- China’s e-commerce giants including Alibaba and JD are collaborating on a nationwide campaign to improve consumer protection during ecommerce retail. The threshold for platform access will be improved and false advertisements will be targeted.
Led by China E-Commerce Association and China Nutrition and Health Food Association, at the end of September, 9 domestic e-commerce platforms including Alibaba, JD and Suning announced the “Convention on Anti-Fraud and Anti-False Promotion”. It involves the following 10 aspects:
- More stringent platform access mechanism
- Facilitate the establishment of a seller credibility system
- Strengthen the censorship of advertisements
- Optimize food safety management system
- Establish seller management system
- Prohibit the use of false promotion and fraud; platform service for trading may be suspended in case of violation.
- Promote the communication with food competent authority
- Help consumers to improve food fraud and false claims identification mechanisms
- Unimpeded path for complaints
- Promote cooperation with other e-commerce platforms.
False and exaggerated health food claims are commonplace in China especially on e-commerce platforms. Disease treatment claims are widely used to attract consumers despite their use on health foods being illegal (the sole purview of pharmaceutical agents). China’s recent promulgation of its first e-commerce law is an attempt to address many of these issues. Following on from the broad specifications outlined in the e-commerce law, this latest convention agreed on by domestic e-commerce giants offers more detailed rules to manage China’s e-commerce ecosystem. Boasting state-of-the-art technology, China’s ecommerce giants are better equipped to oversee advertising claims and will use “big data” to develop a more targeted strategy to offer incentives to retailers with excellent track records and punish violators.