E-commerce frauds require utmost in attention from regulators

May 19, 2024 - 13:50
Great efforts have been made to combat counterfeit goods on e-commerce channels amid booming e-commerce activities.
Many individuals have impersonated trading platforms and large brands that prohibit customers from inspecting goods upon delivery, causing consumer losses. — Photo tuoitre.vn

HÀ NỘI — Great efforts have been made to combat counterfeit goods and trade fraud products on e-commerce channels as online shopping has become increasingly popular for many people amid booming e-commerce activities.

According to insiders, proactively monitoring market trends, adhering to consumer preferences, and overcoming challenges through digital technology adoption is essential for business development.

Online shopping contributes to increasing sales and reducing intermediary costs, preventing financial loses for businesses in the Vietnamese market. However, taking advantage of loopholes, many individuals have impersonated trading platforms and large brands, which apply policies that do not allow customers to inspect goods upon online delivery, causing losses to consumers.

Experts said stronger sanctions are necessary to punish those responsible for e-commerce frauds.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), e-commerce continues to be one of the bright spots in Việt Nam's digital economy development, with revenue reaching US$20.5 billion in 2023, up 25 per cent year-on-year.

A comprehensive report on the online retail market in 2023 and the forecast for 2024 by the e-commerce data platform Metric also show that revenue from business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce reached nearly VNĐ500 trillion (over $19.64 billion) in 2023 and is predicted to hit around VNĐ650 trillion in 2024.

Sales revenue on online platforms is projected to reach over VNĐ310 trillion in 2024, 35 per cent higher than that reported in the previous year.

Sales through live streaming can be 10 times more effective than traditional e-commerce, experts said, but noting that along with the benefits and profits brought by e-commerce, there are also downsides.

Many bad actors have exploited consumer trust and policy loopholes to sell low-quality products, counterfeiting the trademarks of well-known brands that are protected in Việt Nam and worldwide, they said.

According to Trần Hữu Linh, Director General of the MoIT’s Việt Nam Directorate of Market Surveillance, said his agency frequently receives reports from branded companies about counterfeit products on e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee and recently TikTok, and social networks such as Facebook and Zalo.

He also provided a comparison that in 2020, retail sales on the Internet in Việt Nam reached $13 billion, but by 2022 this figure surged to $35 billion.

Việt Nam has the highest online shopping population ratio in Southeast Asia, with 49.3 million or 41 per cent of its population shopping online, he added.

To prevent e-commerce fraud, it is necessary to have resources, especially tools, methods and appropriate sanctions. Linh stressed.

In addition to efforts by law enforcement agencies, individuals and organisations need to enhance awareness of legal compliance in preventing counterfeit goods, smuggling and trade fraud, especially through e-commerce platforms, he added. — VNS