New Straits Times

Malaysian platform for Amazon an April Fool’s prank

Online shopping firm insists it meant to entertain, not deceive, with the announcement

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 5:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 5:28pm

By nor Ain Mohamed Radhi

The excitement of having the world’s biggest online mall, Amazon, on Malaysian shores by year end was short-lived as the news has turned out to be an April Fool’s prank.

On April 1, the news on Amazon being launched in Malaysia with Malaysian online shopping firm iPrice as its affiliate partner, was reported in several news portals together with a screenshot of the so-called Amazon Malaysia homepage (Amazon.my).

However, further checks on the announcement (similar to the press release sent to the media) on the iPrice website revealed a line stating: “Oh, and Happy APRIL FOOL’S DAY ;)” was added at the bottom of the statement.

iPrice Group public relations and content marketer Jeremy Chew said the prank was not meant to deceive but to entertain, especially those who are looking forward to have a Malaysian platform of Amazon.

“As one of e-commerce merchants, we were excited when we got to know the news that Amazon plans to enter the Southeast Asian market through Singapore.

“We were curious on how the e-commerce business will look like if it was set up here. Thus, we decided to carry out an imaginary scenario on as to how it would look like,” he said when contacted today.

Chew said in a press release sent to the media, its designers had incorporated some local humour - with references to Malaysian men getting rings stuck in their private parts and on a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) student criticised for putting on make-up.

He said the group was surprised that the news has been mistaken to be legitimate.

“However, just like I said before, it was to entertain the people on the day. The only day in the year that we can have a good laugh with pranks,” he said.

Jeremy said as the news was widely shared on the social media, it clearly showed that there is a huge demand for Amazon to enter Malaysia.

“It seems that we are not the only ones excited about it, but Malaysians in general. We hope this will send a clear message to Amazon.” he said.

Malaysian platform Amazon an April Fool's prank: iPrice