• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 1:56am

Consumer Protection

Online ads must not masquerade as editorial content, US consumer protection watchdog warns

The website BuzzFeed.com is often cited as an effective user of native advertising. Photo: BuzzFeed.com website

The growing online usage of advertisement’s designed to blend in with the rest of a website’s content, a practice known as “native advertising”, may be illegal in some instances, the US Federal Trade Commission warned on Wednesday.

Thursday, 5 December, 2013, 1:28pm

Supermarkets offer confusing price 'discounts'

Those crackers may not be such a bargain. Photo: Jonathan Wong

As much as traders doubt the practicality of guidelines over price tags to stop retailers from faking bargains, a stroll through the city's supermarkets shows the status quo can confuse if not mislead shoppers.

4 Feb 2013 - 4:40am 1 comment

Retailers may struggle with price tag and sales tactics guidelines

Caroline Mak Sui-king says the 'original price' requirement would be a problem for some, especially those who sell fresh produce. Photo: Oliver Tsang

The government passed an amendment to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance last year in a bid to stop unscrupulous and misleading sales practices. Now, the Customs and Excise Department is holding a public consultation on its draft guidelines to enforce that law.

4 Feb 2013 - 8:21am

Two success stories show Hong Kong at its best on global stage

Connie Lau Yin-hing. Photo: Felix Wong

Developing countries tend not to allow the issue of consumer protection to get in the way of the drive for economic progress. Rather it is seen as a luxury that becomes affordable when development goals are met.

26 Nov 2012 - 2:58am 1 comment

Class actions can be potent weapon

Hong Kong people are equal before the law, which implies equal access to justice. Sadly, for many, that is not the case. People may be effectively denied the right to seek a legal remedy for loss or grievance because they cannot afford the cost yet are not poor enough to qualify for legal aid, or because the loss is too small to justify the cost of seeking compensation.

6 Jun 2012 - 12:00am


The government has proposed a HK$5 million fine and jail term of up to seven years for people found guilty of disseminating false or misleading information in the sale of first-hand properties. This is part of a two-month public consultation, which will end on January 28, to enhance consumer protection and add transparency.

9 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

'No blank cheque' for competition watchdog

The future competition watchdog will not have a 'blank cheque' in overseeing Hong Kong companies because the city, like other jurisdictions with similar laws, has checks and balances 'to keep the dog from running wild'.

10 May 2011 - 12:00am

New laws need public input, government told

The city's consumer watchdog yesterday urged the government to come out of its bureaucratic shell and talk to people on the street when making important laws.

3 May 2011 - 12:00am

Greater protection urged for consumers on services

Proposals set out last week to step up consumer protection do not go far enough, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said yesterday as about 20 of its members marched to government headquarters.

The protesters said more protection should be offered to consumers who are coerced into pre-paying a large sum of money for services.

19 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

Lawyers and doctors to stay self-regulating

Doctors, lawyers, accountants, estate agents and other regulated professionals will not be subject to proposed government measures that aim to expand consumer protection legislation.

16 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

At last, moves to crack down on crooked salesmen

The government wants to have people who mislead you into buying services put in jail.

The move has been prompted by a rising number of complaints of unscrupulous sales practices - of people locked indoors and coerced into joining travel membership schemes and yoga club members talked into prepaying fees days before a chain closed.

16 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

Activists want more consumer awareness

A mainland survey that found most consumers chose to keep quiet when they had complaints about products and services prompted calls yesterday from activists about the need for greater consumer awareness.

17 Mar 2009 - 12:00am

Sales rules a welcome move to regain trust

The scandal nearly two years ago over the sale of fake jewellery to mainland tourists damaged this city's international reputation as a shopping paradise. But it is Hong Kong people who are exposed the most to dishonest sales practices employed by some retailers. New rules to prohibit them from next week under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance are overdue but welcome.

24 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Unfair competition

Hong Kong has long enjoyed the reputation of a shopping paradise. A free market has always been cherished as one of its hallmarks, and a level playing field is something treasured by business, professionals and society at large. Yet, from time to time, there have been complaints of anti-competitive practices by big business.

3 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Forget law, buyer beware best advice for thin seekers

'Lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming said the existing Trade Descriptions Ordinance - which includes laws ensuring goods and services are offered on fair terms - did not cover situations such as slimming classes that do not yield the advertised results.'

SCMP, February 26

27 Feb 2008 - 12:00am