At the beginning of the year, all of a sudden personal shoppers that import foreign products, known as ‘Daigou’ in Chinese, dramatically changed their promotion tactics on WeChat.
It used to be like this:
Now it’s turned into this:
A lipstick, quite easy to identify.
Some eye cream, a bit harder to recognize.
Wow, this one is actually a razor!
How about this one? Is it a piece of bread or a diaper?
Are you sure this isn’t a washing machine?
It’s likely that these personal shoppers are posting crude sketches on WeChat as advertising in attempt to evade new taxes that are a result of China's first e-commerce law that took effect on January 1st.
According to the law, a penalty of 500,000 yuan (73,260 U.S. dollars), or up to 2 million yuan in serious cases may be applied to e-commerce and social media platform operators if they fail to take necessary steps against IPR infringement by merchants on their platforms.
The law covers not only famous platforms such as Alibaba's Taobao but also those selling goods via social networks including the popular app WeChat and personal websites.
Then here comes the million-dollar question: are these Daigou really going to be able to avoid detection by using crude sketches in their advertising?
According to several lawyers, using sketches offers no protection, the responsibility they shoulder is still the same.
Reported by Monica Liu
Edited by Simon Haywood