China’s Online Sales Problem: 40 Percent Counterfeit, of Poor Quality

online shopping China

Before you get too excited about that cool new item you picked up online in China, you might want to check the authenticity. According to China’s official news agency Xinhua, more than 40 percent of all goods sold online in China last year were counterfeit or of poor quality.

The report, coming from an official source in China’s tightly regulated media, highlights the high-level of concern with the problem plaguing the country’s rocketing e-commerce sector –one of reality as well as one of perception.

The government-ordered report, which was presented to China’s top lawmakers Monday, found that just under 59 percent of items sold online last year were “genuine or of good quality.”


customer complaints related to online shopping jumped a staggering 356.6 percent

The problem has been an especially big concern for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba which spends an excess of time and money lobbying to keep its name off a U.S. blacklist for sellers on its popular platform who regularly deal in fakes.

This comes at a time when China looks to kill the the country’s overall brand image as being a producer of poorly made goods and pirated and counterfeit products.


While highlighting the rapid emergence of online sales in the world’s largest market, which grew 40 percent last year to 2.8 trillion yuan ($441.84 billion), the report specifically called for “accelerated legislation in e-commerce, improved supervision and clarification of consumers’ rights and sellers’ responsibilities”.

The report also stated that customer complaints related to their online shopping experience jumped a staggering 356.6 percent to 77,800 last year.

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