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Web China: Alleged Taobao scandal stirs sensation (2)


15:14, May 01, 2012

"As Taobao is like a virtual society, it is unavoidable for some businessmen to obtain illegal profits there by getting involved in bribery," Tao said. "People sometimes get lost when being faced with the temptation of money, but they are just the minority."

Wang Shuai, chief marketing officer of Alibaba Group, wrote in tweets that Taobao had not accepted any interview from IT Time Weekly.

Taobao has refused the magazine's advertisement requests during the past eight years, so it has always become the target of the magazine's negative coverage, Wang said.

"We will hold on to integrity in our rapid development, which is the basis for the survival and growth of the company and the online business," Tao said, adding that the company would be daring enough to expose its own scandals.

The company set up a department of integrity in 2010 to handle customers' reports on illegal activities concerning Taobao employees.

Members of the company senior management resigned or were dismissed over suspicions of fraud during the past two years.

The company also promised to come up with more effective rules in the near future to prevent corruption and regulate behaviors of online merchants.

However, some worry that regulations imposed by the company could hardly solve problems at a time when the country's e-commerce sector is evolving into a complicated situation.

"Only by implementing strict laws can it be possible for us to eradicate corruption," an "Old Young" wrote on Sina Weibo.

During the 2012 sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, NPC deputy Zhou Xiaoguang suggested that legislation regarding online transactions should be made to stipulate rights and obligations of buyers and sellers as well as rules on online transactions and payment platforms.

"Most of Taobao employees I know are warm-hearted and patient, though I have also heard of some corruption cases," a "Qianqianxue," who sells women's dresses on Taobao, told Xinhua in an online interview.

The company's courage to confront its own problems is praiseworthy, but a better oversight system is needed to solve the problems and promote the healthy development of the company, she said.

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