Making Progress in Ongoing Battle Against Supplier Fraud

Main Content Making Progress in Ongoing Battle Against Supplier Fraud

The B2B website recently released an anti-fraud scorecard for 2012, and fraud complaints dropped 60 percent in the last three months of the year.

When was taken private last June, one of the reasons given for the move was an ongoing effort to improve the trading environment for users of the international B2B website, which had become a target for scammers posing as legitimate suppliers and manufacturers.

By tightening its membership standards and working to purge the site of deceptive sellers, shifted its business strategy away from aggressive member acquisition in a bid to stress quality over quantity. In the short run, thisshift was expected to be a drag on revenue growth and the stock price (thus arguing for a de-listing of shares from the Hong Kong stock exchange) while improving the website’s user experience in the long run.

So how’s war on fraud going? Pretty well, according to a host of end-of-year statistics recently released by now-private

  1. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of fraud complaints lodged against Gold Supplier (paid) members was down approximately 60 percent compared with the same quarter in 2011.
  2. Last yearless than .007 percent of users reported fraudulent activity, compared with .03 percent during 2011. had 29.6 million registered users on June 30, 2012.
  3. Although anti-fraud measures werestepped uplast year, fewer Gold Suppliers were removed from the platform. There’s been a steady decline in fraudulent activity over several years. In 2012, 190 Gold Suppliers were ejected from, compared with 419 in 2011 and 2,024 in 2010.
  4.’s business continues to grow.The number of organic, unique visitors accessing from outside China grew 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to the company, the decrease in fraud on the site was partly driven by the addition of new services and upgrades of others in order to boost the safety of the online marketplace.

For example, last year introduced its Verified Membership program, which encourages non-paying suppliers in more than 30 countries to submit to a vetting and verification process, in return enjoying higher search rankings over unverified suppliers. Gold Suppliers located in China also continued to be visited by website staff as part of the Onsite Checkprogram, which is designed to weed out phony companies that have no factories or physical offices. As of December 2012, more than 80% of China Gold Supplier members had passed their onsite checks .

The website also began posting more information on the track record of suppliers on the site, such as whether they have been involved in recent trade disputes with customers over product quality or service. officials said there are plans to disclose additional trade dispute information in the future; eventually the website plans to launch a supplier rating system.

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