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China’s commerce regulator meets Alibaba chairman Ma Yun

Updated: Jan 31,2015 2:54 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The head of China’s commerce regulator met with Alibaba’s chairman Ma Yun on Jan 30 to exchange opinions on joint efforts to fight fake products.

During the meeting, Zhang Mao, minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), reaffirmed Alibaba’s positive efforts in safeguarding consumer rights, purifying the business environment and promoting self discipline.

Meanwhile, there are currently some problems haunting online shopping platforms, Zhang said, adding that the SAIC should find new ways of supervision and set up a mechanism for communication and interaction in an effort to promote the healthy growth of Internet economy.

Ma said online shopping is a new and rapidly growing sector in China, which should be further regulated and improved.

“Alibaba has always been engaging in combating fake products to crack the hard nut. Next, Alibaba will actively cooperate with the government, devote more capital and technology and further expand its professional team for fighting fakes,” Ma said.

Ma also said that Alibaba would reinforce routine online inspection and sampling tests and meanwhile make joint efforts with law-enforcement departments.

The two sides agreed that they will enhance communication and explore a model for managing the online market.

The SAIC will further strengthen supervision for online business platforms, fairly perform its duties and raise the quality of supervision using big data and other information technologies, while the company should enhance self discipline to safeguard consumer interests.

This meeting came after Alibaba’s Taobao.com, the largest shopping website in China, entered into a spat with the SAIC over a quality inspection report.

SAIC’s sample test showed that only 37.25 percent of surveyed commodities sold on the website were authentic, lower than a 58.7-percent average of major online shopping platforms. Taobao’s major rival, JD.com saw its rating at 90 percent.

Taobao fired back on Jan 27 and said it was unfairly treated.

It claimed the inspection was flawed in logic and contradicted previous data, pointing out the authority only made a sample of 51 items which cannot represent the enormous trade volume on the platform.

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