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Vendor and market staff face punishments after viral video exposes consumer deception

By Quan Zhanfu | | Updated: 2024-05-19 22:02
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Authorities in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, have issued punishments in a high-profile case involving consumer deception at a local seafood market.

The vendor and market management were fined 30,000 yuan ($4,150) and 350,000 yuan respectively, and several individuals received administrative detainment, according to a notice issued by Haizhou district officials on Sunday via their official WeChat account.

The investigation revealed that the vendor and market organizers had violated consumer rights. Five individuals, including market staff members Cao and Wang, vendor Xu, and two of Xu's relatives, have been lawfully detained.

The incident came to light when a popular vlogger, known as "Kuang Biao Brothers," posted a video on Douyin, highlighting discrepancies in a weighing scale at the seafood market. The scale showed 630 grams for a 500-gram weight, indicating manipulation. When confronted, the vendor tore up a bag of prawns and attempted to remove the scale.

The vlogger's attempt to seek assistance from market management led to further confrontation. A man demanded the deletion of the video in exchange for resolving the issue, resulting in a scuffle during which the vlogger's phone was taken. The vlogger was pursued even after leaving the market, with demands for video deletion continuing.

The video quickly went viral, sparking widespread online discussion. In response, Haizhou authorities formed a joint investigation group comprising police and market regulatory officials. Their preliminary investigation confirmed the vendor's misconduct. Consequently, vendor Xu and market staff member Cao were placed under investigation. The market organizers have since expelled the implicated vendor and dismissed Cao.

Authorities have pledged to enhance market management and supervision, cracking down on dishonest practices such as manipulating weighing scales and overcharging customers. They expressed appreciation for the public's vigilance in bringing such issues to light.

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