In an interview with the media, eCommerce giant, Amazon, has announced the closure of Chinese seller accounts. According to Dai Lingfei, the vice president of Amazon Global and the executive president of Amazon’s global store Asia Pacific region, Amazon has withdrawn the sales rights of about 600 Chinese brands in the past five months. This amounts to about 3,000 seller accounts, including some large sellers.
Why the seller accounts were closed
Speaking to the media, Dai Lingfei lamented the misrepresentation of the facts of the case.
First, she reiterated Amazon was a customer-centric company committed to delivering the best customer experience. As such, Amazon has always strictly prohibited abusive and false reviews and has a clear policy to tell sellers what kind of behavior is illegal.
Rather, the eCommerce giants expect product reviews to be as truthful and accurate as possible to enable customers to make correct purchase decisions.
Additionally, she noted that it is never an easy decision to close or deactivate any seller’s account. As such, the decision is always taken with a very cautious attitude.
“These sellers have had multiple, repeated and serious ‘reviews-abusive’ behaviors and many other violations,” she said. She noted that they were repeat offenders who had been issued several warnings but continued to violate the rules. This led to the unavoidable decision to end the cooperative relationship with these sellers.
How Amazon handles illegal accounts
Reports indicate that Amazon has a very elaborate process for dealing with any identified illegal accounts.
Amazon begins by disabling the seller account for violations. At this stage, the seller has an opportunity to appeal the ban. Should the seller be able to prove that Amazon was wrong or that the violation was temporal and unintended, Amazon will allow these accounts to resume normal operations. They would also need to have stated how to avoid a repeat of such in the future.
If a repeat violation occurs and is found to be deliberate, Amazon will close the sales authority of the two involved seller accounts in the most serious cases. Again, the seller is allowed to appeal the ban.
Should the seller’s appeal be successful, the funds in the account will be returned to the seller following due process. If it is unsuccessful or the seller does not appeal, the funds in the account will be temporarily frozen for an initial period of 90 days. During this period, the funds will be used to cover the seller’s refund, return, compensation, and other costs to the customer, as well as any outstanding expenses the seller may have incurred.
Provided there are no other crimes, or violations of laws and regulations, the seller, can get their funds back after 90 days. This will depend on if the identity verification is passed.
Impact of closure on Chinese sellers
Overall, Amazon closed more than 600 accounts belonging to Chinese sellers. Dai Lingfei pointed out that the closure of these accounts has not had any impact on the overall development of Chinese sellers on Amazon.
She noted that the sales of Chinese sellers on Amazon had not been affected adversely as they continue to maintain healthy and rapid growth.
“We have more honest sellers in China, and continue to provide consumers with good choices and good services.” She reiterated that the decision to stop operating with the few illegal sellers was to protect the rights and interests of consumers and also maintain the global reputation of Chinese brands.”
Data from 2020 showed that 42% of Amazon’s top sellers are Chinese, and the proportion of Chinese cross-border eCommerce on Amazon’s US website is about 63%. As such, Amazon also announced the establishment of its first seller training center in Hangzhou. The center will help attenuate the risks and challenges encountered by enterprises in operating overseas.
Tuo Xiaohua, senior director of the Asia Pacific Marketing Department of Amazon Global Stores, said that Amazon is very confident in the development of China’s cross-border eCommerce and the establishment of the center was a reflection of the same.