Thousands of small Taobao vendors are engaging in e-activism over a dramatic increase in annual service charges for sellers on the popular online market.
Yesterday we mentioned in passing that Taobao Mall is planning on increasing its annual service charge from 6,000RMB to as high as 60,000RMB as well as increasing the deposit amount from 10,000RMB to as high as 150,000RMB in order to encourage small-businesses and sellers to be more mature and “serious” in their dealings.
In retaliation for the hikes, small-business vendors have begun “attacking” large retailers like Uniqlo by buying and then immediately returning their products, thus lowering their credibility rating on Taobao.
Little more than a few hours after the hikes were announced, almost 40,000 small sellers heavily reliant on Taobao for income gathered en masse in a chat room, to discuss the unfairness of the practice and coordinate their assaults.
We are the ones that helped Taobao prosper in the first place. How can they treat us so harshly now?
Ms. Quan — Wedding gown vendor
I came online last night to find people playing a Nazi anthem, shouting “destroy everything, destroy everything,” hurting innocent people.
That comment, posted yesterday at 10:30am, has already been forwarded 20,000 times and garnered over 30,000 comments, ranging from unequivocal support to claims that Taobao has forgotten what it’s like to be a small company.
Despite the protests, vitriol and e-activism, Taobao is huge enough to be able to weather out this storm, which will likely leave many small sellers out in the rain and potentially knocking on the doors of Taobao competitors 360buy.com or buy.qq.com.