On Friday, September 10, Amazon blocked more than a dozen Chinese sellers on the platform for reporting “suspicious behavior” and alleged wrongdoing regarding customer feedback. It included two of the largest China-based Amazon native electronics brands among companies that generated total revenue of over $ 1 billion. Amazon blocked the listings of a major Shenzhen-based electronics supplier named Aukey, Mpow led by ByteDance and Xiaomi-backed consumer products company Patozon, among many other top sellers, saying “currently unavailable,” Chinese state media reported.
In a statement released by Amazon, it was alleged that sellers in Beijing engaged in inappropriate practices such as fake reviews and inflated sales numbers to make more profit, which violates Amazon’s standards. The retail company owned by American Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, took the drastic action after a shocking report from antivirus site SafetyDetectives found that Chinese brands had staged fake reviews on Amazon and amazed customers. The agency listed the names of nearly 200,000 users and sellers who it said were involved in fake product review programs to trick buyers. Chinese sellers fulfilled the bogus orders, leaving positive reviews of dozens of Amazon ghost accounts they exploited on the platform to influence customers.
Amazon has suspended up to 50,000 Chinese sellers for “improper use of rating functions”, “soliciting false ratings” and “manipulating ratings by offering gift cards”.
‘Paying for fake reviews …’
According to the Shenzhen Cross-border E-commerce Association, up to 50,000 Chinese merchant accounts have been suspended since Amazon’s decision that began in May. This resulted in huge losses for Chinese cross-border e-commerce amounting to 100 billion yuan ($ 15.4 billion), Chinese state government spokesperson Global Times reported. A formal investigation has been ordered by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United States against Chinese sellers on Google and Amazon after the shocking revelation of SafetyDetectives.
The latter banned top Chinese merchants from trading on the site for paying for fake reviews and other scams. Following Amazon’s decision, the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Commerce called an emergency meeting with 10 leading cross-border e-commerce companies to discuss the impact of Amazon’s suspension on local cross-border e-commerce, according to China’s Security Times. The suspension of the US-based company prompted Chinese retailers to explore their own independent websites and media to engage sellers.