Daily Digital Pulse of China: Courier Firms and Information Leaks & Alibaba's Laiwang App

China Digital

Customer Data Theft

We’ve all heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” but apparently, here in China, knowledge can also equal big money for those who are daring enough to take the risk to sell the knowledge they’ve obtained using methods that aren’t exactly legal. The selling of personal customer information from employees of delivery companies to online traders has become its own industry in major Chinese cities. And what can one do with such information? Well, it can be used for a variety of activities ranging from fairly harmless, such as distributing junk e-mail and contacting potential customers, to downright unscrupulous, like scams, extortion, and theft. Many online store owners also seem to be using the information to forge transaction records. YTO Express, one of the biggest next-day delivery firms in China, and the company that most of the stolen data seem to be coming from, has been dealing with the aforementioned issue for quite some time now. Since last year, the courier company has been working with Taobao, China’s biggest C2C e-commerce company, to solve the problem. It seems, however, that their efforts have been of little to no avail. There are currently 3,000 personal data sellers on Taobao, and the going rate for a single piece of information is 1 yuan (approximately 0.16 USD), with discounts typically given for bulk purchases of one thousand. The information includes the customers names, addresses, phone numbers, and serial numbers. There have been two large recent cases involving data selling, which involved 18 people and 6 million pieces of information. The jail sentence for such a crime is a maximum of 3 years, but charges for the crime rarely occur due to the difficulty of tracking sales. Security measures are currently being taken by another Chinese courier firm, STO Express, which will give its customer dockets every six months to independent security firms to destroy.

Source: Shanghai Daily

China Digital

Alibaba’s Laiwang Gains 5 Million Users in a Single Day

Alibaba’s CEO Jonathan Lu has reportedly stated that during the next year, all of the company’s resources would be funneled into its mobile endeavors, including its messaging app Laiwang, Taobao’s mobile services, Aliyun, and an O2O service. Jack Ma, former CEO of Alibaba, has also allegedly sent out an internal memo letting the employees know that if each of them didn’t acquire 100 non-Alibaba affiliated contacts on their Laiwang apps, they would not be receiving work bonuses. The day after the memo was supposedly issued, more than five million new users signed up for Laiwang after Alibaba employees spread the word about the app via various social media platforms.

Source: Tech In Asia