Taobao receives payout in Pudong 'stolen traffic' case

E-commerce giant Taobao received 1 million yuan (US$157,958) in compensation from a shopping website and a software developer who stole large flows of internet traffic.

China’s e-commerce giant Taobao has received 1 million yuan (US$157,958) in compensation from a shopping website and a software developer who stole large flows of internet traffic, a Pudong court said.

Shanghai-based b5m.com had a local software developer called Zaixin develop a plug-in that functioned as an online shopping assistant to compare product prices.

However, after Internet users installed the software and entered Taobao, they would find links leading to products and be directed to buy on b5m.com, the court said.

Zaixin helped b5m.com to insert its links on Taobao and mislead customers into thinking they were still buying on Taobao, which infringed on Taobao’s rights and caused economic loss.

The two firms were ordered by the Pudong New Area People’s Court in April last year to pay 1 million yuan in compensation to Taobao, and another 100,000 yuan in legal fees. The decision was upheld by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court in December last year.

The case was unveiled by the Pudong court on Thursday.

New acts of unfair competition, many taking place on the Internet, have emerged due to the development of the digital economy, the court said. Last year, it received 99 cases of unfair competition involving new acts of law, like stealing traffic from rivals and exaggerating website traffic.

In 2017, the court received 5,403 cases of intellectual property violations. Nearly 80 percent of them related to copyright infringement taking place online. 


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