(Yicai Global) March 15 -- The crackdown by 13 Chinese government agencies on irregularities in the health product market has already closed 2,290 of the 6,535 cases filed thus far and issued fines totaling CNY268 million (USD40 million) in a sweep canvassing CNY7.8 billion (USD1.2 billion) worth of products.
The State Administration for Market Regulation announced these results at a press briefing on the progress of the campaign yesterday.
Beijing has deployed 1.2 million enforcers to check market sectors and commodities since January. Cases of false advertising were the rifest at 39 percent, with 2,531 filed and 733 closed.
Those involving illegal direct sales and Ponzi schemes topped the list for sums involved -- CNY5 million for 64 percent -- and amounts of penalties at CNY194 million, or 72.4 percent. Police have referred 174 suspected pyramid sales and food safety hazards to the courts.
China's health product sector still faces many challenges, however. Various operators temporarily suspended their businesses or moved them into the shadows to avoid inspection. The awareness among common folk, the elderly above all, of the health product market must be enhanced, an SAMR official said.
The agency will solicit public opinion on the setup of a long-term mechanism to rectify the health product market. It will also improve the regulatory practices of various departments and regions nationwide to avert a recurrence of health product market chaos.
The campaign came after the case of Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology Development made headlines. The Tianjin-based herbal remedy producer was charged in the death of a cancer-stricken girl whose father it misled with false claims into forgoing routine treatment for her and using its products instead. That affair is still under police investigation.
Editor: Ben Armour