It appears that not everyone is playing fair in eCommerce in China, and regulators in the country are out to do something about it.
Reuters reports that China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce has begun a campaign to put a stop to unscrupulous practices in the online commerce space, including trademark violations, sales of counterfeit products, the falsification of transactions (to increase online rankings) and false and illegal advertising.
In addition to the increased oversight — which is scheduled to run from May to November — the Chinese regulatory group expressed its intent to apply harsher punishment to any digital merchants that it finds to be utilizing any of the aforementioned tactics.
Although the group did not name any specific eCommerce companies that it may be targeting, Reuters posits that online companies such as Alibiba, JD.com and Baidu are potentially in its crosshairs.
Baidu is currently the target of an investigation that the outlet notes was brought on by allegations made by a university student who, prior to his death as a result of cancer, had alleged that the company had promoted false information regarding the effectiveness of a particular treatment for the disease.
While neither Baidu nor Alibaba responded to Reuter's request for comment on the newly launched campaign against illicit eCommerce practices, JD.com gave the following statement: "Our business model targets the scourge of counterfeits, and we support efforts to protect consumers, wherever they may shop online."