Alibaba denies responsibility for price-dumping

Aslak Berge

Dumping allegation rejected by Chinese retail market place that says it’s only offering a trading platform where buyers and sellers can meet

E-commerce is spreading. Increasingly effective logistics make even perishable food items like vegetables, meat and fish into online turnover. Both Amazon and Alibaba now have Atlantic salmon in their product listings.

While Amazon prices its salmon high and aims for the upper segment of the market, Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, offers its salmon products miles below the current market price, and without being able to trace the producer’s country of origin. Last week, SalmonBusiness reported that frozen Atlantic salmon is being offered at prices down at around USD 200 a tonne, or EUR 0.15 per kilo on the trading platform.

In the Alibaba ads, salmon originates from China, Brazil and Poland — all countries not exactly known for producing their own salmon.

Alibaba offers salmon at prices that lie far below market price. How is that possible? How do you track fish back to their country of origin?

“Alibaba can’t comment on that, but as background, I can say that Alibaba offers a third-party platform that connects buyers and sellers and are not responsible for the products, setting prices or individual sellers on the platform. Alibaba can therefore not provided an answer to how various sellers price their products, since we, as said, only offer a platform where buyers and sellers meet,” Millad Matin, Scandinavian press contact for Alibaba, told SalmonBusiness.

“I hope this clears things up,” he said.

Stolen goods?
No rational market player would sell high-quality fish at prices that are just a fraction of the current market price. This alone implies the goods might be stolen.

Millad would not comment on the suggestion, or whether it might affect Alibaba’s credibility or its prospects for building a global marketplace.

In the first three quarters of 2017, Alibaba sold merchandise worth USD 21.7 billion dollars. Competitor Amazon, which has already presented its results for last year, saw USD 177 billion in turnover.

Read Salmon prices look low on Alibaba
Read Alibaba now trading tonnes of salmon


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