Turn of the Screw For E-Commerce Platforms: Circular on Regulating Sales Promotion of Online Shopping First Step
Take notice Taobao, Alibaba and all other Chinese e-commerce sites. January 5, 2011, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) promulgated a Circular on Regulating Sales Promotion of Online Shopping (商商贸发3号) for the commerce authorities (in all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government, cities specifically designated in the state plan and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps). E-commerce is getting ever more important. However, it brings with it some challenges. Via online platforms counterfeit and pirated goods are sold, "replacing superior products with inferior products."
Article 5 Circular: "Strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights. In light of the special acts of cracking down aggression of intellectual property rights and manufacturing or sale of fake and shoddy goods, joint supervision shall be launched together with the industry and commerce authorities, quality inspection agencies, etc. and efforts in supervising online shopping platforms and operators shall be strengthened so as to crack down behaviors of infringing on intellectual property rights and manufacturing or selling fake and shoddy goods in promotion activities. Propaganda and education shall be strengthened to guide online shopping platforms and enterprises to perform their social responsibilities, carry out promotion in good faith and regulate business operation, and voluntarily reject illegal activities of infringing on intellectual property rights and manufacturing or selling fake and shoddy goods."
This is a sign of things to come. The e-commerce sites are made responsible what is going on on their platforms. So self-regulatory measures are stimulated. If the problems will not go away quick enough according to the authorities, binding regulation will follow. Decentralized enforcement systems, such as contributory liability is here to stay.