November 17, 2019 11:52

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Online sale: looking at real product photos but accidentally buying fake goods

09:35 | 04/09/2019

VCN - The situation of trading fake goods and goods of unknown origin in e-commerce is increasingly complicated. In many cases, goods images are real but customers receive fake and counterfeit goods.

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Illustration image. Source: Internet

Both Vietnamese and foreign people are deceived

According to Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (Ministry of Industry and Trade),by the end of 2018, the total number of violated goods that were removed from e-comerce websites were nearly 36,000 and more than 3,100 accounts/stores were blocked.

Only in the first eight months of this year, after the signing ceremony of the "Say no to counterfeit goods in e-commerce" ceremony, there were more than 3,700 infringing products from nearly 632 stores and websites removed. Of that, one case which was suspected by taking advantage of Shopee e-commerce to sell baked goods containing marijuana, was transferred to the Department of Cyber ​​Security and High-Tech Criminal Prevention Division (A05, Ministry of Public Security) to investigate.

Some businesses have products that infringed intellectual property rights such as Binh Tay Import Export Joint Stock Company - Bitex (casio calculator), GH Consults Company Limited (Amway, Herbalife and Orilflame products) has asked e-commerce websites like Lazada, Sendo, Shopee and Vatgia to remove thousands of infringing products.

On August 19 and 20, the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency worked with Samsung Vietnam and related units to verify the subjects which had established websites "samsungvietnam.online" to sell fake Samsung phones. The agency provided information to the General Department of Market Management to direct and handle the case of Relex Vietnam Co., Ltd. due to setting up many websites for trading mobile phones and automotive furniture.

The inspection team of the General Department of Market Management and A05 seized all mobile phones without receipts and related documents and continued to work with Relex Vietnam Co., Ltd. to clarify related issues.

Notably, not only Vietnamese, foreigners were also deceived when purchasing products on e-commerce websites.

According to the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency , they collaborated with A05 to resolve complaints from Kazakhstani citizens about being cheated when conducting transactions with a Vietnamese company on e-commerce website of Alibaba.com. Currently, A05 has verified the person and is carrying out necessary procedures to return more than $1,400 to the above citizens.

The burden of e-commerce website’s owners

Regarding the tricks of the subjects, the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency assessed the level is increasingly sophisticated; it is difficult to identify real or fake goods online.

The information about the image and information of goods on the website was real, but when customers received actual goods, they might be fake goods that customers couldn’t recorgnise.

Decree No. 185/2013/ND-CP stipulating the sanction of administrative violations in commercial activities, production and trading of counterfeit and prohibited goods and protecting consumers' rightsregulates the monetary penalty rate for this is 40-50 million VND. However, the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency acknowledged in the process of handling, the market management force faced difficult to implement when there are not enough grounds for application.

Tran Huu Linh-General Director of the Market Management Department said that the situation of selling fake goods, prohibited goods, smuggled goods on e-commerce websites and social networks which are not fulfilling tax obligations to the State had tended to increase and become more complicated.

This situation has evolved publicly on e-commerce websites, e-commerce trading and social networks,causing serious threats to society and consumers’ confidence.

Linh said: "Online sellers are diversified in terms of product and type of people. When running advertising, they used genuine and authentic images. However, when delivery goods to consumers, it was counterfeit goods without origin and documents. Additionally, to processing the case, it required to have specific signs and evidence of violation. Currently, 100 percent of online transactions did not have invoices and vouchers, so it was difficult to handle counterfeit and smuggled goods because it was difficult to find out who was goods supplier.”

Leaders of the General Department of Market Management pointed out that managing the number of stores on e-commerce is very difficult with an unlimited number of stores and goods sold. Therefore, if there is no burden for e-commerce trading owners, it will be difficult for management.

Although e-commerce has many positive factors, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh also said that, in fact, e-commerce showed its shortcomings and risks of causing negative impact and consequences for the market, consumers and loss of tax collection.

Therefore, the Minister of Industry and Trade requested the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency to review the operation regulations of E-commerce and the responsibility of the owners.

"The General Department of Market Management proactively evaluated from the activities of smuggling, trade fraud and proposed to leaders of the Ministry for anti-counterfeiting, trade fraud in e-commerce environment ... in key areas and specific goods items for definitive handling; reporting in early September and implemented in the fourth quarter,” Minister Tran Tuan Anh said.

By Thanh Nguyễn/Thanh Thuy