Last November, Chairman Elliot F. Kaye made national headlines for urging certain online sites to take far greater responsibility for preventing the sale of dangerous, recalled consumer products on or through their sites. Today, the Chairman announced a ground-breaking voluntary consumer safety collaboration between the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Alibaba Group Holding Limited, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world.
Speaking from the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, Kaye commended the China-based online giant’s commitment to cooperate with CPSC in making illegal or recalled products in the United States unavailable to buyers who are identified as being located in the U.S.
Under the arrangement, Alibaba Group has established a direct line of contact for CPSC. The company has pledged to work swiftly with CPSC on requests to block sales of illegal and recalled consumer products to U.S. buyers on Alibaba Group platforms. Product safety information for U.S. importers will also be available on Alibaba Group platforms in the coming days.
Alibaba has also agreed to create access points on its Business to Business (B2B) platform that would guide U.S. importers to U.S. safety standards for higher risk consumer products.
“With an increasing number of companies and consumers taking their business online, Alibaba’s decision to implement these new policies is a victory for U.S. consumers and their safety,” said Chairman Kaye. The company’s forward leaning approach in this regard will help prevent dangerous and recalled products from being passed on to unsuspecting consumers.”
Alibaba Group had more than 300 million annual active buyers in 2014 and operates its sites as a platform for third parties. Alibaba does not engage in direct sales, compete with merchants, or hold inventory.
“We are honored and proud to work with the CPSC on these important and serious consumer protection measures. Chairman Kaye is a strong leader with an excellent track record of results in protecting U.S. consumers. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Chairman and his team to do everything possible to protect consumers,” said Jim Wilkinson, Alibaba Group’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs.
CPSC also works closely with other online marketplaces to protect the safety of U.S. consumers in the online marketplace.
Kaye’s announcement in Hong Kong comes during his visit to one of the world’s largest toy industry events. On January 14, the Chairman will speak to what is expected to be a packed hall of toy company executives, designers, and manufacturers. In his first visit to a foreign production center since becoming Chairman in July 2014, Kaye’s message will include telling the toy industry: “All consumers, regardless of where they live, deserve to have quality and safety built into the products they buy, especially when it comes to toys for their children. I believe this as a parent and as the principal consumer product safety regulator for the United States.”