With the Singles' Day shopping promotion on November 11 fast approaching, some Chinese government agencies have announced new policies intended to crack down on click farming, speculation and deletion of negative comments.
Singles' Day or Double 11 is an annual shopping spree launched by Chinese e-retailer Taobao in 2009.
To improve the regulation of e-commerce, various government departments will take steps to regulate promotional campaigns during the festival, according to an announcement posted on the website of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce on Thursday.
The Alibaba Platform Governance Department said in a Weibo post on Monday that the company fully supports the regulations. It said that only a "law-based approach" would mean that all e-commerce and social media platforms could establish a reputable business and improve the market environment.
"There are several reasons that click farming, fake products and fraud exist in the e-commerce sector," Cao Lei, director of the Hangzhou-based China e-Business Research Center, told the Global Times on Monday.
"Information asymmetry limits trust between buyers and sellers," Cao said, noting there's a time gap between payment and delivery, resulting in the risk during the transaction.
"Anonymity is another problem in virtual platforms. Although anonymity gives users some privacy, it also creates an opportunity for online fraud, reducing the trust level for online transactions," Cao noted.
Cao also pointed to gaps in legislation, platform governance and management.
"With the recently updated law for countering unfair competition, plus the Anti-monopoly Law and Contract Law, regulatory gaps will be filled," Cao said.
He added that more focus will be placed on governance and management in the next move.