Chinese companies banned for using paid reviews are suing Amazon

midian182

Posts: 7,276   +65
Staff member
WTF?! Has Amazon ever caught you using paid reviews and dropped the banhammer? Then why not get together with several other sellers in the same situation and launch a class action against the tech giant.

The Verge writes that several Chinese companies filed the class-action complaint against Amazon on September 13. The retailer has long waged war on sellers who use paid reviews and recently said it had shut down 3,000 online merchants linked to 600 Chinese electronics brands for paid feedback and similar activities.

While the companies in this case aren’t denying they used paid reviewers, they allege that Amazon is withholding several hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars of their claimed earnings. But Amazon’s Services Business Solutions Agreement, which covers Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) businesses such as those in the complaint, states that it can withhold funds if companies violate its policies.

The parties filing the class action—Sopownic, Slaouwo, Deyixun, Cstech, Recoo Direct, Angelbliss, and Tudi—seek “recovery of funds that are being illegally and improperly withheld by Amazon.” They also want to “stop any further misappropriation and misuse of funds that are legally and rightfully due to thousands of Amazon sellers and merchants.”

The Chinese firms argue that as Amazon is in charge of distribution in an FBA arrangement, it should have been aware that they were offering gift cards in exchange for positive reviews.

With over 300 million active customers and over 1.9 million selling partners worldwide, rooting out fake reviews isn’t an easy task for Amazon. Though, it claims to have removed 200 million of them in 2020 before they were seen by users.

Earlier this year, Amazon blamed the problem partly on social media platforms, used by many organizations to solicit their fake reviews. It said the likes of Facebook and Twitter were slow to act in removing these groups from their respective platforms.

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psycros

Posts: 3,707   +4,671
I'm no fan of Amazon but the fact that there is a class action on this only proves that these hundreds of small companies are actually a handful of larger ones. Also, the fact their not only banned but losing their ill-gotten gains is hilarious.
 

S Hone

Posts: 62   +68
No chance of any foreign company having fair treatment in china.... by default no foreign company can have majority ownership with a few exceptions recently like tesla, but they have lost any morals they had through this, a Chinese company aka Chinese government must have 51% ownership so get free profits, imagine foreign companies taking chinese companies to court in china, they would be laughed out of the room...

we need to separate and cut out chinese companies and investment until their country operates fairly and transparently
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 691   +879
"Earlier this year, Amazon blamed the problem partly on social media platforms, used by many organizations to solicit their fake reviews. It said the likes of Facebook and Twitter were slow to act in removing these groups from their respective platforms."

It's all done on WeChat, I work with several Chinese nationals and they showed me the whole enterprise a few years ago. Way to stay ahead of the curve Amazon.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,557
No chance of any foreign company having fair treatment in china....

That's irrelevant whataboutism: If the western countries like the US take so much pride (Which has been built on the basis of decades of propaganda mind you) in being completely free markets and unrestricted capitalism, they can't use a political stance like taking advantage of current xenophobic political rhetoric against China and go "Yeah that free market thing we claim are all about? We're not going to respect that you're not free to compete with us because our government would defend us since they like going 'China = Bad' right now, sucks to be you!"

At that point the rhetoric is just empty: A champion of the free market like Amazon can't just decide "Yeah we're intentionally hurting companies we're targeting for questionable and unproven reasons and not only that we're going to break US law and default on our debt because the law doesn't applies to anyone that's inconvenient to us"
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,831   +4,485
That's irrelevant whataboutism: If the western countries like the US take so much pride (Which has been built on the basis of decades of propaganda mind you) in being completely free markets and unrestricted capitalism, they can't use a political stance like taking advantage of current xenophobic political rhetoric against China and go "Yeah that free market thing we claim are all about? We're not going to respect that you're not free to compete with us because our government would defend us since they like going 'China = Bad' right now, sucks to be you!"

At that point the rhetoric is just empty: A champion of the free market like Amazon can't just decide "Yeah we're intentionally hurting companies we're targeting for questionable and unproven reasons and not only that we're going to break US law and default on our debt because the law doesn't applies to anyone that's inconvenient to us"
The chinese do not weep when they screw over american companies, who should we care when the opposite happens? And since when is Biden anti china? Last time I checked he was quite friendly with Xi.

The chinese build utter garbage, give us a virus, and royally screw over the enviroment. Nobody cares if they get hurt, including their own governmetn.
 

S Hone

Posts: 62   +68
That's irrelevant whataboutism: If the western countries like the US take so much pride (Which has been built on the basis of decades of propaganda mind you) in being completely free markets and unrestricted capitalism, they can't use a political stance like taking advantage of current xenophobic political rhetoric against China and go "Yeah that free market thing we claim are all about? We're not going to respect that you're not free to compete with us because our government would defend us since they like going 'China = Bad' right now, sucks to be you!"

