A Chinese government report has highlighted the country’s mounting problems with the online sale of goods. It said a huge proportion of items sold on Internet portals were either fakes or of sub-standard quality.
Over 40 percent of goods sold online in China last year were counterfeits or just shoddy products, the nation’s official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday, citing a fresh government report.
The report, which was submitted to China’s top lawmakers, showed the Asian country had so far made insufficient progress in shaking off its notoriety for pirated products.
Online sales accounted for roughly 10 percent of China’s total retail activities in 2014, marking a 50-percent surge year-on-year and totaling 2.79 trillion yuan ($450 billion, 408 billion euros).
Alibaba in focus
The government report called for “accelerated legislation in e-commerce, improved supervision and clarification of consumers’ rights and sellers’ responsibilities.” At present, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about how consumers can claim compensation or hold online vendors to account.
Customer complains about online orders were reported to have hit almost 78,000 last year, a staggering jump of 356.6 percent from 2013 levels.
In January, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce accused e-commerce giant Alibaba of not doing enough to stop the sale of counterfeit and shoddy goods. The company had said it had cooperated with law enforcement agencies in over 1,000 counterfeiting cases, leading to hundreds of arrests.