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China's Ctrip grilled over fake Japan bookings

Customers were sent confirmations for already-reserved hotel rooms

Traditional inns, or ryokan, line a Japanese street. Ctrip has run into trouble with fake bookings just before the year-end travel season.
Traditional inns, or ryokan, line a Japanese street. Ctrip has run into trouble with fake bookings just before the year-end travel season.

TOKYO -- Ctrip, the largest online travel agency in China, faced questioning Tuesday by Japan's tourism agency and industry groups after its Japan website allegedly let customers book rooms that turned out to be taken, in a major hiccup going into the year-end travel season.

Ctrip's Trip.com site for Japanese customers apparently had at least 37 cases, involving 10 partner businesses, in which travelers were shown vacancies at hotels or traditional ryokan inns that were already fully booked. Customers who tried to reserve such rooms were even sent confirmation that their booking was complete.

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