JD.com Inc (JD) on Saturday said that its management has undertaken "comprehensive reflection and self-criticism" on complaints of "fake products" sold on JD Worldwide, a subsidiary that specializes in cross-border e-commerce, a reversal of an announcement released on Wednesday.
On Saturday, Xu Lei, the chief marketing officer of JD, said on his Weibo account that the attitudes and actions of its customer service staff in such a case were "indeed quite inappropriate" and JD "sincerely apologized to [a customer surnamed] Cheng [claiming to have encountered fake goods at a JD online marketplace]."
Xu said that JD will establish an independent, top-level management team to reinvestigate the case, and if any inappropriate or fraudulent behavior is found, penalties will be applied "without leniency."
On Wednesday, JD said in an announcement that the "fake product" was actually an item shipped by mistake. The transaction involved two types of pillows belonging to different brands, both of which are available through Kang's Home, an online vendor on JD Worldwide. The two pillows have different prices and materials.
The announcements came after an online celebrity using the pseudonym Liuliu, on Tuesday posted on her Weibo account a complaint letter from a friend surnamed Cheng. Liuliu's post attracted broad attention online.
According to Cheng, after purchasing a U.S. Comfort U pillow from Kang's Home, she received a so-called Contour U pillow, which was one-third the online price of the Comfort U pillow and much lighter than what the store description showed.
She reported the problem to Kang's Home, but the latter refused to admit any error and claimed that they had sent the right product since this is what the factory provided, though the product name is Comfort U in the product description.
Then she turned to a customer service employee of JD who said that it was just a case of the wrong product being shipped. With a "poor attitude" and "irresponsible manner," the employee also said it would be useless to lodge complaints against JD itself, according to Cheng. "JD is trying to build a new-type fake market," Liuliu said.