Who does the law treat as a “consumer” and why does it matter? How should China’s notion of a “consumer” best be articulated within the law and applied in practice? This article will attempt to answer these intriguing questions by first focusing on the approach taken to define a “consumer” in China’s Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests before examining the legal notion of a “consumer” in comparative perspective, in order to further understand the competing rationales behind the consumer protection law. This article will explore this Chinese definition of a “consumer” to propose how China’s vague and unworkable statutory definition of a ‘consumer’ should be amended in future.
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