Faked orders in which sellers pay for buyers to make a transaction and leave a glowing review–known as “brushing” in Chinese–has become a widespread practice on Alibaba’s (BABA.NYSE) e-commerce websites, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing interviews with dozens of vendors, brushers and e-commerce consultants. Although outlawed in China, many sellers feel that such practices are necessary to get ahead in the highly competitive marketplace, and in 2013 Alibaba Vice President Yu Weimin was quoted as saying 1.2 million sellers on Taobao (roughly 17% of the platform’s total) had faked 500 million purchases worth RMB 10 billion.
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