VietNamNet Bridge – E-commerce websites participating in trade fraud and violating customers rights are to be publicised on the official portal website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The move is part of the ministry’s ongoing effort to protect customers from trade fraud on the internet, which has mushroomed in recent years.
“Besides a number of administrative measures to punish violation websites, publicising their name would be the most effective measure,” said head of MoIT’s department of e-commerce Tran Huu Linh.
According to the ministry’s plan, it would receive complaints relating to online trade fraud and violations of online trade contracts, personal information protection and online payments.
Meanwhile, people who send complaints to the ministry must give the name of the website that is supposed to be responsible for trade fraud and evidence of the activities.
They are also required to give their personal information, such as name, personal identity card number, residential address and phone number.
According to the ministry, after receiving five complaints concerning the same violations, it would require the website owner to give an explanation.
After 30 days, if the website owner was unable to satisfy the conditions, the ministry would publicise the name of the website on the e-commerce trade fraud website list in the ministry’s official portal website.
According to MoIT, the number of internet users had increased and the number of people creating accounts on websites and participating in online transactions had also increased.
By late 2012, more than 1.5 million transactions on 30 sites had been carried out with a total revenue of VND4.1 trillion (US$196 million).
The Government has assigned MoIT to create a new decree to replace the current decree on e-commerce issued in 2006.
The draft decree is now inviting public comment. In this draft decree, one regulation stipulates that the multi-level marketing model will be banned from e-commerce. So when the decree takes effect, the model like Muaban24 website could no longer exist.
Police in Ha Noi last year prosecuted four top managers of Muaban24 Online Trade and Training Company for using telecommunications networks and the internet and digital devices for fraudulent activity.
Established in 2011, the company set up a Muaban24 network with 120,000 online shops in more than 30 provinces and cities. Muaban24 invited people to join its online market at the website www.muaban24.com at a cost of VND5.2 million ($249) per person.
Each member would be given a place to sell and buy goods at favourable prices. Members could also earn VND1.5 million ($72) for recruiting a new member to the market.
However, the website had never focused on trading and instead focused on expanding its customer networks. With the multi-level model, senior members are promised hundreds of millions dong in monthly incomes.
So far, the company has collected more than VND600 billion ($28.8 million) invested by tens of thousands of members.