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China: Alibaba says its fighting ‘false’ price-fixing claims

 |  February 12, 2017

Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce company, has accused several reputation-protection agencies for making false accusations about the sale of fake goods and price fixing violations on its online shopping platform, calling for merchants to boycott those agencies.

In particular, Alibaba has named Chinese company Hangzhou Wangwei Technology, saying that it has decided to stop processing any complaints from the company. According to Alibaba, Wangwei has filed thousands of complaints, of which more than 60% since 2015 have ended up being withdrawn after counter-appeals from merchants.

“That rate is far beyond the normal,” said Alibaba in an online statement, adding that it has evidence suggesting that the agency, certain brand owners and distributors have joined together to lodge complaints against popular merchants for price-fixing and sales channel manipulation. Alibaba also pointed out that some agencies hired by global brands have gone as far as forging documents and making bad-faith registration of trademarks.

The damage to merchants from such activity can sometimes be irreversible, as Alibaba automatically removes products from sale when complaints are filed and while any appeal from the merchant is being processed. Some stores, according to Alibaba, have been forced to close down due to constant complaints about numerous products on their online stores filed by brand-protection agencies.

Alibaba said it would “not tolerate price-fixing on its platforms” and said it may pursue legal action if Hangzhou Wangwei continues with what it calls “malicious complaints against legitimate merchants.”

Full Content: Retail Dive

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