The State Administration for Market Regulation is collecting public opinions on a draft regulation regarding e-commerce, according to which online merchants will be prohibited from deleting any negative reviews from their customers, in order to develop a more transparent online assessment system.
The evaluation system enables the quantification of e-commerce integrity, which is a heavyweight innovation for the development of e-commerce. Consumers frequently evaluate the products or services they purchase by posting online reviews. While businesses are happy to receive praises, they also get worried of bad influences caused by less favorable assessments. In this case, some people have seized this opportunity and have become professional negative reviewers to extort money from merchants.
The practice of professional negative reviewers increases the operating costs of online businesses, endangers the spirit of Internet universality, and in the end, adds more costs to consumers.
But the phenomenon of professional positive reviewers is even more widespread and serious. Both negative and positive reviewers are jeopardizing the Internet ecology and customers' confidence in online trading.
When problems occur in the e-commerce ecology, they distort the evaluation system. Thus, supervision should be strengthened synchronously over professional positive and negative reviewers to maintain consumer confidence in the online assessment system.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Beijing Youth Daily on May 13)