And Alibaba’s relation with counterfeit product selling continues. The goods, which Alibaba has been pressing that it has removed to a large extent, amounted to a whopping $45 billion, based on its $112 billion Gross Merchandise Value in 2014.
This was revealed in a report on the implementation of the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers, which was published by China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.
The report said that China has overtaken the US to become the world’s largest online retail market worth $442 billion compared to the $300 billion US retail market. The annual turnover also saw an increase of 40% to reach 2.8 trillion yuan ($442 billion) last year.
However, this was marked by 356.6% increase in complaints as Commerce authorities across the country received 77,800 complaints last year from the consumers regarding the online orders, signalling towards the appalling situation of fake and shoddy goods in the country.
This report was presented at a plenary meeting of the NPC Standing Committee which was presided over by top legislator Zhang Dejiang. The committee urged tightened management on online trade while the report also suggested to having an accelerated legislation in e-commerce, improved supervision and clarification of consumers’ rights and sellers’ responsibilities.
It is not the first time Alibaba has come under scrutiny for counterfeited products and despite its co-founder Jack Ma assuring to focus on screening and curbing fake good suppliers on its platform, complaints have not stopped. This becomes even more crucial in the country like China where the Internet has become a key factor in the economic growth in last 5 years.
According to China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), the Internet has accounted for around 7% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) with online shopping accounting for 20% of the consumer demand. The number of online shoppers has also increased to 361 million, representing 55.7% of the nation’s shoppers last year.
Despite the flak it has been receiving in past few years for fake goods, Alibaba remains among the 4 Chinese Internet companies out of a total of 328 listed internet companies in China, who are among the top 10 Internet companies in the world.