Chinese ecommerce sites littered with fake products

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As China’s massive ecommerce market gets even bigger, the reputation for selling fake products still hangs over the country’s e-tailers.

A report from the country’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) revealed that almost 40 per cent of the ecommerce products inspected in the second half of last year were illegal or fake.

Among the 92 products inspected over the second half of 2014, only 54 were found to be authentic. The samples were bought from various ecommerce platforms, including Tmall, Alibaba’s Taobao, Alibaba rival JD, and other smaller players.

Inspectors found a long list of issues across products ranging from makeup kits to mobile phones, including products with no permits as well as products that were outright fakes.

While it was not clear which site was the worst offender, inspectors noted that the majority of the fake products found on major sites were offered by third-party sellers.

Taobao slammed the results of a survey, which accused it of selling substandard and fake goods. It noted that the sampling methods used in the study were questionable while its test standards were unfair.

Conducted by the China Consumers’ Association and commissioned by the state commercial regulator, the survey showed that over 60 per cent of products that were randomly taken from Taobao failed to meet the country’s retail goods standards.

In an open letter, the ecommerce giant said the study chose just 51 products out of more than one billion that are available on the site.

The company said it was unfair to compare the quality of products sold on Taobao, whose platform consists of millions of ecommerce business run by individual sellers, with products offered by self-operated retailers.

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