votrechien - 2:33 am on Feb 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
I have extensive experience using Alibaba and I've met many suppliers who have also become great friends through the website.
It's a medium that is used by millions across the world and like any site of that kind of popularity, it's always going to be prone some fraud and abuse (except for eBay which has no scammers of course on it ;)). The fact some of this fraud was supported internally is scary but give Alibaba credit for coming forward with it.
Unfortunately, in developing countries this sort of thing often goes with the territory but it's easy to protect yourself. The most important axiom being "if it's too good to be true, it probably is". Yes, that means the Chinese supplier who you've never even talked to on the phone, who doesn't advertise a business address, who has only been on Alibaba for a month, and who is selling iPhones for $50 (despite China being part of the WTO) probably is a fraud.