of Zhejiang Province has started a public welfare civil lawsuit relating to the case that consumers are forced to buy another train ticket if they lose after boarding the original one they purchased with their real name, and the consumer rights protection commission of Shanghai City has also filed a lawsuit against the case that some software pre-installed by mobile phone manufacturers cannot be uninstalled and consumers are not informed of such problem beforehand, and this is the nation's first public welfare lawsuit that was accepted by the court relating to consumer rights.
(11) International exchange
CCA was accepted as a member of the Consumer International (CI) on September 16th, 1987. Ever since then, CCA has placed its focus of international exchange on following closely on international consumption topics, participating in international campaigns for protection of consumer rights, and communicating China's achievements in protection of consumer rights to the rest of the world. CCA has maintained communication and cooperation with consumer organizations from a number of countries and regions including USA, UK, EU, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The association participated in over 60 international and regions seminars of various kinds, hosted large-scale international conferences with the themes such as Sustainable Consumption in Northeast Asia and Global Food Safety, and followed up on a wide range of world leading topics with respect to consumer rights protection such as green consumption, genetically modified food, and consumer protection in financial services.
(12) CCA Articles of Association (the 5th Council)
Article 2 CCA is a nationwide social organization which engages in performing the public welfare obligations bestowed by the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights to enforce public oversight of commodities and services and protect the lawful rights and interests of consumers.
Article 3 The mission of CCA is to abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations and national policies, observe social ethics, represent consumer interests, reflect consumer demands, rely on consumer power and make full efforts to protect the lawful rights and interests of consumers.
Article 4 CCA shall insist on protecting consumer rights by law, maintain substantive fairness, deepen reform and innovation, play a role as a bridge and a bond to gather the strength of all parties, drive the development of shared governance, promote the protection of consumer rights and interests, and contribute to the healthy development of national economy and the society.
Article 5 CCA shall provide guidance for local consumers associations or committees, develop sound joint work mechanism, and enhance the correlation with other consumer organizations to jointly promote the undertakings of consumer rights protection.
CCA shall also make efforts to enhance the communication and cooperation with consumer organizations in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
CCA shall proactively participate in activities and events organized by Consumers International ("CI") to enhance the exchange and cooperation with international or regional consumer organizations.
Article 7 CCA shall operate under the instruction and supervision of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce ("supervisory authority") and the Ministry of Civil Affairs ("registration and administration agency").
Article 8 CCA shall perform the following public welfare obligations in accordance with the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights:
1. Provide consumers with consumption information and advisory services, improve consumers' capabilities of protecting their lawful rights and interests, and advocate the way of consumption that is courteous, healthy, resources conserving and environment-friendly;
2. Involve in the development of laws, rules and regulations and mandated standards relating to consumer rights and interests;
3. Involve in the supervisory and inspective actions upon commodities and services that are initiated by relevant administrative authorities;
4. Reflect to administrative authorities or make inquiries about issues relating to lawful consumer rights and interests and provide advice accordingly;
5. Hear consumer complaints, investigate on complaints and act as a mediator to resolve disputes;
6. Engage a qualified referee to review the complaints relating to commodities or services, and urge the referee to provide appraisal results;
7. Provide consumers with support on initiating a lawsuit against any act that jeopardizes the lawful rights and interests of consumers, or initiate a lawsuit against such act in accordance with the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights;
8. Expose and criticize any act that jeopardizes the lawful rights and interests of consumers through mass media.
Article 9 CCA shall listen to the opinions and suggestions of consumers when performing its obligations and shall be subject to public oversight.
Article 10 CCA shall neither be engaged in any type of commercial operation or providing any profit-making service, nor recommend commodities and services to consumers by way of fee collection or other profit-seeking alternatives.
Article 32 The Source of funding for CCA includes:
1. Government funding and procurement of services;
2. Interests income;
3. Public donation; and
4. Other lawful income.
Article 33 The funding shall be used to support undertakings within the business scope of CCA as prescribed by the Articles of Association and to promote the development of CCA.
Article 34 The funding shall be managed in accordance with the national financial policies and placed under the oversight of financial administration authorities. If the funding comes from financial allocation out of the government budget or public donation, it shall be placed under the oversight of audit authorities.
Article 35 CCA shall be subject to financial audits arranged by the registration and administration agency and the supervisory authority prior to election of a new council or change of the legal representative.
Article 36 The salary, insurances and welfare benefits for full-time employees shall be decided based on relevant regulations of the state with respect to public institutions.
Copyright of 2002-2014 copyright China Consumers Association of Beijing ICP No. 05014033