Chinese media is reporting that Alibaba has filed a lawsuit against Hangzhou Jianshi Technology Co., Ltd., the company behind click farm site Shatui, for damaging the credibility of Alibaba’s Chinese marketplaces. The e-commerce giant has asked for 2.16 million RMB (312k USD) in compensation for fraudulent practices on their platform. If they win, Alibaba says they will use the money to establish an anti-click farm fund. This is the first time a Chinese e-commerce companies has tried to sue a click farm firm.

Despite its huge success, Alibaba still gets a lot of flack for allowing merchants on their platform to engage in various types of malpractice, including selling knock-offs, fake reviews, and fraudulent sales volumes. They have taken big steps to reduce counterfeit goods on the platform. However, they still have large problems with disingenuous reviews, inaccurate sales numbers, and the click farms that enable both of them.

Click farming is used in China to inflate transaction volume, create bogus ratings, and leave fake reviews. With search results determined by a mix of these three factors, more and more merchants are hiring click farms to boost their popularity.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.