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Chinese online shopping event will cause proliferation of fake goods

12 November 2015 - 09:24 by David Aiken

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This week saw Singles Day take place in China, an event which initially started around two decades ago as an antidote to Valentine’s Day but has since evolved into the world’s biggest online shopping event, according to the Independent. But the state of China’s e-commerce market is such that around 40 per cent of the goods ordered are either fake stand-ins, masquerading as genuine branded products, or items that are of poor quality.

A 356 per cent rise in the number of complaints made by Chinese consumers about this state of affairs has been recorded over the past two years, indicating that as the demand for safe shopping online rises in the world’s most populous nation, so too are the expectations of average people.

Black Friday may be the biggest online shopping day in the west, but Singles Day easily eclipses it and there is one retailer that is likely to benefit the most from the mania surrounding the occasion.

Alibaba is the Amazon of the east, accounting for over two thirds of China’s e-commerce market. And it has said that in the wake of complaints over the number of fake goods on sale via its various marketplace channels, it is attempting to make changes, so that customers do not get stung by phoney products.

This year in the first 12 hours of Singles Day, more than $9.3 billion (£6.1 billion) was spent by online shoppers in China, according to the Guardian. And Alibaba even hired James Bond star, Daniel Craig, to help launch proceedings and earn even more coverage for its range of offers.

Customers in the UK are far less likely to encounter fakes when placing orders via safe shopping online, especially if major retail sites are used. But the majority of the phoney products which do make their way to Britain originate in China.