Taobao Crack Down on “Rating Fraud”, Anti-Taobao Alliance Strikes Back

| August 1st, 2009

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[NetEase] Since July 24th, Taobao (ebay like online retail marketplace) started operation: “honesty self-inspection” and closed down over 12,000 stores suspected of serious “hype fraud” (hype up the product by give fake ratings and reviews). Many Taobao sellers questioned the reliability of the operation. Some sellers said that this action might have wrongfully closed down many honest sellers. Taobao said they will not wrongly accuse any honest sellers. This triggered already formed “Anti-Taobo Alliance” organizing varies attacks against Taobao.

One seller Feng said that day he received more than 20 notices, each corresponding to a transaction. The notice said, these 20 transaction reviews, ratings are suspected to be fraud. It advised him to inspect these reviews and delete them in time. If disagree with the automatic results he can keep these transactions, on August 6th there will be manual inspection on these transactions.

Seller said after each purchase transaction, the buyer will give evaluation of the buy base on the transaction experience. The more “praise” seller gets the more creditable the seller is, “this also means the business of the shop will be better”. In order to earn higher credit rating, some sellers hire people to deliberately fabricate false “praises”, in the Industry commonly known as “brushing credit”. Taobao’s operation is targeted to these “brushing credit” etc. dishonest actions.

“But all of my transactions are real, why do they suspect me of fraud?” Feng and 10,000 other sellers with the same question setup the “Anti-Taobao Alliance” to oppose “honesty self-inspection”.

One seller against the “honesty self-inspection” operation Ms Huang said the original intention of Taobao may be good, however in this operation Taobao seems to suppress smaller sellers and help the larger sellers. She said, all the shops been closed are almost all small sellers. Another issue is Taobao recently started to provide a premium service called “Direct Train” which helps store advertise their product to a targeted audience. Of course seller needs to pay a premium fee to join the service. She claims the larger stores which spent the money on this service were all not closed down.

Many sellers have the same opinion took revenge on the larger stores which still in operation. They bit on the products but do not pay, and the shipping address for these products is address of Taobao headquarter in Hangzhou. Buyer’s name is filled with founder CEO of Taobao Jack Ma (马云) .

Anti-Taobao Alliance started a series of retaliatory action, the “Click Gate” incident is to fiercely click on targeted Taobao products. They even released “Anti-Taobao”, “Direct Train killer” etc. software programs.

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Now Taobao’s largest store “lemon green tea” has been a victim of “click gate” many products has been locked unable to operate.

The “Anti-Taobao alliance” QQ group discussion said “we are not against Taobao, but we are against to hegemony and monopoly” “Protect our justice, and gain back our survival space.”

1 Comment | Leave a comment | Comment feed

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