Cooling Off Rule - Protection of Consumer Rights

We have often received inquiries, big or small, concerning various legal issues in China and our lawyers are always ready to provide prompt solutions. Following is one as to whether there is a cooling off rule in China relating to the protection of consumer rights.

Q: I'm a German business student, studying at the University of Mannheim, Germany. Right now I'm writing on my Bachelor's Thesis which deals with commercial returns in different countries. I'm trying to find out if there's a cooling off rule in China. There's one in the European Union, as well as in the USA, permitting the buyer to get out of a contract entered on a door-to-door sale or on the Internet. Maybe you could help me. I found your homepage by looking for the laws on Consumer Protection Rights. Thank you a lot in advance.

A: On the national level, China does not have such a cooling off rule as that of the European Union and the USA. According to China's Consumer Rights Protection law and Product Quality Law, consumers have the right for repair, replacement and return only for commodities with quality problems or for commodities inconsistent with the descriptions when the commodities were sold. Commodities may be returned without reason only if prescribed by the agreements between the sellers and the consumers.

However, one local law entitled Regulations of Shanghai on the Protection of Consumer Rights permits the buyer to return commodities without giving any reason within 7 days if they were done by door-to-door sale. The Regulations also provides that the buyer also has the right to return the commodities within 7 days bought on the Internet if the qualities or functions of the commodities are found to be different from what they were stated to be.

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