At that point the rhetoric is just empty: A champion of the free market like Amazon can't just decide "Yeah we're intentionally hurting companies we're targeting for questionable and unproven reasons and not only that we're going to break US law and default on our debt because the law doesn't applies to anyone that's inconvenient to us"

Its not whataboutism, its a fact... Free trade should only operate between countries who follow the free trade rules. China does not and its been failing on its commitments after joining the WTO for 20 years at the expense to other members who follow the rules. Enough is enough, we need to only work with friendly countries who follow the international rules. China literally is out to break the international rules based order, an order which enabled it to develop in the first place.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,557
Its not whataboutism, its a fact... Free trade should only operate between countries who follow the free trade rules. China does not and its been failing on its commitments after joining the WTO for 20 years at the expense to other members who follow the rules. Enough is enough, we need to only work with friendly countries who follow the international rules. China literally is out to break the international rules based order, an order which enabled it to develop in the first place.

It is by definition, whataboutism: Whenever or not China and the CCP in general also don't follow the rules is not directly related to a single American entity explicitly not following the rules they should adhere to by American law which (At least for the time being) don't condone defaulting on debt just because of a mostly political decision to remove unwanted vendors from a store front: Amazon would have to show exactly how many customers were mislead which resulted in a return they can actually track and estimate some damages probably on a court battle. They can't just say "All your sales are illegitimate because of jingoist policies and sentiments at this time" when they're clearly not. That's basically just theft

We can discuss the fairness of how the free market should work (Hint: you can't pick and choose which parts of free market and free trade you choose to ignore like all the manufacturing China does for western companies but not ok for when China sells products direct to increase their own margins) only AFTER Amazon either pays what they owe this companies or formally presents a reasonable legal defense a Judge deems appropriate enough not to grant an immediate injuction in favor of these companies. Otherwise you're just trying to distract from one issue from an American company by pointing issues that are unrelated to this case.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
That's irrelevant whataboutism: If the western countries like the US take so much pride (Which has been built on the basis of decades of propaganda mind you) in being completely free markets and unrestricted capitalism, they can't use a political stance like taking advantage of current xenophobic political rhetoric against China and go "Yeah that free market thing we claim are all about? We're not going to respect that you're not free to compete with us because our government would defend us since they like going 'China = Bad' right now, sucks to be you!"

At that point the rhetoric is just empty: A champion of the free market like Amazon can't just decide "Yeah we're intentionally hurting companies we're targeting for questionable and unproven reasons and not only that we're going to break US law and default on our debt because the law doesn't applies to anyone that's inconvenient to us"
Amazon haven’t broken the law. Creating fake reviews is breaking the law.

Also free markets have rules mate. It’s not complete anarchy. You can’t have a free market without controls to prevent monopolies and fraud.

We’re you born yesterday or something!
 

S Hone

Posts: 62   +68
It is by definition, whataboutism: Whenever or not China and the CCP in general also don't follow the rules is not directly related to a single American entity explicitly not following the rules they should adhere to by American law which (At least for the time being) don't condone defaulting on debt just because of a mostly political decision to remove unwanted vendors from a store front: Amazon would have to show exactly how many customers were mislead which resulted in a return they can actually track and estimate some damages probably on a court battle. They can't just say "All your sales are illegitimate because of jingoist policies and sentiments at this time" when they're clearly not. That's basically just theft

We can discuss the fairness of how the free market should work (Hint: you can't pick and choose which parts of free market and free trade you choose to ignore like all the manufacturing China does for western companies but not ok for when China sells products direct to increase their own margins) only AFTER Amazon either pays what they owe this companies or formally presents a reasonable legal defense a Judge deems appropriate enough not to grant an immediate injuction in favor of these companies. Otherwise you're just trying to distract from one issue from an American company by pointing issues that are unrelated to this case.

You sound like you are a wumao who has been critisized by people for whataboutism so much because its what wumaos do that you now want to turn it back... its classic 50 cent army robots response.

I was referring to the unfairness of Chinas closed markets, not allowing audits of finacials to be listed on USA stock exchanges, slave labour, genocides, unfair state subsidies, product dumping globally rather than about Amazon holding funds but nice try.
 

seeprime

Posts: 626   +803
While I agree that China doesn't play fair with foreign companies, in this case the businesses actually deserve to be paid what they earned. How many people would like any employer to without pay from a worker because of a random excuse? That is morally wrong. The sellers punishment was stated as being banned, not being robbed.

Bezos owned companies are real a-holes at so many things these days. No one wants Amazon to randomly decide that your returned item doesn't deserve a refund. Baby steps is how dictators take over.
 

Guberian

Posts: 103   +125
If China doesnt want to play fair with foreign companies in China then why should we be so lenient with Chinese companies not playing fair in western markets?
 

Ravey

Posts: 326   +143
Not sure how I feel on this. If its a good product and sellers are using paid reviews to boost advertising, I don't see an issue. after all, Amazon offer exactly this by charging companies extra to use their "recommended" product feature.

If the seller is dodgy however, they should be banned and any money withheld by amazon should get returned to the buyer.
 
"The Chinese firms argue that as Amazon is in charge of distribution in an FBA arrangement, it should have been aware that they were offering gift cards in exchange for positive reviews."

No shirt Sherlocks... That's how/why they're banning you.

Having agreed to their terms you should also have understood they would be able to take such action against you...

This is like someone agreeing to an apartment rental contract which explicitly states 'no house parties' and then getting upset when they're evicted because they hold house parties, trying to sue for damages afterwards.

If I were a judge presiding over that case I'd laugh, and laugh, and laugh, as I throw it out.