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From Fragmentation to Harmonization of Consumer Law: The Perspective of China
Source PublicationJournal of Consumer Policy
ABS Journal Level2

Since the appearance of consumer law, its norm production landscape has been highly diversified and fragmented among the countries. The features of “lawlessness in some sectors” and “the lack of efficiency and effectiveness of national legal systems” give rise to the proliferation of norm producing originated by other bodies such as international organizations, industries, traders and even hybrid entities composing the public, the private and the civil society. There are many variations and differences in consumer law and policy between the Global North and the Global South. In recent years, harmonization of standards, codes of conduct and good practices have already taken place through international organizations and global businesses. In relation to harmonization of consumer laws among different countries, there have been skeptical views regarding such feasibility taking into account varying levels of institutional development. Thomas Bernauer explains “variation of consumer protection standards across countries may be a source of trade disputes.” Starting from the past decade, harmonization of consumer law has been achieved or at least advocated at regional levels. Harmonization easily starts within a region since regional integration creates opportunities for approximation of legal infrastructures. The EU is a very successful case in harmonizing consumer laws further guaranteed by a strong judicial system. In Latin America and in Asia, harmonization projects are ongoing and similar initiatives have also been supported. Whilst acknowledging the existing fragmentation and variations of consumer law worldwide, the author highlights the converging environment of consumer protection due to challenges brought by the globalization and advocates the feasibility of the harmonization approach from the perspective of a dynamically emerging and transitional economy such as China. At the outset, it explores the underpinnings of the consumer law which is a fairly modern legal intervention. China, like other countries, has been modernizing its consumer law by adopting a human-centred, rights-centred and social values-centred approach. Then, it examines the more important role played by emerging countries, particularly in areas such as global B2C e-commerce, telecommunication, financial services and mass tourism, and examines international dialogues and cooperation with active participation by the developing countries including China. There is a need for harmonization of consumer laws in the Mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong regions. China has made some progress on its own, but achieving harmonization in the wider region presents particular challenges. The author hopes that the harmonization would be achieved not only by creating consistency of rules but also by coordinating enforcement across borders. In conclusion, the author seems optimistic for a possible universal model law, which contains the minimum legal requirements and standards of consumer protection and mechanisms to strengthen cross-border cooperation to maximize the harmonization of consumer protection worldwide.

KeywordChina Consumer Law Fragmentation Harmonization
URLView the original
Indexed ByESCI
WOS Research AreaBusiness & Economics
WOS SubjectBusiness
WOS IDWOS:000520034600003
Scopus ID2-s2.0-85076184028
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Cited Times [WOS]:4   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionUniversity of Macau
Corresponding AuthorWei,D.
AffiliationFaculty of Law,University of Macau,Macao
First Author AffilicationFaculty of Law
Corresponding Author AffilicationFaculty of Law
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Wei,D.. From Fragmentation to Harmonization of Consumer Law: The Perspective of China[J]. Journal of Consumer Policy,2020,43(1):35-56.
APA Wei,D..(2020).From Fragmentation to Harmonization of Consumer Law: The Perspective of China.Journal of Consumer Policy,43(1),35-56.
MLA Wei,D.."From Fragmentation to Harmonization of Consumer Law: The Perspective of China".Journal of Consumer Policy 43.1(2020):35-56.
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