BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing’s market regulator recently visited video hosting service ByteDance Douyin to review the company’s e-commerce business live and discuss how to prevent overcharging, according to a statement posted on the regulator’s official WeChat account on Thursday.

The regulator’s visit to Douyin – China’s version of TikTok – comes as Beijing vows to support the private sector, which is suffering from state-imposed COVID restrictions that were lifted in December, as well as a regulatory crackdown on property, technology and the private education industry.

The regulator’s research team visited Douyin, where it heard the company’s explanations on price enforcement and how to better understand and implement “accurate pricing and anti-price gouging provisions,” the statement said.

“A good foundation has been laid for further deepening cooperation between the government and enterprises, working together to standardize the pricing of the live streaming industry,” the market regulator said.

Douyin said in a statement on the same day that it had revised the rules governing price gouging and the conduct of e-streamers promoting products on its platform.

The revision aims to force transporters, who play a key role in China’s growing e-commerce sales, to check prices, make sure they don’t mislead customers and ensure the merchant can deliver goods on time.

The rules also include a ban on broadcasters using fictitious discounts to mislead customers into buying a product, or advertising involving domestic disputes, violence and other anti-social behaviour.

It is not yet clear whether the visit was prompted by a specific incident. ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Tom Hogg and Jane Merriman)


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