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China enacts the measures to monitor and manage online transactions

On March 15, 2021, the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) issued measures to monitor and manage online transactions (the “Measures”) (in Chinese). The measures implement rules for the Chinese e-commerce law and contain specific rules for registering an online operating unit, monitoring new business models (such as social e-commerce and live streaming), the responsibilities of platform operators and protecting consumers. Rights and protection of personal data.

In the following, provisions on the protection of personal data and consumer rights are highlighted.

Personal data protection

The online transaction operator is prohibited from accepting one-time general authorization, implicit authorization and bundled authorization, as well as stopping installation or using any other means to compel consumers to consent to the provision of information that is not directly related to their business operations stand. In other words, if the online transaction operator wishes to ask customers to provide information that is not directly related to its business operations, the operator must obtain separate consumer consent.

In addition, the online transaction operator must collect and use sensitive personal data such as e. B. personal biometric data, health information, financial account information and personal whereabouts on an individual basis, obtain separate consent from the customer. In practice, online transaction operators may consider using separate check boxes or pop-ups to obtain consent to collect and use this confidential information.

In addition, the online transaction operator is prohibited from sending commercial information without the consumer’s request or consent. When sending business information, the online transaction operator must explicitly state their identity and contact information, as well as giving consumers the option to opt out of receiving this information through a known, simple and free method.

Protection of consumer rights

The online transaction operator must prominently notify consumers when tied sales of goods or services are offered either directly in a bundle or with multiple options available. If several options are available to customers, the online transaction operator is prohibited from deriving implicit consent from a decision on a tied sale of goods or services. Consent to the selection of items in a transaction does not automatically constitute consent to their selection in subsequent transactions.

With regard to automatic renewals, the online transaction operator must prominently notify consumers of the renewal five days prior to the date of automatic renewal before consumers accept a service and give consumers the opportunity to choose whether to renew the service . The online transaction operator must also provide consumers with a great and easy way to cancel and change an automatic renewal and not impose an unreasonable fee for the renewal.

In addition, the measures provide for content that may not be included in standard terms, notices and statements used for the provision of goods or services, including (1) removal or limitation of repairs, exchanges, returns, compensation, liquidated damages and other reasonable damage; (2) Eliminate or limit complaints and reports, soliciting mediation, or filing arbitration or legal proceedings; (3) elimination or limitation of the amendment or termination of contracts; and (4) conditions indicating that the Online Transaction Operator is entitled to the unilateral right of interpretation or the right to final interpretation.

The measures will come into force on May 1, 2021.

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