China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group will collaborate with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to block the sale of unsafe consumer goods, banned or recalled goods to U.S. buyers via Alibaba websites, CPSC Chairman Elliott Kaye announced today.
Kaye, who in November urged certain U.S. online auction sites and e-tailers to do more to prevent unsafe products from being sold online, commended Alibaba’s commitment to assist the commission in its efforts to keep dangerous products out of the hands of American consumers. A CPSC blog post called the deal a “ground-breaking voluntary consumer safety collaboration.”
Alibaba Group runs major Chinese and international online marketplaces that host some 8.5 million active, independent merchants. Under its arrangement with the CPSC—Washington’s top product-safety watchdog—the company agreed to set up a direct line of communication with commission regulators and upon request quickly block sales of products deemed illegal or recalled by the U.S. to buyers who are identified as being located in the U.S.
Kaye said in a statement that Alibaba’s “forward leaning approach … will help prevent unsafe products from being passed on to unsuspecting consumers.” Kaye announced the deal while attending the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, one of the global toy industry’s largest trade shows.
Alibaba, which operates both wholesale and retail international online platforms, also agreed to publish safety information for U.S. importers on Alibaba Group sites. In addition, Alibaba said it would post “access points” on B2B marketplace Alibaba.com to guide U.S. importers to additional information on U.S. safety standards for consumer products that tend to pose greater risks to buyers.
“We are honored and proud to work with the CPSC on these important and serious consumer protection measures,” said Jim Wilkinson, Alibaba Group’s senior vice president for corporate affairs, in a statement. Citing Kaye’s “ excellent track record of results in protecting U.S. consumers,” Wilkinson added that Alibaba Group officials “look forward to working collaboratively with the chairman and his team to do everything possible to protect consumers.”