Booking.com has been fined 200,000 yuan (US$29,100) for fake promotions by Shanghai’s market watchdog.
In July, Booking.com rated three hotels, the Crowne Plaza Shanghai Pujiang, Xi’an Tanglong International Hotel, and the Langham Shanghai Xintiandi as five-star on its website.
They did not have any rating in China, according to the Shanghai Market Supervision and Management Bureau.
In China, the rating is granted by the National Tourism Star Hotel Assessment Committee established by the former National Tourism Administration (now the Ministry of Culture and Tourism).
The lodging reservation website has deleted the five-star term for these hotels and made rectification, said the bureau.
The practice violated China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law, which states that businesses should not falsely or misleadingly promote a property, function, quality, sales figure, users’ comment or reputation to cheat or mislead consumers.
The maximum punishment is a 2 million yuan fine.
The website was fined 100,000 yuan for a similar incident in April, said the watchdog.