SHANGHAI — The Chinese government is focused on e-commerce in 2016, with a new campaign aiming to further regulate online commerce announced by authorities this week.
Trademark violations, counterfeit products and fake transactions — commonly used to boost a vendor’s online ranking, particularly when competing for eyeballs on major Chinese platforms — will all be under scrutiny, according to a statement that appeared on the State Administration for Industry and Commerce’s web site Friday.
The campaign would run from May to September, the statement said. Though there was no specific mention of any companies that might be a target of closer examination, the statement specifically mentions consumer-to-consumer sites — meaning Alibaba’s Taobao platform is more likely to be impacted than its business-to-consumer sister site Tmall or China’s number-two B2C platform JD.com.
“Counterfeits and other Wild West practices dominate Chinese C2C e-commerce, which is why [we] aren’t in that space. Measures that will further protect consumers are always a good thing,” a JD.com spokesman said.
Alibaba was contacted by WWD for comment but had not responded at the time of writing.
Another target of the crackdown will be misleading online advertising, a hot topic in China this week as the country’s largest search engine, Baidu (often referred to as China’s Google) came under fire for allowing less-than-reputable medical treatments to advertise and appear prominently on search results for cancer treatments, a practice many believe led to the death recently of a Beijing college student, and perhaps many others whose stories haven’t come to light.