Chinese police have arrested 36 people in connection with operating fraud on Alibaba.com that prompted the resignations of the firm's top executives in February, the company said.
The suspects were accused of running a criminal gang that used fake personal and business identities to open accounts on Alibaba.com, China's largest B2B e-commerce platform, and cheated overseas buyers of more than $6 million.
It looks like most of the fraud was for cheap Chinese ATVs. The U.S. government could step up security by simply forcing an ATV to have a valid VIN number upon import, right now they are listed as 'small engine vehicle' or 'yard tools' which makes tracking them impossible.
America will never be safe unless you ban import vehicles (any number of wheels and configuration) that don't require to adhere to safety regulations.
Why is it so unfair that your country's local ATV manufacturer has to jump through hoops to get his properly built vehicle in the retail store, while somebody who's got no idea about basic technical and safety features can simply plonk his junk into a metal container and ship it over for half the price? I mean, come on!
I stopped using Alibaba AND all other similar marketplaces 2 years ago when I discovered the good quality and stability of the Eastern European manufacturing sector. If you want to work with real people and real businesses you'll have to use official trade organizations and business chambers for leads and you'll have to spend money on international calls and faxes. All these problems occur because people want to cut corners. Either do it properly or don't do it at all.
I've been "watching" Alibaba since its inception, considering that trade/trade-leads will increasingly be sourced online and that Alibaba was one of the first significant/new movers in the space AND had major backers that included Yahoo and the Chinese government.
The "bad rap" that China suffers is that fraud/corruption/systematic graft-pay-to-play is RAMPANT.
That such behavior can reach into the very bowels of the system meant to promote and advance trade with China's many manufacturers - almost a decade after the launch of Alibaba - is the WORST of outcomes. Instead of advancing China's trade interests this just confirms everyone's fears, perceptions, etc.
Corruption as a cost of doing business? Profit = Market value of goods less cost of goods delivered PLUS corruption costs?
Corruption is not a ++++ in free market exchanges. China needs to get a handle on how to spread the profits without the spreading of graft and corruption . . that is now used . . to spread the profits. :(