Amazon, Dangdang shut down online stores selling fake skincare products

By Yang Jing Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-20 23:33:01

A cosmetics counter in a store in Sanmenxia, Central China's Henan Province. Photo: CFP

E-commerce companies Amazon China and China Dangdang Inc announced Thursday that they have shut down stores on their websites that sold fake brand-name skincare products after this was reported by China Central Television (CCTV) late Wednesday.

Amazon said it had closed the stores in February right after receiving complaints and strengthened inspection and management of third-party stores on, according to a statement released on its Sina Weibo account Thursday.

Dangdang also shut down the two stores reported by CCTV and provided unconditional refunds to customers who bought products from the two stores, a PR staff of Dangdang who declined to be named, told the Global Times Thursday.

CCTV reported late Wednesday that some third-party stores on and were selling skincare products that were supposedly from well-known brands such as L'Oréal and Estée Lauder at prices that were much lower than official prices.

A staff member of a store called Meihan Meizhuang on said these cheap products were smuggled products but finally admitted that these products came from a wholesale market in Beijing, according to the report.

CCTV sent two skincare products bought from stores on the two e-commerce platforms under the L'Oréal and Estée Lauder brands to the producers, who then determined that both products were fake.

Beijing Municipal Administration of Quality and Technology Supervision, Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and China National Cosmetic Quality Supervision & Inspection Center all said they could not identify whether the products were genuine or fake when contacted by CCTV because only skincare makers know the product formula.

Even the brands in question - L'Oréal Group and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc - had refused to conduct product tests before CCTV revealed its identity and negotiated repeatedly with the two companies, the report said.

According to China's Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers, e-commerce platforms are also responsible for the quality of products sold by third-party stores on its sites, Qiu Baochang, president of the legal panel at China Consumers' Association, told the Global Times Thursday.

Customers who are tricked by e-commerce platforms and stores into buying fake products can return the products and demand three times the price paid as compensation, Qiu said.

However, it is not easy for customers to demand compensation because they can hardly find a qualified institution to test products, Qiu said, noting the official quality inspection agencies and product makers should help customers in conducting products testing if they require it.

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