Amazon has long been combating phony reviews and other forms of fraud in its marketplace, having sued three of its sellers in 2016 over fake product reviews. Now, the online retail giant is investigating its own employees in China who are allegedly selling internal data that independent vendors could use to their advantage.
The company has confirmed that it is conducting a probe on employees who may have potentially violated the company’s policies for engaging in bribery. Reports suggest that several merchants are paying some Amazon employees from $80 to more than $2,000 in exchange for access to sales information and email addresses of reviewers. In some cases, those sellers can also request to have negative reviews deleted and banned accounts restored.
An Amazon spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal:
"We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties."
It is also found that the Amazon employees involved in the bribery are working with brokers who facilitate the exchange of confidential data and money between them and the merchants. In China, these brokers are supposedly using the Chinese messaging app WeChat to find Amazon employees who may be willing to sell internal data or such services.
While it’s nice to see Amazon taking action to eradicate this shady practice, the e-commerce giant may be facing a tough fight given the scale of its marketplace.
Source: The Wall Street Journal