Amazon's China business infiltrated by 3rd party agents

Some Amazon employees have been selling customer data to outside parties, and deleting negative online product reviews on behalf of Chinese companies

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(By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – According to a recent report, the U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon may have been infiltrated by a number of moles working in China, who take payments on behalf of outside companies to steal customer data and influence product reviews and sales indicators.

A private company investigation has been launched at Amazon following reports that some employees have been giving confidential customer data to third parties in China.

The report published Sept.16 by Wall Street Journal says that associates working in Amazon’s division in China have been funneling internal company information and confidential customer data to an outside company, and manipulating reviews to increase sales of certain companies’ products.

Relatively low salaries of Amazon employees in China, and potentially lucrative pay for the confidential data are suggested as likely reasons for the data leak and internal manipulation of the online marketplace.

An informed source claims companies in China would pay between US$80 and US$2000 to Amazon employees for customer data. They also paid for Amazon employees to delete negative product reviews, and reinstate consumer accounts that had been disabled for previously breaching terms of service.

The article even quotes a basic price for of US$300 for the service of deleting a single negative review, a service which is allegedly requested by batch of four or five deletions per single product listing.

Amazon says it will enforce penalties for anyone determined to have been involved in such practices, and that perpetrators may face criminal charges, according to the Wall Street Journal.