(Yicai Global) Nov. 27 -- Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE: BABA] and JD.com Inc. [NASDAQ:JD] have been caught in a public opinion battle due to a series of media reports released during the annual Singles’ Day shopping festival, which takes place annually on Nov. 11.
Alibaba will report to authorities a series of organized, planned and large-scale rumors, as well as cases of public opinion manipulation and other illegal acts witnessed in recent days, the company said in a lawyer’s letter released on Nov. 24.
Nearly 500 social media accounts and media have continued to release nearly 10,000 articles, covering content such as Alibaba’s alleged monopolization and also reports that Alibaba makes merchants choose between itself and rival JD, said Hui Xiang, Alibaba’s legal adviser and Shanghai Yingdong Law lawyer through social media.
Hui also made it clear that internet analyst Fang Xingdong and his independent third-party research institution ChinaLabs are involved in this incident. Reports online suggested that ChinaLabs and JD.com signed contracts worth more than CNY2 million aimed at promoting the idea of a government-led antitrust probe into key Alibaba platform Tmall.
Fang was one of the earliest analysts to conduct the internet industry research in China, he used to promote the development of blogs and was hailed as the father of blogs in the country. He responded stating, “Alibaba’s lawyer’s allegations about changing public opinions have nothing to do with ChinaLabs.”
JD.com has denied any cooperation with third parties to create rumors against others. In contrast, the company has suffered organized and discredited attack and defamation for a long time. According to incomplete statistics, hundreds of influential social media accounts and media issued a number of rumors and discredited articles against JD.com during the 2017 Singles’ Day Promotion. JD.com said it will also start appropriate judicial procedure.