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Italy launches investigation into VW scandal

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Rome: The Italian antitrust authority has opened an investigation into Volkswagen (VW) for possibly misleading consumers who have bought diesel cars from the German automaker.

The inquiry into VW and its subsidiary in Italy is launched because of “complains filed by a number of consumer associations”, a news agency quoted antitrust authority as saying in a statement released on Friday.

The hypothesis for investigating concerned a possible “improper commercial practice in selling cars and commercial vehicles with qualities and emission standards that would actually be below the declared values,” the antitrust body said.

At least 648,458 vehicles were overall involved in the scandal in Italy, according to data released by VW earlier this week.

They will all be recalled to undergo revision.

The Italian antitrust body said its investigation against improper commercial practice would concern “several types of vehicles sold by VW Group between 2009 and 2015, with VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda brands.”

“Consumers may have been misled in their purchases by the claims on emissions and type approval standards used by Volkswagen within their advertising campaigns and informational brochures distributed by dealers and retailers,” it added.

Last month, VW acknowledged cars with Type EA 189 engines had been equipped with a device able to temporarily reduce emissions during official testing in the US and Europe.

The cheating practice involved up to 11 million diesel cars worldwide, the company admitted.

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Weddings in China postponed amid coronavirus outbreak

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Beijing: The revenue of China”s wedding industry has declined since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as many couples were forced to postpone their weddings during Chinese Spring Festival.

According to a Global Times report, industry analysts and business sources said that foreign marriage companies that conducted and managed the marriage of Chinese couples in Indonesia”s Bali, Japan”s Okinawa and in the Maldives have reported huge losses.

“We have postponed our wedding ceremony, which was to be held in Bali in early March,” Zhou, a bride in Beijing, told Global Times. We have taken this decision to avoid crowds attending the event like marriage due to health reasons.”

Lisa Wang, an employee of a wedding planning firm in Beijing, said: “My clients planned to hold a wedding ceremony in Bali in February. But they have postponed these programmes till the second half of this year due to concerns about the virus epidemic. ”

Last week, Indonesia banned flights to and from China to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Wang said that since the beginning of February, his work has been negatively affected. He said he has not received any new contracts for local wedding shows and photography in Bali, Okinawa and South Korea”s Jeju Island from late January to mid-February.

Another employee in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, said: “In the past years, we received more than 20 orders from Chinese couples in January for wedding photos in our studio, but this year we have not received any order.”

The South Korean employee also said that the studio”s revenue from Chinese customers has increased in recent years, but they are suffering a lot of losses earlier this year.

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