With “Singles’ Day” just around the corner, many Chinese are gearing up to drop some serious cash at online retailers in what has become the country’s biggest retail day of the year. Yet many shoppers will be in for a surprise when they realize that what they’ve purchased isn’t exactly what was advertised.
According to a recent Xinhua news report, only about 60 percent of all online goods purchased in China were genuine. That of course means that 40 percent of goods purchased online were either counterfeit or of questionable quality.
The report, issued by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, revealed that upwards of 78,000 complaints were made last year by Chinese purchasers who bought counterfeit or questionable goods. That’s a rise of 357 percent since 2013. The Chinese consumer association took up a total of 20,135 cases, 92 percent of which concerned online purchases.
Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has been trying to combat a reputation for selling fake products online. Currently lobbying to stay off a US blacklist, Alibaba is known for having publicly disputed with Chinese government officials over the issue.
Whether or not Alibaba and others have been selling counterfeit goods, it certainly hasn’t impacted online sales in China. Last year, online purchases increased 40 percent amounting to an impressive 2.8 trillion yuan.