Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba has been fined by the Chinese government over violations in pricing policy due to complaints by third party sellers on its portals. The fine amounts to $129,000 by the price bureau in eastern Zhejiang province of China.
Alibaba had turned “Singles’ Day”, a November 11 Chinese response to Valentine’s Day, into an online shopping festival in 2009, the event had grown to similar proportions as Cyber Monday and Black Friday in the United States. The shopping frenzy led to massive discounts which in turn resulted in a no-profit or loss making situations for sellers.
“The company has been fined 500,000 yuan (USD 81,000) for matters related to Singles’ Day pricing by third-party sellers on our Tmall marketplace in 2013 and 2014 and 300,000 yuan(USD 48,000) for pricing in other promotions in 2013 and 2015,” Alibaba Group said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.
While pricing is handled by third parties, not directly by Alibaba, the group said that it would nevertheless, reinforce pricing rules and regulations with sellers to protect consumers.