VIPShop is being sued by a group of customers who claim to have bought counterfeit Maotai liquor, an expensive Chinese brand, from the platform, reports Beijing-based Securities Daily on Monday.
According to a representative in an online forum on which scandals of fake liquor are exposed, the group of disgruntled customers are intending to sign away power of attorney for a class action lawsuit, taking VIPShop to court in Guangzhou where VIPShop headquarters.
“They just want VIPShop to compensate in accordance with the law, apologize officially, admit they’re selling fakes, and remove ‘100% genuine products ’ from their slogan,” said the representative.
According to the lawyer involved, there is at least RMB five million (USD 765,000) involved in the lawsuit.
Complaints emerged on the popular internet forum several days after VIPShop’s three-day anniversary promotional period ended. Liquor was claimed to have been bought during the promotional period in early December last year.
Receiving more and more complaints, VIPShop China Holdings released a statement in mid-December, declaring to have taken action by completing return requests and refunds for the 903 customers who made complaints. VIPShop claims it is compensating in accordance with relevant regulations where problems are found with the quality of goods.
VIPShop released another official statement on the last day of 2015, saying that because Maotai liquors exist on the platform that are not from Maotai Group and are not of original packaging, they will provide 10 times of the compensation to the 903 customers.
Despite the large amount of proposed compensation, the case has far from ended.
Customers involved in the scandal have decided to proceed with their lawsuit against VIPShop. Customers were disappointed that VIPShop did not admit to having sold fakes, and tried to blame it on suppliers instead. According to a representative from the forum, many other victims who bought fake Maotai and Wuliangye – another popular brand – in November, prior to the promotional activity, were not covered in the compensation list.
VIPShop, a Chinese membership-based flash sales website, which is hotly sought after for steep discounts on brand name goods, has now become notorious for selling fake products. In late November, VIPShop was involved in a counterfeit scandal with its watch.