Firms fined for false or vulgar ads

SEVERAL businesses ranging from education to dining to providing financial loans have been fined for false or vulgar advertisements, Shanghai’s market watchdog said yesterday.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau exposed 12 illegal advertisement cases yesterday. Last year the bureau solved 5,448 illegal advertisement cases, up 94 percent, and imposed 132 million yuan (US$21 million) in fines, up 54 percent. Eighty percent of the cases were online advertisements.

Shanghai Qiancheng Network Technology Co Ltd, an investment and financing services provider, was fined 800,000 yuan for publishing pictures of “nude loan” in which women used nude photos as loan guarantee, and sexually suggestive pictures with vulgar words on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, the bureau said.

Paipaidai, a financial information service provider, was also fined 800,000 yuan for falsely promising on its website an expected return on investment without warning of the risks, and claiming consumers could use an immediate 500,000 yuan credit line in its e-mail advertisements, the bureau said.

Saiwei Laundry was fined 600,000 yuan for falsely claiming it was the No. 1 industry brand and that franchises could earn 300,000 yuan a year. Its advertisement also falsely claimed that it has over 10,000 outlets nationwide and 1,000 technical staff, the bureau said.

A Shanghai-registered online second-hand vehicle auction platform, ttpai, was fined 472,000 yuan for falsely claiming that the traded prices of its auctioned vehicles were 20 percent higher than market prices and that it had sold vehicles for a million car owners, the bureau said.

The Shanghai outlet of Brain Cube, a brain training agency, was fined 386,000 yuan for advertisements that violated China’s advertising law. The agency used poster, brochures, and WeChat to promote its training business, and its advertisements included misleading sentences like “photographic memory through our unique learning methods” and “remember English vocabulary of a whole book within seven days,” the bureau said.

Spice World, a Sichuan-style hotpot restaurant, was fined 200,000 yuan for advertisement on its WeChat account that included vulgar pictures of a woman and obscene words, the bureau said.

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