Alibaba announced this past Tuesday that it had shut down the accounts of 26 sellers on Taobao who were found to have bribed Alibaba staff in exchange for favors, Phoenix News reports.
The company published an open letter to its sellers and peers saying that only “honesty, transparency and justice can genuinely ensure the healthy development of the online business system” and that “There is no ‘short cut’ or ‘unwritten rule’ allowed on this platform.”
The company forbids members from providing money, services or business opportunities to Alibaba staff or related individuals in exchange for gains.
The implicated staff members, or “taobao xiaoer”, had the authority to adjust the sellers’ credit and customer feedback and also control sellers’ access to promotional activities, and therefore became the targets for sellers seeking “shortcuts”.
The company had set up a disciplinary department to combat graft among its staff and already published a list of sellers who were found to have bribed its employees in May 2012.
“Despite this, some sellers were blind to the regulations and were still found to have given Alibaba staff money, gifts or other favors. Alibaba said such actions are considered seeking illicit interests and are in violation of the law. The sellers’ accounts will be shut down and the staff involved will be punished accordingly,” the company stressed in the letter.
Alibaba also provided the link to a website where people can report illegal behavior on the platform. The company warned its sellers against fraudsters claiming to be the company’s “exclusive agents” or “internal sources.”
Alibaba said it will continue to release lists of illicit accounts on Taobao.
By Lucy Liu
[Video via V1.cn]