Ecommerce sites in China such as WeChat have taken action against people selling fake face masks and those that market the products at a higher price. Labeled as a basic commodity in the country today, China's biggest social media platform has decided to sue users who sell these products through the app.
WeChat filed lawsuits against five people who used the social media platform to sell fake masks to the public in China. The company's owner Tencent demanded a public apology and a compensation of one million yuan against each defendant.
The sold masks were of poor quality and the selling thereof has been a recurring public problem in the country for local eCommerce platforms. The suits were filed in Shenzhen last Tuesday. The company also announced that it would take a stand against illegal sellers that are taking advantage of the public health crisis to earn more money through unprecedented means.
Since January, Tencent has condemned 3,200 accounts and 1,800 groups that marketed illicit information about the medicine and medical equipment. It also banned items such as wildlife and punished those who violate privacy regulations.
The announcement from the company did not reveal the privacy violations committed by its users, but some Wuhan residents were shown to have been spreading the virus deliberately. The company then claimed that it punished about 4,300 of its official accounts and more than 400 mini-programs for violating fraud statues relating to masks and donations to the public.
According to The Verge, WeChat has been censoring keywords about the public health crisis since January 1, 2020. Research group Citizen Lab showed group chat conversations and found that some of the content was censored by the application. It was claimed that since public health officials from China informed the World Health Organization about the health crisis, Chinese social media sites have been directed to censor content shared through its platforms.
In other news, Bloomberg Law reported that USB Group AG has started to consider the allowance of bankers and traders to use WeChat Work to communicate with the clients. The service would allow them to advise on trading and deal-making in financial markets making the platform a financial hub that alleviates communication barriers caused by the public health crisis.
The Zurich-based lender has yearned to speed up the approval process of the service since last week. It has directed its top management committee to roll out employees by the end of March to realize the business plan. The company has also been meeting with a small group of bankers before the decision to use WeChat Work was decided.