In perhaps the most surprising government study since last week, authorities have determined that over one-third of China’s online goods are of poor quality.
More specifically, China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce found that 34.6% of goods traded on China’s major e-commerce platforms are “substandard,” ECNS reported.
The study checked a total of 503 batches of goods from Chinese e-commerce giants like including Taobao, Tmall, JD.com, Yixun, Suning, yhd.com, Gome, vip.com, Dangdang and Amazon China. Out of the 497 usable samples, 172 had problems.
93% of those problems were in the shoddy products themselves, while the remaining 7% had questionable packaging or instructions.
But the good news is that a mere two of the batches were confirmed to be counterfeits by their manufacturers!
That appears to be a step up from last year when a government study found that over 40% of goods sold online in China were either counterfeits or bad quality.
China’s online shopping sites have gained a reputation for shoddy or fake goods. You may be able to order absolutely anything under the sun for cheap, but you could also order an iPhone 6 and end up with a Pear Phone or a literal pancake instead.
Still, is this really a bad thing? Jack Ma would say no. At an investor’s conference in June he declared that fake goods often have higher quality and lower pricing than the originals.
“The problem is that the fake products today, they make better quality, better prices than the real products, the real names,” Ma said. “It’s not the fake products that destroy them, it’s the new business models.”
In the past, Alibaba has made efforts to eliminate knock-offs from its websites. Last year, they assisted police in arresting 300 sellers. On the other hand, last year Ma also resolutely refused to settle a lawsuit filed against Alibaba by Kering SA, which represents upmarket brands such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, accusing China’s largest online commerce company of turning a blind eye to sellers hawking fake merchandise. Ma said that he would rather “lose the case and lose the money, instead of losing our dignity and respect.”
Meanwhile, with Amazon now making it easier than ever for Chinese companies to sell directly to the American market, many American sellers are beginning to complain about having to compete with cheap knockoffs.