Shanghai Disneyland using unfair food policy to boost profits: legal expert

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/13 17:48:39

An aerial view of the Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai Disneyland at Shanghai Disney Resort in Pudong, Shanghai, China on June 4 Photo: IC

A lawsuit filed by  a college student and her friends against Shanghai Disneyland over its ban on visitors from bringing food into the park has drawn widespread attention. 

In an email to CCTV on Sunday, Shanghai Disneyland explained that its food policy is in line with most theme parks in China and other Disneyland venues in Asia. Visitors are free to enjoy their own food and beverages in the rest area outside the park.

Qiu Baochang, an expert from the China Consumers' Association, said that Shanghai Disneyland's food policy is overbearing and its only purpose is to make more money, according to the China Consumer Journal.

Qiu said that according to China's Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests, proprietors should not make unfair regulations that limit consumers' rights while exempting themselves from their responsibilities. 

Disneyland infringed on consumers' dignity and rights to privacy by searching their bags, said Qiu. "Searching bags for a security check is fine, because that is in the public interest, but it is unacceptable to search for food."

Another report by the Beijing News on Monday said that other Disneyland venues' food policy should not be used as the basis for banning visitors from taking food into the park. Instead, laws and regulations should form the legal grounds for its food policy.

The report believes that according to China's Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests and Contract Law, Shanghai Disneyland's overbearing regulation is invalid. 

The report said that the food policy is not related to activities inside the park, but exists only to compel tourists to buy high-priced food and beverages, which is a typical case of making exorbitant profits through unfair regulations that limit consumers' rights.

The response also suggests that food policy in the Disneyland venues in Asia is different from the policy in European and American venues, which brought up more queries online as to why Westerners are allowed to take food into the park while Asians are not, according to the report.


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