New service rule postponed for existing online vendors


TAOBAO Mall said yesterday it will postpone implementing new rules, which raise service fees, by nine months for existing vendors.

Vendors will be charged with the higher fees from next October. The new rules were slated for existing vendors from January 1, 2012.

Taobao also provided a package of 1.8 billion yuan (US$282 million) to subsidize online sellers.

Taobao will cut the vendors' required deposits in a consumer protection fund by half in 2012, while allocating 1 billion yuan to fill in the gap. Another 500 million yuan will be used to help small vendors get bank loans while the other 300 million yuan will be used to upgrade the Mall's technology infrastructure which will be available for sellers with the top 90 percent customer rating.

These moves might appease some small vendors who protested against Taobao Mall's decision to raise fees last week. Taobao claimed that more than 5,500 people were involved in the "attack" and 112 big vendors were disrupted by a flood of traffic and fake orders.

The president of Taobao Mall, Zhang Yong, told a media briefing in Hangzhou yesterday that 17 people who led the "attacks" have been identified and nearly half of them do not own any online shop at Taobao and the rest have been punished for selling fake goods and violating customer protection rules.

"We will not give up our principles, which is to fight against forgery and encourage vendors to do business with credibility," said Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group.

"We could have chosen a better way to communicate with vendors," he added.

Ma estimated that Taobao's transaction volume may climb to 1 trillion yuan next year, with 800 billion yuan coming from sellers on Taobao Marketplace.


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