Platforms encouraged to use tech to enforce honesty

"As e-commerce technologies and innovations provide more convenience for our lives, they also bring dishonest behavior in industry, including fraud in online travel bookings or payments," said Chen Zhen, a researcher from the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China.

"The dishonesty harms consumers' interests, creates disorder in cyberspace and will not contribute to the future of e-commerce," he said, suggesting that all e-commerce service providers should move to protect their users' rights through technology.

For example, e-commerce platforms should set up online channels for consumers to report or complain about problematic online shoppers. Or they could take advantage of big data to identify which online sellers are not honest in business, he said.

He made the remarks at the China Internet Integrity Conference organized by the China Federation of Internet Societies on Monday in Beijing.

"Honesty is indispensable in modern businesses," he said. "When we offer more services for netizens through technological innovation, the service quality is also essential, as it will maintain trust between online sellers, platforms and consumers."

Long Baozheng, vice-president of e-commerce giant JD, agreed, saying his company has highlighted honesty at every step of its work, such as online seller identification, delivery of goods and feedback reviews.

JD, along with nine other popular e-commerce service providers, pledged in October to join an all-out effort to combat counterfeits and shoddy goods, making trustworthiness the top priority of their businesses.

"We've encouraged online shoppers to join the fight, as it's also good for them to enhance their awareness of the importance of credibility," Long said. "So far, 35,821 new online sellers have signed the agreement."

Xing Yue, vice-president of Alibaba's public relations department, also expressed determination to stop dishonest behavior.

She said her company is studying block chain in several sectors, such as Alipay and AliHealth, "as we hope to apply the technology to build up China's credibility".

A report, issued on Monday by Renmin University of China and the societies under the country's top internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration, also made the building of a legal framework and law enforcement a high priority in e-commerce development.

(Source:China Daily)