Business / Industries

Online infringements cost $13.8b a year

( Updated: 2016-06-24 15:21

Infringements upon Chinese netizens' rights and interests cost them 91.5 billion yuan ($13.8 billion) last year, according to a survey released at the China Internet Conference on Tuesday.

According to the "investigation report on the protection of Chinese netizens' rights and interests in 2016", the per capita loss reached 133 yuan, up 9 yuan on last year.

"Some of the major economic loss are cause by spam texts, telemarketing fraud and privacy information leakage," the report said. "The average spam e-mails and spam texts that received by netizens in recent half year reached to 18.9 and 20.6, respectively."

According to the report, 76 per cent of internet users received lottery win reminder messages from counterfeit banks, internet companies and even television stations.

Given the existing problems in data protection and infringements upon customers' interests in the e-commerce sector, a specific law is being legislated.

Uzhitu, vice-chairman of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), claimed in March -- at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session -- that China had completed a draft version of the country's first e-commerce law to guide the sector's sound development.

The draft will be submitted to the committee for review as early as possible, before being presented to the NPC Standing Committee for further reading.

"Enterprises, banks and telecom carriers should utilize more effective approaches and professional technologies to keep the misconducts down and official supervisors shall also take their responsibilities to regulate the sector," said Zhao Ping, a researcher at the Institute of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

"More eyes shall on the potential challenges that may happen on the internet finance and communication services consumption, rather than limit to online physical goods purchase," Zhao said.

The China Internet Conference kicked off on June 21 in Beijing. Organized by the Internet Society of China, the three-day event attracted experts from a variety of fields, including e-commerce, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cloud computing.

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