Amazon Crackdown on Fake Reviews and Orders in China, Wins Four Civil Lawsuits

Amazon Shipped wrong item

On the evening of June 19, Amazon announced significant progress in its ongoing battle against unfair competition practices, specifically targeting false orders and fake reviews in China. This initiative marks a crucial step in Amazon’s commitment to maintaining a fair and transparent marketplace for both sellers and consumers. The company’s aggressive legal strategy has resulted in several key victories in 2024, underscoring its resolve to combat fraudulent activities.

Amazon Fake Reviews

Legal Victories and Law Enforcement Collaboration

Civil Lawsuits in Shenzhen and Shanghai

Amazon’s efforts have yielded notable successes in the form of four first-instance civil lawsuit victories in Shenzhen and Shanghai. These lawsuits targeted service providers engaged in creating false orders and manipulating product reviews. The court rulings found these services to constitute unfair competition, ordering the defendants to cease their operations, make public statements to mitigate the impact, and provide compensation for related losses.

Support for Criminal Prosecutions

Parallel to these civil actions, Amazon has been collaborating with local law enforcement agencies across several Chinese provinces, including Shandong, Ningxia, Fujian, and Jiangxi. This collaboration has led to the arrest of more than 20 individuals involved in criminal activities related to fake orders. These arrests are part of four ongoing criminal cases that highlight the severity and scale of the problem.

Nature of the Unfair Practices

Scope of Illegal Services

The defendants in these cases offered a range of illicit services designed to manipulate Amazon’s marketplace dynamics. These services included:

  • Ranking Optimization: Using technical means to artificially boost the ranking of products in search results.
  • Pull-Down Promotion: Manipulating search algorithms to alter product visibility.
  • Merging International Reviews: Combining reviews from different markets to create a misleading representation of product quality.
  • Direct Reviews and Associated Videos: Generating false or misleading product reviews and related videos.
  • Guiding Positive Reviews: Instructing sellers on how to garner favourable reviews through various tactics.
  • Flash Sale Control: Influencing sales events to create an illusion of high demand.

Specific Manipulative Techniques

Among the specific behaviours identified were the manipulation of buyer accounts to generate false reviews, directing sellers to post on social media to drive traffic and reviews, and offering incentives such as free warranties and gifts to solicit positive reviews. These tactics not only misled consumers but also distorted the competitive landscape, disadvantaging honest sellers.

Amazon Fake Reviews

Court Decisions and Industry Impact

Legal Precedents

The court rulings in these civil cases set important precedents for addressing unfair competition in e-commerce. By mandating the cessation of fake order services and requiring public acknowledgement of wrongdoing, these decisions reinforce the legal framework against such practices. The ongoing second-instance trials will further clarify the legal stance on these issues and potentially impose additional penalties.

Settlement and Proactive Compliance

In a related civil case, one service provider chose to proactively seek a settlement. This provider halted its fake order services, provided financial compensation, and publicly acknowledged the negative impact of its actions. This proactive approach indicates a recognition of the seriousness of the legal and reputational risks associated with such practices.

Strengthening Criminal Enforcement

Role of Law Enforcement

Amazon’s collaboration with law enforcement agencies has been instrumental in addressing the criminal aspects of fake orders and reviews. The criminal cases in Shandong, Ningxia, Fujian, and Jiangxi involve complex schemes such as employing “online water armies” to post reviews and delete negative feedback for a fee. These activities not only undermine consumer trust but also pose significant challenges to market integrity.


Amazon’s recent victories in civil lawsuits and its support for criminal prosecutions in China highlight the company’s robust approach to combating fake orders and reviews. These efforts are crucial for ensuring a fair marketplace, protecting consumers, and upholding the integrity of e-commerce. As these legal actions continue, they serve as a warning to service providers engaging in unfair competition and reinforce the importance of transparency and honesty in the digital marketplace.

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