An expensive alcoholic drink named Tinghua has been removed from some major e-commerce platforms, after China's national broadcaster accused the company on Friday of fraudulent advertising.

The State-run broadcaster China Central Television exposed the brand on the 315 Gala, which is an annual show that focuses on people's livelihoods and consumer's rights, with issues such as food safety and internet scams highlighted. The show is usually held on March 15: World Consumer Rights Day.

According to the 315 Gala, Tinghua liquor, which is headquartered in the southwestern province of Sichuan, has been available since 2020, at prices that range from 5,860 yuan ($815) a bottle to as much as 58,600 yuan, depending on the alcohol content and packaging.

The company claims in advertisements the liquor has anti-aging and anti-cancer properties and can be used to protect the cardiovascular system, improve sexual performance, and relieve anxiety.

The company also claims in advertisements it has applied for international patents for the alcohol and mint extracts contained in the liquor, to protect its copyright for the claimed healthcare uses.

CCTV said the company's claims about the liquor violates the nation's laws on food safety and advertising, with the food safety law requiring food-related products to be marketed without false or fraudulent information related to disease prevention or treatment. The nation's advertising laws also call for liquor and wine-related products to be marketed without any claims that they can relieve anxiety or improve physical strength.

Some major e-commerce platforms, including JD and Tabao, stopped allowing sales of Tinghua soon after the exposure.

Sichuan's market regulation department told several local news outlets, including Jiupai News, it was aware of the issue and will be mounting an investigation.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202403/16/WS65f48100a31082fc043bcefe.html (English)