Direct sales network broken up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 August, 2004, 12:00am

A direct-marketing network promoting a distance-learning service has been put out of business in Guiyang .

Guizhou provincial authorities have stepped up action against direct selling as the countdown begins for new laws on the controversial sales approach.

The Guiyang group headed by Yang Yong reportedly enlisted more than 1,850 agents to promote education services offered by an American e-learning centre.

The Guiyang Evening News reported that more than 2.5 million yuan was involved.

The group, formed in June last year, claimed agents could earn as much as 200,000 yuan a week.

'Most of the agents recruited were middle-aged and retired women as well as people who were out of work,' the newspaper said. 'They knew virtually nothing about e-commerce or the internet.'

The Ministry of Commerce will review a new law next month that will spell out more stringent restrictions on the type of direct-marketing activities it will permit.