About a year ago, HEXUS reported on an investigation into Amazon reviews by the FT. Amazon's reviews are seen as a useful shopping aid by some, with many products featuring lots of reviews and ratings, both good and bad. Of course, companies would love to get better ratings, and it appears that lots of Chinese brands have been busy working between the cracks in Amazon community guidelines to boost their product ratings. Cleverly getting past guidelines might not break them, but break the spirit of the community, and tarnish the user review system. Thankfully, it has now been confirmed that Amazon has taken some decisive action.
Amazon has confirmed to The Verge that it has "banned over 600 Chinese brands across 3,000 different seller accounts". People first noticed brands like Aukey, Mpow, RavPower, Vava, TaoTronics and Choetech disappearing from the online retailer this summer – but this was, as the source says, just the tip of the iceberg.
Another report on this Amazon ban, from Hong Kong's SCMP, says that Amazon's "extensive clean-up campaign" began in May and seems to have just completed a big chunk of its work. This news source highlights to readers that this clean-up isn't about Amazon targeting 'China', and that despite these and earlier bans (like the one in June), "the closures did not negatively impact the overall growth of Chinese online merchants on Amazon".
If you visit Amazon, you will still be able to find products from the banned companies here and there, and under partner brand names, observes The Verge. This might be new listings from sellers who aren't manipulating reviews, but it is hard to understand how this is happening already. Amazon says it is going to continue "suspend, ban, and take legal action against those who violate these [community feature] policies". It is currently working on improving abuse detection and enforcement actions.