Is Tencent’s 51Buy’s “Higher Price Reimbursement” Strategy against 360buy Illegal?

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(By You Yunting) As reported by the media, the e-commerce site 51buy.com has instituted a so-called “higher price compensation” strategy: if clients of 51buy.com, an affiliate of Tencent, find a lower price for an item on 360.com, then 51buy.com will refund the price difference to the client as credits. According to 360buy.com, however, this action violates the Anti-unfair Competition Law and relevant commercial ethics. 360buy.com therefore sent a warning letter to 51buy.com. In reply, 51buy.com used its Weibo to state that the activity is legitimate and will continue.

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Damages from Over Promotion by E-retailers

Recently, a sale’s promotion campaign (note: the link is in Chinese) is launched by China e-commerce merchants on Weibo, a twitter like website. On 14th August, Mr. Liu Qiangdong, CEO of 360buy.com made a statement on Weibo that all the major home appliances sold on his website will maintain ZERO gross profit in the coming 3 years, and will also be 10%  cheaper than those sold by Sunning and Gome, who are also the major E-retailers in China. Facing the challenge, Sunning (SZSE: 002024) and Gome (SEHK: 493) replied that all their commodities will be cheaper than 360buy.com. After that, both sides announced they will adjust the prices in time to ensure its own prices are lower than the opponent. The quarrel on Weibo triggered a promotion battle between the e-retailers, and after the 1st day of fighting, 360buy.com said the total sales of the day had been over RMB 200 million.

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The Extension of the iPad Trademark Battle: Proview Charged iPad Distributor GOME in China

According to Guangzhou Daily, the widely concerned iPad trademark conflict is oiled by the battle between Proview and GOME (HKEx: 00493), the distributor of iPad. And the new dispute has been brought to the Shenzhen Futian People’s Court and heard on 30th, December, 2011.

Shenzhen Proview claims itself the legal trademark owner of iPad, and as investigated, GOME sold the tablet with iPad trademark in its stores with no license from GOME, therefore, the misconduct of GOME shall be the trademark infringement. Thereby, Proview demands GOME stop selling the tablet, destroy all the marks or package related to the infringement, cancel any propaganda concerning iPad and take all the expenses on the investigation, evidence collection and other reasonable costs.

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