China moves to clean up on­line shop­ping

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

China has cre­ated a new law to im­pose heavy fines on in­ter­net shop­ping web­sites which pub­lish false ad­ver­tise­ments about their prod­ucts.

Ven­dors who delete neg­a­tive on­line re­views or post fake pos­i­tive re­views face a min­i­mum $30,000 fine.

The new law aims to clean up China's in­ter­net shop­ping web­sites just be­fore Sin­gles Day - the coun­try's busiest on­line shop­ping day of the year.

Last year's Sin­gles Day saw sales worth al­most $18bn in 24 hours.

Chi­nese con­sumers placed 657 mil­lion

Most Sin­gles Day ven­dors sell through the on­line plat­form Alibaba, which has been heav­ily crit­i­cised for fail­ing to po­lice the claims some sellers post about their prod­ucts.

The au­thor­i­ties are also try­ing to stop the use of a tech­nique known as brush­ing - when ven­dors stage fic­ti­tious sales in or­der to boost their stand­ing in web­site search re­sults.

China in Au­gust launched a dig­i­tal "cy­ber-court" to help deal with a rise in the num­ber of in­ter­ne­tre­lated claims, in­clud­ing on­line shop­ping dis­putes.

Sin­gles Day is held ev­ery year on 11 Novem­ber. The day is also re­ferred to as Dou­ble Eleven be­cause of its date.

Orig­i­nally claimed as a cel­e­bra­tion for China's young sin­gle­tons, Alibaba turned it into a shop­ping bo­nanza in 2009.

While Alibaba is un­de­ni­ably the driv­ing force be­hind the event, other re­tail­ers have also started to pig­gy­back off the idea, in­clud­ing ex­tend­ing it to Hong Kong and Tai­wan.

In Au­gust Alibaba re­ported strong earn­ings, post­ing a 56% rise in quar­terly rev­enue.

An­a­lysts say that Asia in gen­eral and China in par­tic­u­lar are at the cen­tre of the global shift to­wards e-com­merce.

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