Amazon's mainland unit closes vendor after report of fake cosmetics

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 1:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 1:30am

The mainland unit of the world's largest e-commerce company, closed a third-party online store after state media reported that fake cosmetics were being sold.

The shutdown was in response to customer complaints and the company would immediately close any stores selling fakes, Amazon's mainland unit said in a posting on its verified microblog on Thursday.

China Central Television said on Wednesday that the company was among operators with counterfeit or questionable products for sale.

Amazon and rival Alibaba have adopted tougher management of fake products on their websites on the mainland as the government pledges to crack down on breaches of intellectual property rights.

The world's most populous country accounts for more than half of international trade in counterfeit goods, according to estimates from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Authorities arrested 59,000 people and seized more than 9,000 tonnes of fake and shoddy products last year in cases worth 172.9 billion yuan (HK$217.8 billion), a Ministry of Public Security official said in January.

Mainland China was host to a number of markets known for "prominent and extensive availability of counterfeit merchandise", the US Trade Representative said in a February report. It cited Beijing's Silk Market as an example.

Alibaba's Taobao Marketplace, which links individual buyers and sellers, targeted 87 million listings that may have breached intellectual property rules on cigarettes, clothing and medicine.

That action helped get the company removed from the US Trade Representative's Notorious Markets list in 2012.

Online retailer E-Commerce China Dangdang could not provide any certificates to prove cosmetics it sold were authentic, CCTV said.