China arrests 36 for fraud on Alibaba and other sites

Alibaba sign
Image caption Alibaba's reputation took a hit as a result of the online fraud on its e-commerce website

Chinese police have arrested 36 people connected with operating an online fraud on and other websites, the company has said.

Those arrested stand accused of duping overseas buyers of more than $6m (£3.7m) by posing as suppliers on the Chinese e-commerce websites.

The fraud resulted in the chief executive and chief operating officer of Alibaba quitting earlier this year.

Alibaba is China's largest e-commerce group.

"The arrest of the suspects hits online scammers hard," said boss Jonathan Lu.

The company said the arrests were made following a 40-day investigation earlier this year.

Reduced complaints

Alibaba said it had introduced strict procedures in an attempt to prevent a repeat of such cases.

As a result, the number of fraud complaints received monthly by the website declined by 70% between February and June, Alibaba officials said.

The company said it would keep up its efforts to ensure the safety of its consumers.

"We will continue to co-operate with defrauded buyers and police to pursue the investigation, arrest and sentencing of those who commit crimes using our platform," said Linda Kozlowski of

"If scammers think they can hide on the internet and that no-one will go after them, they are wrong," she added.

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