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Tourists duped into buying medicine

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Shanghai, China
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Tourists duped into buying medicine

Recent article about one of the leading producer of chinese medicines in Shanghai daily has been found diagnosing foreign tourist as unhealthy n then selling medicines of doubtful n dubious quality at high prices.

Tourists on one day tours were often taken to one of the Tongrentang's shops n were persuaded to spend hundreds or even thousands of yuan on traditional medicine after been diagnosed as unhealthyby the stores medical staff.Most tourists do not speak chinese but the shops staff explained TCM theory in english n took their pulses.Sometimes interpreter r available.Most tourists were diagnosed as suffering from some ailments usually of the kidneys n persuaded to buy pills of considerable cost.Beijing 's drug watchdog examined the products sold to tourists n found none was qualified TCM products or had clear manufacturing info.However the company had denied such allegations that the outlet involved were theirs.Collaborations of this nature had been goin on for many years between the travel agencies n the outlets.So beware if u r forced to go.,its better to avoid this probable scam.Hopefully the relevant authority could clear this apparent confusion soon n leave no stone unturned to get to the truth.

Miami Beach, Florida
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for Shanghai Region
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1. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

Hey benny,

I read about this too. How clever! Take the ever-gullible group tourists to medicine shop, have them diagnosed as sick, and the cure is sitting on the shelf at heavy prices!

The group tours are so inventive aren't they? In some countries it is called unmitigated greed or just theft.

To Shanghai visitors who want a guide: just hire a private one with the specific instructions of "no shopping stops, no factory tours, no tea tasting, no medicine cures, ad nauseum." If they take you "shopping" at these bogus stores open only for tourists at prices twice (or more) over market to allow them to pay your guide a 40-50% commission on everything you buy, then they do not get paid. Simple enough.

Shanghai, China
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2. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

well said,SBS.Hope there wont b anymore gullible innocent folks for these imposters to make a wealthy living.,laughing their hearts out practically .Good,no more unnecessary shopping trips particularly to places u r not familiar with n where u will b lost hopelessly.

Dublin, California
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3. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

This has been happening for 20 years. The people who are gullible are Chinese tourists, esp. those from Taiwan and other Asian countries, who are easily influenced by Chinese medicines.

Miami Beach, Florida
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4. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

This Xinhua report specifically was of foreign tourists staying in 4 and 5-start hotels:

"A Swedish tourist told Xinhua he was swindled by the shop in March during his first trip to China.

"An Englishman paid 1,720 yuan for pills said to be able to strengthen his bones.

"Beijing's drug watchdog examined the products the tourists bought and found none was qualified or had clear manufacturing information.

"Xinhua cited an industry insider as saying some hotel porters collaborated with travel agencies in scams targeting foreign tourists."

Very appropriate warning for western tourists.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

the sad thing is that most of those who are scammed to buy this so called medicine probably do not read trip advisor. yes, lots of chinese tourists have and will continue to be scammed. i was one of those in 2006!!!! i bought because the diagnosis was correct. i ended up dumping the pills because i did not feel well after taking them for a while. yes, shame on me!!! i was as gullible as others!!!

its a real shame that some of the well known hong kong tours still include a trip to TRT.

i wonder why wouldn't the govt shut them down. somebody must have known about this scam and choose to ignore it. it is not like it is done in secret.

Shanghai, China
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6. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

But if the government shuts them down, then the officials who get their share get nothing. So they will make sure that this money source it is kept alive.

Hard to resist if you are a tourist, first time in an exotic country and think that every Chinese is an expert in TCM and can diagnose any disease by just checking your pulse....

Dublin, California
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7. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

Only very a very naive person will be scammed by such tactics. I saw this the very first time I went to China as a tourist many many years ago. I was young and relatively naive. And yet I had no problem immediately identifying this as a scam.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Beijing, Lijiang
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8. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

This is a news article about it. The pharmacy is in Changping ( on the way to the Badaling Great Wall & Ming tombs)

…globaltimes.cn/society/2011-06/663791.html

Shanghai, China
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9. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

Its a widespread practice,having tentacles all over China whether its in Shanghai,Beijing or Guangzhou n many other cities.Its high time something concrete should b done to expose them n save the innocent tourists.The tour should b more enjoyable without this scam.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Beijing, Lijiang
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10. Re: Tourists duped into buying medicine

I agree Benny. And most tourist's don't read Chinese newspapers so they are not aware.... Independent tourists know because they research on sites like Trip Advisor.

As for others I guess they join a tour without realizing they are getting fleeced at every opportunity...... Laowai has summed up the situation very well.