Amazon recently cracked down on companies that engaged in practices leading to inauthentic product reviews, it has been revealed. More than 600 Chinese brands have been permanently banned from the online retailer’s platform as a result of these practices, the company confirmed, an action intended to preserve the integrity of reviews presented to customers.
It’s no secret that Amazon has faced major hurdles involving counterfeit products and review fraud. Though outright fake reviews are a thing, there are more insidious methods some sellers use to maintain a higher score on the platform. These methods can include, for example, offering a customer a gift card or a free product if they leave a positive review.
As well, some buyers have reported receiving offers for refunds, free goods, or gift cards if they delete a negative review left for a product. This sort of activity can artificially boost a product’s rating, depriving other shoppers of the opportunity to get an accurate assessment of an item before they buy it.
The 600 permanently banned Chinese brands covered more than 3,000 Amazon online stores, according to the South China Morning Post; Amazon later confirmed the matter in a statement to The Verge. Though the full list of purged brands is unclear, buyers previously noted the disappearance of some popular offerings from Amazon over recent months, including Choetech, Mpow, and Aukey.
The crackdown took place over the duration of around five months. Amazon noted in its statement that this isn’t an action specifically against Chinese brands, saying that it will take actions against sellers that violate its policies “wherever they are in the world.”