Safety alerts on faulty goods to be published

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 1997, 12:00am

In an unprecedented move, China will publish monthly public safety alerts on shoddy consumer goods after a spate of deaths and injuries resulting from faulty products.

In a state circular, authorities said the findings of product-quality inspections would be published weekly in the official media, starting this month.

More than 900 Chinese were killed or injured by faulty household products last year, by official estimate.

Exploding beer bottles injured and disabled 255 consumers last year, prompting Xinhua (the New China News Agency) to describe bottles produced by state-owned breweries as 'hidden bombs'.

Food poisoning put another 688 people in hospital last year, while authorities blamed faulty gas heaters, electrical appliances and other shoddy products for hundreds more injuries and deaths.

A study last year found nearly a quarter of all China-made consumer products surveyed failed to meet federal standards, while 35 per cent of safety products - including gas leak alarms and safety belts - were 'unacceptable'.

In the past, public disclosure of faulty products by the official press has met with swift retribution from Communist Party censors.

The president of the Beijing Youth Daily was sacked in September after the paper revealed yoghurt drinks produced by state-owned Hangzhou Wahaha Group had resulted in the fatal poisoning of several children.