Furniture retailer fined after 'fake imports' scandal

Updated: 2011-12-24 10:57


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SHANGHAI - Da Vinci, a Shanghai-based luxury furniture retailer, was fined 1.33 million yuan ($211,777) on Friday, months after it was found to have deceived customers about the origin of its products.

Shanghai's industry and commerce bureau on Friday delivered a punishment notice to Da Vinci. According to the notice, the company was fined 1.33 million yuan for selling substandard furniture and those pieces of furniture will all be confiscated, said a statement from the bureau.

An investigation was launched after media reports in July accused Da Vinci of lying about places of production and selling inferior-quality products at high prices.

The company claimed its furniture was made in Italy, but the furniture had actually been manufactured in Chinese factories, "exported" to the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, and Da Vinci later "imported" and stored the products in its warehouses in Shanghai.

However, Friday's punishment mostly focused on the company's substandard furniture. Investigation results have yet to be released by the customs department in charge of the "fake imports" claims.

The industry and commerce bureau on Friday also ordered the company to replace nonstandard descriptions on labels such as "Famous American Brand" and "Global Purchase."

Also, the company's advertising slogans, including "the biggest in Asia" and "with the highest quality," should not be used again, according to the statement.